What I’ve Discovered That Allows Us to Steep The Best Tasting Cup of Tea…
Ever wonder about whether or not you are getting the most from your tea?
If you aren't sure how to tell if you are steeping in a way to ensure you get the most from the leaves without getting too much too soon?
If so, you are far from alone…Many tea drinkers don’t realize they are doing an injustice to the tea they are steeping, or they don’t realize that small adjustments in their steeping process could bring more pleasure in the cup…even possibly open the range of teas they would enjoy and benefit from with just a simple tweak or two to their steeping process.
Even those that have considerable experience steeping tea can be surprised what a valuable steeping tip can do for their process yielding an even better end result.
We grow up programmed to think there are defined ways to steep different teas. For example, like steeping Black Tea for 3 minutes with Boiling Water…right? Not exactly. Just within the category of Black Tea alone, there is a gigantic wide range to teas, that actually benefit by having their steeping conditions tailored to the ingredients within them, the place they were grown, and the process with which they were proceeded into steep-able tea.
There are Two Important Types of Ingredients in Tea…
1) Readily Available & Desirable (More) Water Soluble ingredients...
2) Less Available & Undesirable (Less) Water Soluble ingredients…
Why it matters is that for each individual tea, the process from which it was created determines the most effective means of extracting its goodness. As complicated as that is sounding, it is actually quite simple…
The key is to extract the Readably Available & Desirable Water-Soluble ingredients you desire…
While allowing the Less Readably Available (Non)-Water-Soluble Ingredients (solid leaf & stem parts) to remain in the water as little time as possible.
So, what is one to do? It is simple actually:
For each tea that is new to you, intentionally under-steep your first infusion. Observe the broth color and taste the tea. Consider how you feel about that first infusion and decide if and how you might prefer to adjust the experience that first infusion gave you.
Using the broth color as a gauge-point, re-steep to your desired color and not on any particular steeping time.
Over the next several infusions of that tea, adjust your steeping period based on the broth color, striving for the Sweet Spot Color you have now determined is the best for you.
Typically what you will find when you follow this process is that while you are enjoying your first cup, the desirable water soluble ingredients you want for your ideal cup character have been becoming more available for extraction into your broth. The instant the hot water hits the leaves, they burst into the broth giving you instant color.
Quickly removing the leaves from broth will avoid too much of the desirable ingredient, and almost any undesirable ingredient from coming into your broth.
Using a clear vessel to steep your tealeaves provides the ability for you to easily monitor the ingredient extraction into the broth and provides the ability to adjust the steeping period based on the strength of the leaves by the shade or tint of the tea broth.
This technique allows one to avoid the less desirable stems and solid leaf pieces from tainting the broth and yields consistent desirable results cup after cup.
Whatever tea type is your favorite or if you enjoy them all, extracting the desirable ingredients into the broth and avoiding over steeping which allows undesirable ingredients, will allow exhausting what you want from the leaves and minimize any less desirable tainting ingredient.
Now…on to that perfect cup of tea…