Most people think that all you need to get a cup of tea in your life is boil some water and drop a tea bag in a cup and add the boiling water. Well sure, that will get you a cup of tea but, is it the best way to fix it. For one thing, if your water is too hot it can actually give your tea a bitter taste. Similarly, if you leave the leaves (or tea bag) in too long, it can become bitter. So what is the best way to get a good cup of tea. It is still not that hard, but there a few things you should consider.
Your water is important because if your water doesn't taste good, your tea won't either. Try not to use hard water. Many times tap water can be hard water with dissolved solids and minerals in it that detract from the taste. Try to use spring water if it is available. Most bottled or distilled water will work fine. If you don't have that, the faucet purifier will be better than plain tap water.
As stated above the wrong temperature of your water can be detrimental to a good cup of tea. Black Tea, which is strong and bold, can be brewed in boiling or close to boiling water - 210 degrees. Similarly Red Tea should have hot water although slightly cooler than that for black tea - about 195 - 205 degrees. Oolong Tea prefers water around 185 - 200 degrees. White tea should be brewed in 180 - 190 degree water, and Green Tea should have water that is 160 - 170 degrees. With the White and Green teas, if they are brewed in water that is warmer than that specified, it is possible to obtain a bitter taste in your tea.
The length of time you allow your tea to steep should be considered also. If you overdo the steeping duration, you can end up with unsatisfactory results. Black tea however, can take a good long time in its hot water; about 5 - 6 minutes. Red and Oolong teas can go about 3 - 4 minutes. But the more delicate green and white teas should be about 2 - 3 minutes, or risk a bitter taste.
Many people throw their tea bag in the cup of hot water and leave it there throughout the duration. Many also will reuse a tea bag. If they are enjoying their tea using these techniques, imagine how much better it might be for them if they simply employ a little more care.
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