So, you see, at the heart of all the British flags, shortbread, teapots, and fancy words like “infusion” or “tisane” the team members at Queen’s Pantry really just want you to love tea. And I do mean love. Black or oolong, iced or hot, with lemon or with milk, we want to help you find the tea that makes you excited to hop out of bed and face the world on a brisk autumn day.
To find that tea though, it’s pretty necessary to know how to brew tea. Seems pretty obvious, right? But honestly, after working for Queen’s Pantry for four years the question “How do I brew tea?” is still one that I answer weekly, if not daily. So, let’s break it down!
At Queen’s Pantry we have five overarching categories of tea – herbal and rooibos, white, green, oolong, and black. We enjoy each category for very different reasons. Caffeine or no caffeine, light and brisk, or deep and malty each tea or infusion has it’s own specific qualities that we value. And with those specific qualities comes a few things to keep in mind.
When you’re using loose leaf tea, the rule of thumb is one teaspoon per 8 ounces of water – but more on that in a minute. Imagine with me for a minute, that it’s Saturday morning on a brisk and slightly blustery October day. It’s time for tea. You open your tea cabinet and look over your options. After a few minutes of painstaking deliberation, you decide what tea you want to drink. But what is the next step? How do you get from loose tea leaves or that bag to the mug of yummy goodness you want? Here’s your answer!
Category: Water Temperature Needed: Steep Time:
Herbal & Rooibos 212 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes
which is a full boil
White tea 170 – 180 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes
small bubbles rising to the surface
Green tea 160 – 175 degrees, 1 to 3 minutes
pearl sized bubbles around the bottom of the kettle
Oolong tea 180 – 200 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes
right under a full boil
Black tea 212 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes
back to that full boil
As I mentioned earlier, if you are using loose leaf tea one teaspoon of leaves works for 8 ounces of water. If you prefer more flavor we strongly recommend more tea leaves, not more time. Adding more time to the steeping allows the tea to release tannins, which are bitter and unpleasant to most people (but that’s another conversation for another time).
If you want to get super exact with you tea temperatures, there are temperature controlled kettles on the market that work well. We’ve also been know to use a (clean) meat or candy thermometer in a pinch.
I so hope this helps you find that cup of tea that makes you just sing and dance.