Be it green, black, white, oolong, earl grey tea or the good old Indian masala chai, there’s a cuppa for every mood. But do you know how to blend these right for maximum flavours and best taste?
On the occasion of International Tea Day, Snigdha Manchanda, Tea Sommelier & Founder of Tea Trunktells LuxeBook common mistakes made while making tea and the right way to do it.
Type of water
The use of a microwave to heat tea or using tap water to make tea is perhaps the most common mistake. Make sure to always use fresh spring, bottled or filtered water to brew your cup of tea.
While we’re on water, it’s important to mention that there is such a thing as ‘water that’s too hot for tea’. The temperature of water is crucial to ensure that the leaves release the right flavours.
While black and oolong teas can be brewed with water at 100 degrees; green, white and herbal teas should be steeped at 80 degrees. An easy way to get your water to 80 without a thermometer is to let it boil and then leave it to rest for two minutes before pouring it over your tea leaves. This allows some of the heat to escape and bring down the temperature.
Steeping the tea
A grouse I hear often about green tea is that it gets bitter after a while. Just like the temperature, the duration of steeping is another important factor that determines the taste of your tea. While black and oolong teas should be steeped for two to four minutes, green, white and herbal teas should be steeped for only one to three minutes.
Adding milk and sugar
Another common mistake is adding sugar and/or milk or cream to green teas, earl grey or Darjeeling teas. While adding milk and sugar is great if you’re making a cup of masala chai (CTC black), the same cannot be said for the other types of tea. Sugar and milk tend to mask the complex taste notes of green tea and so it’s best to have it plain.