Have you ever sampled the tea in our stores, thought “OH MY GOSH I NEED SOME OF THAT TO MAKE AT HOME!!”, and then when you made it at home it tasted different?? Don’t worry! You are definitely not alone! We get phone calls and frequent visitors who have said the same thing! I like to think making the perfect cup of tea is a science! We all have different tastes, so you may need to adjust to fit your taste, but here are a few tips of how we make our tea samples in store:
- Use approximately 1 to 2 tsp of tea leaves per 8 oz (1 cup ) of water or check the label: each OBTC tea label will tell you approximately how much tea to add for 8 oz of water. There are many options for infusers out there but our favorite is the STAINLESS STEEL INFUSER! Also, to properly portion your tea, check out our PERFECT CUP OF TEA SPOON!
- Use bottled water or filtered water only! Yes, this really does matter! Tap water can contain minerals (including Fluorine, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, and Copper) in trace amounts, which can alter the taste of the water and brewed tea. In our stores, we use a reverse osmosis filter system.
- Don’t over-steep and steep at the right temperature! Check out our steep guide - The Perfect Cup of Tea: Steeping Temperatures and Time!
- Once the infuser and tea leaves have been removed from the steeping vessel, you can add your sweetener, if desired! For our tea samples, we use about 1 oz of organic raw cane sugar for 2 quarts of tea. At home, most of us prefer to use RAW & UNFILTERED HONEY, STEVIA LEAVES, or no sweetener at all depending on the blend!
What about iced tea?
At the tea shop we brew large batches of tea each morning to serve as samples. How do we avoid watered down tasting iced tea?? We add double the leaves to make a concentrate before adding ice! For example, if you would normally use 1 to 2 teaspoons per 8 oz of water, we would use 3 to 4! At home, when we have more time, many of us will simply brew the tea and leave the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill before serving over ice. 🌱
- Falkowitz, Max. “Taste Test: SHould I Use Filtered Water or Bottled Water For Tea?” Serious Eats, Serious Eats Inc., 11 June 2014, https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/06/best-water-for-tea-tap-spring-bottled-filtered.html.
- Patterson, Kristine Y, and Pamela R. Pehrsson and Charles R. Perry. “The mineral content of tap water in United States households.” ScienceDirect, Elsevier B.V., August 2013, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157513000549.