Whether you are someone who keeps teas from all parts of the world in your cupboard or you just prefer a Lipton teabag, knowing how to make tea can be relaxing and comforting. Tea preparation also connects you with many cultures around the world and provides an excuse to gather and socialize. However, making tea is not as easy as just sticking a teabag into some hot water.
- Boil water in a tea kettle. The English say that cold water should always be used, never hot, even though it will be boiled. Tap water is fine, as long as it doesn't have a strong taste of sulfur or any other unpleasant flavor.
- Warm the teapot or mugs. Add a little bit of boiling water to the mug or teapot, whichever you are using, and swirl it around. When the water for tea has boiled, pour the water out of the mug or teapot, which is now warm. This will prevent your tea from becoming cold too quickly.
- Use a tea cozy. It may sound silly, like a sweater for your tea, but tea cozies really do keep the warmth in the teapot very effectively. Using a tea cozy can enable you to enjoy your pot of tea for longer.
- Add the tea. Tea can be loose or come in bags. If the tea is already bagged, it is measured for you. If it is loose, you will need to use an infuser or a tea strainer. How to specifically prepare the tea differs by type of tea.
- For black tea: bring the water to a rolling boil and add one tea bag or teaspoon of loose tea per cup of water. Steep the tea for three to five minutes.
- For green tea: heat water until almost boiling, or let water boil and then cool for ten minutes. Add one teaspoon of loose-leaf tea or one teabag per cup of water and steep for one to two minutes.
- For white tea: heat the water as if you are preparing green tea, but steep the tea for three to ten minutes.
- For oolong tea: bring water just barely to a boil. Steep one teaspoon of loose-leaf tea or one teabag per cut of water for three to seven minutes.
- Serve your tea. Tea can be served with lemon or milk (not both, as the milk will curdle) and sugar or honey for sweetness, according to taste.
In between servings, store your tea in airtight containers so that it does not become stale by being exposed to oxygen or moisture. Making tea can be a comforting ritual that can start your day off right or put a good end on a long day.