You will extract the most pleasure from fine tea, steeped with care. The Republic of Tea’s Minister of Fire & Water suggests the following step-by-step ritual for infusing hot tea:
Heat Your Water
- It begins with the water—the element that brings tea to its full potential. Fresh water yields a better cup. We recommend using filtered, spring or bottled water.
- Fill your tea kettle with fresh, cold water and heat to a rolling boil—unless you’re making green tea or 100% White Tea. In that case, stop short of boiling to avoid “cooking” the delicate tea.
- If you’re using a teapot, warm it first by swirling in a splash of steamy water and pour it out.
- Plan on about one teaspoon of tea or herbs or one tea bag per six-ounce cup. If using whole leaf tea, place tea in infusing basket or teapot.
Time Your Steeping
- Pour the water over the tea, cover if in a pot, and infuse to taste. Different teas take well to different infusing times. Experiment to find your ideal time, but take care – don’t steep for too long or you’ll find your tea has gone bitter or acidic.
Enjoy Your Hot Tea
- Remove the tea bag or infuser, or use a strainer for the leaves. Pour the steaming tea into a cup and let it cool for a moment.
- Sip. Let the infusion please your palate. Enjoy the nuances, the complexity and character. This is drinking tea.