I’m known for many things: my love of all things fluffy, especially bunny rabbits; my innate ability to always give too much information; and for making a badass pot of tea.
Ever get somewhat nauseous after a cup of tea? That’s because it was brewed too long. Tea should be smooth, drinkable, flavorful, and I’ll show you–in just a few steps–how to make a perfect pot of tea.
First, the kind of tea:
(Photo: airtight container holding green tea; calico cat in the corner of the photo.)
My favorite type of tea is green tea, specifically Japanese Sencha or Bancha. (Sencha is more common and can be found at any looseleaf tea store. But be wary! It can be overpriced at places like Teavana or Argo. I generally find the best prices at health food stores or where tea, coffee, and/or spices are sold in bulk. I get mine at Porto Rico, a little store in NYC, but they also have an online store.) What’s great about this tea is that it’s a deep, grassy green, and that earthiness translates into the flavor. This is the sort of tea that you would get at a traditional Japanese sushi restaurant during the cold months. Green tea, in my opinion, is the most versatile tea–I could drink it morning, noon, afternoon, early evening, with dinner, or before bed. Kitten concurs. Additionally, no milk and sugar necessary! Not to mention all the added health benefits of green tea.
Second, how much tea:
(Photo: ceramic teapot on a metal tea tray with a small pile of green tea.)
For a pot of tea, which comes out to about 2 ½ mugs, you’ll want 2 ½ tablespoons. (If you have a nifty little “tea scoop” tool, it’s three scoops.) As you can see in the picture, it doesn’t look like much, but once you put water over it, it’ll get nice and plump. Place the tea in the strainer that comes with most teapots so that, when it’s done brewing, you can just pull out the strainer to discard the tea. (If you’re all like “strainer?! wtf,” the strainer is in the next picture.)
Third, brewing the tea:
Once your water is boiling, pour it over the tea and let it brew for NO LONGER THAN TWO MINUTES. Frankly, I set a timer for two minutes EVERY TIME, but try to pull it out at about 1 min and 45 seconds. Seriously, this is the key. Over-brewing RUINS teas. It’s why I’m too snobby to buy tea “out.”
(Photo: used tea in strainer has been pulled from the teapot.)
Note: If you want stronger tea, don’t brew it longer, just use more tea. Even an extra half spoonful will increase the boldness of the flavors. Brewing it too long can give it a bitter taste, which can hurt your tum-tum.
Four, how to drink it:
Put it in a mug, preferably one with witty sayings or adorable pictures, gather your friends ’round (or your cat), or find solitude in a nice comfy chair in a quiet corner. Sip, and enjoy!
(Photo: adorable Calico cat clearly annoyed that she’s not the center of the photo shoot. Behind her, a tea tray with a pot of tea and mug, and an airtight container with tea.)