Many countries have centuries-long tea drinking traditions. And the modern tea industry offers us to try more and more incredible combinations of varieties, tastes, brewing formats and ways of drinking our tea.
Black tea and shu (dark) pu-erhs are usually brewed with hot water at 98-100С and steeped for about 5 minutes. When you brew white or green tea, it's better to choose the water temperature of about 70-80С and steep for 2-3 minutes. As for oolongs, the water may be a little bit hotter – 85-90С.
Traditional tasty additions for tea are milk and lemon. Tea with milk will be especially tasty, if you choose the most fragrant variety and brew it stronger than usual. Tea with strong and rich taste, e.g. Kenyan, will be great for that. Use 1 teaspoon of leaf tea per 150 ml of water, brew for 5-7 minutes and then add milk.
To those who like tea with lemon, we also recommend to use strong and rich varieties or blends containing black tea from Kenya, India and Ceylon. Strong and fragrant base will be a perfect match for the refreshing citrus taste of lemon.
Traditionally, tea is brewed in teapots, but few are aware that it can be made in other vessels. In this article, we are going to tell you about three unusual ways - aeropress, siphon and cold-brew.
Let's start from the simplest device – an aeropress. Initially, the aeropress was invented for making coffee, but now it is also used to make tea.
In general, the aeropress is a cylinder with a plunger and a filter (paper or mesh). Tea is added to the chamber and poured over with hot water. In a few minutes, it is necessary to move the plunger down and your drink is ready.
The tea made in the aeropress has richer taste than that made in the teapot and it takes less time to brew it.
The next method is a siphon. This device has also been borrowed from the world of coffee. The design of siphon is more elaborate than that of aeropress and requires more knowledge and practice. The siphon consists of a lower chamber, an upper chamber, a mesh and a burner.
Water is poured to the lower chamber and the other chamber with the mesh and tea is mounted atop. After that, the burner starts to heat the water. As water is being heated, it moves from the lower chamber to the upper one and interreacts with tea. When water is completely forced to the the upper chamber, you can see how it is boiling, brewing the tea and aerating it.
The length of tea and water interreaction may be different and it depends on the type of tea that you use and on the taste that you want to get. In order to complete the process, it is necessary to remove the burner and after that the brewed tea goes down to the lower chamber and is ready to drink.
This brewing method usually causes much surprise, since tea is poured over with cold water. The special thing about this method is that it takes more time. Brewing tea in hot water takes about 3-5 minutes, but when you use cold water, it would take from 40-60 minutes to 3-4 hours depending on the variety.
The essence of this method is very simple. Take your favourite tea, pour it over with cold drinking water and leave it to steep. Taste it from time to time. It takes 1-2 hours for green tea, white tea and oolong and 3-4 hours for black tea.
Kenya, one of the most famous tea countries, has its own recipe for this drink. The cold tea called 'tangauzi' is made of leaf black tea, lemongrass, mint and honey. Tea is blended with other ingredients in cold water and left in a fridge. After that, it is strained and honey is added. It makes a great refreshing drink.
One of the most popular teas for infusions is Earl Grey and jasmine tea. You may use both classic varieties and flavoured teas to get an unusual taste.
Depending on the time that you have and the taste that you want to get, you may use various ways to make tea. We wish you tasty tea and interesting tea experiments!
Natalia Prokhorenko, tea taster