How to brew the BEST cup of tea.

Have you ever sat down to a cup of tea and thought it tasted bitter? Or maybe it did not have much flavor? This might not be an issue with the tea but an issue with how the tea was made. There are some things you need to do to help ensure you make yourself the best cup of tea.

Why does it even matter to make your tea right?

In some of the teas if the water gets too hot, it destroys some of the best flavors. Let it sit for too long and the tea can taste bitter. In other teas if you don't get it hot enough, it won't bring out the right flavor. Tea is meant to be enjoyed and that is hard to do if it doesn't taste right.

Essentially, there are heat soluble flavors and cold soluble flavors in tea. If it gets too hot you destroy the cold flavors.

How do you make the BEST cup of tea?

Think of tea making like a recipe. You have to have the right amount of ingredients and they have to be mixed correctly and cooked for the right amount of time.

First, let's look at the ingredients starting with the water plus the tea.

Water and tea

It is important to have the right amount of water to the right amount of tea. If you do not have enough tea in the water your tea will be weak and you won't get the right flavor. If you have too much leaf in your water the tea might be too strong for your liking. 

Then it comes down to time and temperature.

Time and Temp

You want to heat your tea for the correct amount of time at the correct temperature based on the type of tea you are making. Not all teas should be heated the same. Here is a guide of a few main teas.

Tea Brewing Chart for the best flavor of tea

Now, this is just a guide and a guide for our teas. Always read the packaging on the back of your tea for the best brewing times and follow those. Our Grilled Southern Peach tea for example may need an extra minute to get all the flavor in it. Mississippi Mint also requires a different brew time than all the teas listed above but rest assured, every package has the proper brew times included. You can also find each teas brewing instructions online under each product in the store.

Does personal taste matter?

Yes, absolutely! You have to take this as a guide. Your personal taste can vary greatly. You might be a person who likes a bit of bitterness in your tea. Many people do. If you want more bitterness then increase your heating temperature which will bring out more of the bitterness in the leaf. Perhaps you like a strong cup of tea, then add an extra minute to your steep. It should be made how you like it. We don't judge anyone here on how they brew their tea but we do want to ensure you brew a cup of tea you enjoy.

Does it matter if it is in a tea bag or if it is Loose Leaf?

Although we prefer loose leaf tea for many good reasons which we talk about here, it does not matter if you are making tea with a tea bag or loose leaf, either way these rules apply. A tea bag just makes it a bit easier as the tea is already measured. 

So how do we make tea right at the farm?

When tea is made at the farm it is always with a timer and a thermometer or a kettle with a heat gauge. We set the timer and wait for the tea to hit that optimal timing before we pour. 

What about cold brewing?

Cold brewing is a whole other process and it depends on if you would like it sweetened or unsweetened. For a good southern sweet tea recipe we would actually recommend letting it chill overnight for the best flavor. You can get the recipe and more info in our blog post here.

 Other great tea making tips:

  • Warm your cup and your teapot before making your tea. This is to avoid tea shock. 
  • Be careful not to assume a tea is ready by its color. Flavor takes time and the color is not the best indicator as it may have reached full color before it has reached full flavor.
  • Do not re-boil your water to ensure optimal oxygen levels.

Want to keep learning about tea check out these other blog write ups.

How is our Black tea made in the USA?

How to make frothed milk for tea.

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  • Guillaume Williams

    Because you sell loose leaf tea which is generally whole leaf and not broken leaf, I would think it would be better to put grams instead of teaspoon. A teaspoon of tea that is broken is a different about (and probably stronger) than a teaspoon of whole leaf tea. Maybe do some test of both your tea (which is very good) and teabag (broken tea) tea.

  • GMTC Team

    Yes we have tried it. Adjusting your steeping vessel at times could impact the flavor. Try the way that best creates the flavors you like.

  • Kathy Sevy

    Have you compared taste results using brewing methods of leaves: scrunched together in an infuser, corralled in a basket, loose in the brewing vessel?

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