You will extract the most pleasure from fine tea, steeped with care. The Minister of Fire & Water suggests the following a step-by-step ritual for steeping tea:
Heat Your Water
• Tea 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 or 100% White Tea. In that case, stop short of boiling to avoid “cooking” the delicate tea leaves.
• Plan on about one teaspoon of tea or herbs or one tea bag per six-ounce cup. One six-ounce cup is the size of a traditional tea cup, not a mug. If using full leaf loose tea or herbs, place tea in infuser or teapot.
Time Your Steeping
• Pour the heated water over the tea, cover, 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.
Enjoy Your Tea
• Remove the tea bag or infuser, or use a tea strainer for the leaves. Pour the steaming tea into a cup and let it cool for a moment.
• Sip. Enjoy the nuances, the complexity and character. This is drinking tea.