February 11, 2017

10 Things You Should Know Before You Make Your Next Cup of Tea

Tea-blog-featured-image2_ENA simple pleasure in life is enjoying a cup of tea. Whether it be while watching tv, reading a good book, studying, or to help fight off a cold, tea is a beverage that has been enjoyed by many for over a thousand years.  Check out our list of tips and essential tea tricks to make sure you’re brewing right! And even if you wouldn’t call yourself a tea enthusiast, we think you’ll find that at least one of the items on this list will get you inspired to try a new way to enjoy tea, and well – it just might be your cup of tea.

#1 The pot matters

Tropical Tea PotThe material of the pot matters when it comes to making your tea.  For example, oolong teas are best brewed in a clay Yixing pot, and it is customary to brew Moroccan teas in a silver kettle. A collection of pots is great for a tea-purest. For a more pragmatic brewer, a Cast iron pot like our Akita Teapot retains heat well and is great for brewing teas that require higher heat like the common favorites like black teas and herbal teas.  A porcelain pot is another practical option because it does not absorb flavours. If you love wide varieties of tea, our Tropical teapot will do the trick.

#2 You need to be heating your water right

10537565_3_5_EN2When it comes to heating your water, most tea traditionalists will recommend the time-honored stove top method. It is how we’ve been heating our water for tea for centuries! Try our Hampton stove-top tea kettle. However, electric counter top kettles have new qualities that allow you to brew more precisely. The thinkkitchen Precision Kettle is made for tea lovers; you can set different temperatures depending on the tea. Now that’s tea expertise! Microwaving your water is a shortcut but can cause safety hazards, stove-top or electric kettles are the safe way to go!

#3 There’s a right type of cup

When you are looking for a tea cup, two of the most important qualities are that the inside is smooth and that it has a thin lip. A bone china cup, like our Willow Grande mug, will not leach or interfere with flavour. It makes a great universal cup. Avoid stoneware mugs as they are porous and will draw off taste. We also recommend porcelain cups because they are made thin and the material is very smooth! Try our Green Rose Mug.

#4 Every culture has their own tea ceremony

cynthiadug---Venetian-dinnerware-set3From Morocco and Turkey to Tibet, tea ceremonies hold a prominent place in many cultures around the world. Well known and trendy tea ceremonies such as the Japanese tea preparation of Matcha, known as Chanoyu, or Sado, or Ocha are spiritual and some tea ceremonies are stylish such as English High tea. Our Venetian dish set has beautiful porcelain tea cups and saucers, and for a Japanese ceremony our Iris Blue tea set is fun and functional. [photo cred: @cynthiadug]

#5 There’s a difference between brewing, steeping, and infusing

Tea-blog-featured-imageIn the case of tea, steeping is pouring hot water over loose leaves or a tea bag, and it is one of the ways in which you can brew. Infusing is used for herbal teas; you most commonly brew or steep black teas. But, you can also brew herbal tea! A brewed herbal often uses one type of herb while an infused herbal tea is steeped longer, uses a larger amount of tea and often combines more herbs to produce more health benefits. Think of it as a vitamin in a cup!  Our Kyra Teapot comes with a removable infuser, and is great for both brewing and steeping or infusing.

#6 Tea comes in different forms

There are tea bags, and loose leaf teas. There are also full leaves and ground leaves. Some tea authorities are staunch loose and full leaf supporters – if you grind the leaves, they lose some of their essential oils and aromas. And if you bag the leaves, they won’t have the same freedom to expand and fully release flavour and antioxidants. However, tea bags are the easy and convenient choice! Being a tea pragmatist will get you a pleasant, quick cup but if you’re curious about developing your tea tasting experience, try a tea bag with full leaves or go all the way and use full and loose leaves.

#7 Timing is everything

The length of time you steep, infuse, or brew your tea makes a difference to the taste of your tea. Brew times vary with almost every variety of tea. With a recommended steep time of 5 to 7 minutes, herbal tea often requires the longest amount of time. Black teas are next with a suggested time of 3 to 5 minutes and finally, green teas and white teas require the least amount of time with a recommended 1 to 3 minutes. It can vary depending on the blend, so check online or the label to be sure.  The most important thing to keep in mind is to not over steep and definitely don’t leave the teabag in the cup, this will make your tea very bitter!

#8 You can experiment a latté

10553485_2Sometimes tea culture can seem like it’s stuck in tradition. But there are new, exciting and delicious ways to enjoy your tea! Ever tried a Tea latté? If you haven’t, you’ve got to try a chai tea latté – use one of our milk frothers to make a tea latté easily at home! There’s no limit to this trend. You can literally make a tea latté from any type of tea – let your taste buds guide you! Try our Mousse Milk Frother for a manual option.

#9 You can brew to stay cool

krisbg---refreshing-tea2Teas can be a refreshing cool drink, just add ice and maybe a sweetener like honey, agave, or sugar. But there’s a right way to do it! When it comes to iced tea, make sure you double the amount of tea normally used so the ice cubes don’t dilute your drink. Another method is to use iced tea you’ve frozen in our thinkkitchen ice cube mould and use the usual recommended amount of tea. Add your sweetener while the brew is still hot so it can dissolve, then let it cool on the counter before placing it in the fridge for the best results! [Photo cred:  @krisbg]

#10 Brew and infuse on the go!

Why not make your tea experience as portable and convenient as everything else in the 21st century?You don’t have to be a homebody to enjoy a perfectly infused cup of tea. While you’re out and about taking care of business, you can use a travel mug with a built in filter, great for tea bags or loose leaves. Try our Tealino travel mug with infuser to get an extra kick of caffeine or to keep your zen with a calming green tea while you’re on the go.

Here to help make sure you brew yourself a perfect cup,


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