Understand your purpose for drinking tea. This will help inform your tea related decisions. You could drink tea for a number of reasons: For a boost of energy, to stay warm, to enjoy the taste, as a part of your routine, or many other reasons.
Yes, tea contains caffeine, except for some herbal teas. Most people are familiar with the caffeine levels in the average cup of coffee. Tea tends to have less caffeine than coffee, but the levels are still significant. If you don’t want the caffeine, choose a caffeine free herbal tea. If you do want the caffeine, consider all the major types of tea: white tea, green tea, black, and oolong. How your tea is brewed has a large effect on the caffeine content. It’s important to understand the levels of caffeine in your tea, to make sure you are getting the levels you want. Remember every tea is different, the variety of tea, how it is grown and the age are all factors that can affect the caffeine levels of your tea. You should be able to find caffeine levels for specific brands and types of tea by searching online.
There are so many different types of teas, that it’s a good idea to try several types to find one you like. This can be part of the fun of drinking tea, you can discover many types of tea that you like. Every type of tea will have a unique flavor. Some types of tea taste completely different than other types. Consider reading reviews of tea online to see what other people like.
The quality of the tea does make a large difference in flavor. Make sure when testing teas, that you are not just buying the cheapest tea you can find. You don’t need buy the most expensive tea either to get great flavor. When you find a tea you like, you could consider buying bulk loose leaf tea of that type and a teaball to save some money.
For best flavor keep your tea fresh. Don’t use old tea. The older your tea is the less flavor it will have. You can store your tea in a sealed container to extend the freshness. This will prevent it from picking up the flavors in the air.
Great water is one of the secrets to great tea. Always use filtered, great tasting water to brew your tea. It is best to start with a water that has no taste at all. This will allow the flavors to be experienced as they were intended. If you use tap water, you will likely have other flavors which can affect the overall flavor of the tea. It would be unfortunate to have tea tasting like chlorine or other chemicals found in most tap water.
Steeping temperatures are very important to get the best flavor out of your tea. Steeping some types of tea in water that is too hot can cause bitterness and poor flavor. Here are some guidelines on temperatures for steeping common types of tea. Black Tea & Rooibos Tea can be steeped as hot as you can get the water. Even boiling water is fine for these teas. Oolong tea should be steeped at around 190 degrees Fahrenheit. White tea should be steeped around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Green tea is very delicate and should be steeped at lower temperatures, around 155 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature for steeping herbal tea varies by type as many different types of herbs are used. Try several different temperatures and see what gives you the best results for your type.
In addition to the temperature of the water, it is important to steep tea for correct length of time. This will ensure the best flavors for your tea. Here are some guidelines steeping lengths. Rooibos: 4-10 minutes (longer for more antioxidants), Oolong: 5-8 minutes, Black: 4-6 minutes, White: 4-6 minutes, Green: 2-4 minutes, Herbal: varies.
Use a sweetener! Ok you don’t have to, but at least try it. A little bit of sweetener in your tea can go a long way in bringing out flavors. One teaspoon of sugar or honey per cup is plenty. If this seems like a lot, consider that one can of coke has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sweetener. Remember a little sweetener goes a long way.
10. Milk or Cream
Try your favorite teas with milk or cream. Many teas taste great with milk or creamer. Whole milk or heavy cream works well. Adding milk or cream to your favorite teas can change improve the flavor even more. Black Tea and Chai are great teas to try using milk or creamer with. Milk or creamer work great with some types of herbal tea like chamomile.
Tea is an inexpensive and great tasting drink that has many benefits. If you follow the tips listed above you can find a tea you love and brew it to perfection. Enjoy!
About the Author: When he’s not drinking tea, Josiah Garber works at Medical Support Products selling medical equipment and supplies online. Josiah enjoys learning about health and tea is a big part of his life.