Master the art of steeping and win the hearts of your guests with a perfect cup of tea.
To prepare and drink teas made from the highest quality tea harvests, herbs, spices, and flowers is exuberating. Here is some little information we have compiled from tea experts and connoisseurs from around the world to give you detailed analysis of some of the finest tea preparations. The information is sub-divided into step by step heads for your easy reference.
Please follow each of the steps, paying close attention to details from water to steeping time, and final presentation.
The famous Chinese Yu Lu around 800 B.C. waxed poetic about the best water to brew tea. In Vancouver, teas are made from glacier mountain springs fed by Whistler's ice melt. This water is icy cold and super rich in oxygen. The fresher the water, the more you taste of delicate and complex notes of your tea.
In a real world, we suggest water that is cold, low in minerals, and filtered. We particularly like reverse osmosis filtered water. High mineral or hard water is not good because it makes your tea taste flat and oily.
(Check Ideal Temperature)
It is important to use the correct water temperature for the different types of teas. Some teas such as whites and greens are best infused at lower water temperature. If you use overly hot water with whites or greens, you can bruise the tea leaves, resulting in a bitter cup of tea. However other teas such as Oolong, blacks and, herbals need water that is boiling hot to properly extract all of the flavour. If the water is not right at boiling, black teas will not properly infuse and you will miss out on all the wonderful middle notes of the tea. The Chinese actually have a term to signify the proper water boiling point.
- During heating, when you see the fish eyes, the small string of bubbles, or water simmering, that is the correct water temperature for white and green teas.
- If you continue to let the water boil for a few more seconds, you will see a string of pearls. This is the right temperature for Oolong teas.
- Wait a few more moments and once the water is at a rolling boil, this is the optimal water temperature for black teas and herbals.
Be warned, if you are heating water using a kettle, do not overboil your water. Just as soon as you the water comes to a full boil, you will lose levels of dissolved oxygen. The more dissolved oxygen you have in your water, the better your tea will taste.
If you are making black or herbal tea, preheat the teapot by swirling with a bit of hot water. This ensures your high temperature tea steeps precisely at the proper temperature. Say, you have a glass or porcelain teapot. When you pour boiling water into this teapot, it will quickly absorb the heat and thereby cool the brewing tea.
Remember you need boiling hot water to make the perfect cup of black tea. If the glass has cooled the water, the water is no longer at boiling. The tea will infuse at a lower water temperature and will not taste as good as we had intended.
To select your leaves, lets turn to the relationship between fermentation and caffeine content. These traits help distinguish between our five varietals of tea. Caffeine is related to each tea’s level of fermentation. White and green tea leaves remain unfermented, so they contain a low level of caffeine. Oolongs as well as black teas are both fermented for varying amounts of time, creating medium to high levels of caffeine. Herbals are made of anything but tea leaves and so do not have caffeine in them. Having selected your tea, use one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of water.
For e.g., a 2 cup-16 ounce teapot requires two teaspoons of tea leaves. 4 cup tea pot requires 4 teaspoons. When you finish preparing the tea, make sure the tea tin lid is tightly closed. Tea leaves are stored in custom, airtight, opaque, full safe tins to protect the precious leaves inside. Store tea and herbal infusions in a cool, dark, dry humidity place. Never store your teas on top of a hot surface such as an expresso machine, or a coffee maker.
Ideally you should always rinse the tea leaves by pouring a little hot water over them. Swirl and discard this wash. This removes any small pieces, dust, and coaxes the leaves to unfurl, readying for steeping. Uncurled leaves get exposed to oxygen, bringing more freshness to the tea.
Pour the appropriate temperature hot water over the leaves and steep per the instructions for each varietal.
The difference between a perfect cup of tea and a bad cup of tea is often only a few seconds.
White - 3mins | Green -1 min | Oolong -3 mins | Black- 2-3 mins | Herbal- 5 mins
Steeping times are the difference between a proper balance of flavours as our blenders intend. Though we want some tannins to taste the structure of a tea, if you steep tea leaves for too long, you damage the leaves as it releases too much tannic acid into your cup, creating a bitter palate. When people taste bitterness in their tea, the natural reaction is to either dilute the tea with hot water or worse. Add a sweetener such as sugar or honey. This dilutes the intended palate entirely.
White tea with low caffeine and high anti-oxidants is famous among tea connoisseurs for its delicate yet complex flavour. It is an expensive and luxury tea. Whites have the fairest liquor staying within the pastel greens.
Green tea is known for its mild subtle taste. It is fragrant and refreshing, and often known as a superfood for its high oxidant levels and vegetal palate. This is the tea that is most frequently made incorrectly from steeping too long. Appearance varies from pale green to bright emerald.
Oolong teas are recognised for their orchid like aroma, layers of complexity and benefits to the digestive system. With medium caffeine and fermentation, Oolongs are priced by aficionados. Oolong result in a warm brown liquor.
Black tea are high in caffeine , fully fermented with a brush full bodied flavour.
A tea’s character is determined greatly by subtle differences in soil, climate, and elevation. Cool nights, dry weather, and bright sunny days combined provide the optimal conditions for growing tea. This type of climate forces to tea bush to expend all of its energy in the growth of new shoots. The finest teas come from gardens of high elevation, or cooler temperatures, producing leaves with a more concentrated flavour and aroma.
Herbals do not have tannic acids. As such, you can steep herbals for as long as you would like, as they principally do not become bitter.
We recommend steeping herbals for atlas five minutes. As the longer you steep them, the more powerful the infusion becomes. When you steep herbals for a long time, they release more of the health properties into your teacup. Herbal liquors result in a variety of colours ranging from fuchsia to deep purple and golds. Varied steeping times depend on the tea leaves, rate of infusion, and oxidation levels.
Black and Oolongs present a bolder flavour and extensive steeping, while greens and white teas require shorter steeping time to retain a mild balanced flavour. Perfecting your steeping time, perfects the flavour of the delicate teas and prevents bitterness or bland flavour.
If you are using a teapot with a built-in infuser, simply remove the basket of tea leaves before serving. If you are using a teapot with an exterior strainer, you have a few choices.
Choice -1 : In some hotels, the traditional English tea service calls for a teapot filled with tea leaves. There is a 2nd teapot that is filled with only hot water. You pour half a cup of tea into your tea cup and depending the desired strength of the tea, dilute with hot water from the second tea pot.
Although this is not highly recommended.
Choice-2 : If you are using a teapot with an exterior strainer, you may use the exterior strainer to strain off the loose tea leaves by pouring the tea into a second teapot.
This is the absolute best way to make your loose tea.
Differing varietals of tea may be served plain or with various condiments including sugar, honey, milk, or lemon. When you are choosing health, consider which condiments you might use with your tea or herbals. We suggest using honey instead of sugar. Lemons are also a healthy choice because they are rich in vitamins. If you like milk, try using soy or rich milk. We recommend whites, greens, and Oolongs to be served plain. Black and herbals may be served with a variety of condiments.
Serve the tea with pride and confidence that your guests will be enjoying the finest tea leaves, bespoke blended for their discerning palate. Tea sets and crockeries are available at our website.