Sunday, August 19, 2012

How Do I Brew Thee, Tea?

I have searched far and wide about brewing, nah, I just searched in the Internet about brewing tea. There are a lot of styles and ways but for me it only boils (pun not intended) down to two kinds: Boil then steep and/or boil-while-steeping.

A.) Boil then steep is more commonly done. You use teapots or other containers such as a coffee press.

1 - Boil water. No duh. Prepare your stuff while waiting for water to cool down by a few degrees.
2 - Pour water into your teapot or coffee press to heat it then dispose this water.
3 - Add teaspoons-full of leaves. One teaspoon for every person and another for the pot. (Actually this depends on you. I usually put 3 teaspoons all for myself, haha.)
4 - Pour the water and let your tea steep. (Check the steeping time below, depending on your tea.)
5 - Prepare your mugs/cups and then wait for your tea.
6 - Freaking enjoy your drink.
My Weekend in Venice tea steeped using the coffee press.

B.) Although less common, I prefer doing this because of the temperature, using our handy-dandy old school percolator. It works for black tea because as I have read it can be brewed in not just hot water, but truly boiling water.

1 - Put filtered water in your percolator. Oh God, don't use your socks in filtering water from the faucet.
2 - Add tea leaves (same for me, 2-3 teaspoons of leaves).
Teehee, yummy Chocolate Tea from TWG.
3 - Turn the stove on and watch the water boil and pass through the strainer/holder again and again.
Patience is a virtue.
4 - Let it cool for a while or you can pour your tea into your mugs/cups right away, if preferred.
5 - Enjoy your tea! Be careful though, this one's piping hot!

So a rundown of steeping time and temperature:

Black tea (as well as red/rooibos tea) - boiling water; 4-6 minutes
Oolong tea - less than boiling water (190F); 5-8 minutes
White tea - less than boiling water (180F); 4-6 minutes
Green tea - slightly cooler water (150-160F); 2-4 minutes
Herbal tea - can be steeped using boiling water; 5 minutes (but this varies as there are a lot of blends available)

You can check out this link for other ways of brewing, too. :)
Since we're here already, let's include the caffeine content of tea as well. A cup of the following has a range of caffeine (based from thefragrantleaf site):

Black Tea: 23 - 110mg
Oolong Tea: 12 - 55mg
Green Tea: 8 - 36mg
White Tea: 6 - 25mg

Although I basically have no idea how much caffeine those are, just think that drip-brewed arabica coffee has around 80-130mg of caffeine.Your herbal teas are pretty much safe from caffeine. So you can drink a lot of those to calm your nerves, or basically try sleeping instead.

If you want to enjoy your tea at night and still need your sleep, steep your tea in hot water for 45 seconds and then discard that. They said that 80% of the caffeine will be extracted within the first 30 seconds of steeping, so after throwing out the initial tea, add water to your leaves and brew again. :)

1 comment:

Apple said...

I wish I can convert the family to do this instead of juice. :)) Starbucks tea infuser looks like a good alternative!