If you’re a new tea drinker or just looking to learn more, this is some important information for getting the most out of your tea experience. We hope you find it useful! (And please share with your friends, family and colleagues!)
Tip #1: The most expensive isn’t always the best
A lot goes into how tea is priced. Sometimes it's simply reflective of how rare and hard to get a tea is. Other times, shipping matters: Say you’ve got two similar teas from two different countries. But shipping from one country is twice as expensive. That’ll create a more expensive tea even though there’s little actual difference between the two.
The important thing is to drink what you like, not what you think you’re supposed to drink.If you’re investing in a nice tea and unable to compare in person, always ask your teaseller for a recommendation. At Rakkasan Tea, we’re always happy to help you pick the perfect tea!
Tip #2: Water temperature is a big deal
Using water that’s too hot is a common mistake. Not all tea requires boiling water (212 ̊ F). In fact, boiling water will burn more delicate teas, negatively impacting their taste. For a green tea, you want to stick with water around 170 ̊ to 175 ̊ F. On the other hand, you do generally need a full, rolling boil to get the most out of your black tea (212 ̊ F). Oolong and white teas should be somewhere in between. We have temperature recommendations for all of our teas on the website!
The best way to determine water temperature is by using an electric kettle which allows you to set the temperature. You can findtheseat Target or similar stores. If you don’t have an electric kettle, just gauge your water temperature visually. Here’s a handy guide:
Tip #3: Different teas, different steeping times
This is the second most common mistake we see. With black tea especially, if the leaves are in the water too long, it’ll get extremely bitter. As a general rule, steep green teas for 2-3 minutes and black teas for 3-3.5 minutes.
But some green teas are best at one minute and we’ve seen black teas that reveal their full flavor at five minutes. So look for recommendations on the packaging, on your tea’s website or by asking your teaseller!
Tip #4: Re-steep your tea
We’ll say it again: You can re-steep your tea! And you should! Throwing out expensive tea after one steep is a waste. After you make a cup or small pot, set the leaves aside on a dish. When you’re ready for a second serving, use the same leaves. Most teas don’t change much on two steepings. On the third, some teas will begin to lose potency. But others (like tightly bound oolongs) will get better with successive steepings — even five or six.
Re-steeping will greatly impact how many cups you get for your money!
Tip #5: Iced tea and cold-brewed tea are different
Iced tea is made by hot brewing tea and then chilling it. You basically get a cold version of your hot tea.
Cold brewing is quite different. For this, you simply add leaves to room temperature water and stick it in the fridge. Leave it there for 4-10 hours. Over the course of hours, the leaves will slowly infuse in the cold water, often creating a symphony of flavors that barely resembles its hot version. OurHimalayan Black Dragonoolong tea, for example, tastes completely different when cold brewed. And it’s so, so good.