While we like to wax eloquent here at two leaves and a bud about what a different taste our premium whole leaf tea has, we have to admit one thing—the way you steep your tea can make or break your cuppa’, whether you’re sipping two leaves and a bud teas or not.
How you prepare your tea matters! Let’s look at a couple of tips and tricks to help you prepare the perfect cuppa’:
Possibly the most important consideration you can take when preparing your tea is water temperature. Steep your tea with the wrong water temperature and you can end up with tea lacking in flavor, or, even worse, tea with a bitter, singed flavor.
Here’s the rules:
Don’t singe those delicate leaves! Steep at a below boiling water temperature—between 170 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brew at a moderate temperature, between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heartier leaves can handle the heat. Steep at a full, rolling boil: between 208 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
A question we always get from two leaves and a bud customers is “how long should I steep your tea?” The real answer is: there is no answer! Steeping time is purely personal preference. While each two leaves and a bud sachet wrapper offers a suggested steep time printed on it, these are merely suggestions: there are plenty of teas that we never even remove from the water when we’re sipping them!
So, first thing’s first—be willing to experiment! As your tea steeps, sip it; once it gets to the flavor you absolutely love, remove it from the water and you’re all set.
That being said, it is important to note that there are tremendous differences between the steeping times required for traditional dust teas versus the steeping time required for specialty whole leaf teas. Whole leaf tea’s large leaves leave less surface area for water to actually penetrate, and so it requires much longer steep times to release big flavor. Very basic steep time rules are:
Dust tea: 1-2 minutes of steeping
Whole leaf tea: 3-5 minutes
But again, it’s really up to you! Taste your cuppa’, and find out what you like!
Loose Tea: Have Some Fun
When it comes to loose tea, many of the same rules apply. Stick to your water temperature guidelines, and watch your steep time carefully, and you'll have a great cuppa' tea no matter what.
How much tea you put in your cuppa' is really where you can start to experiment and have some fun. The average two leaves and a bud tea sachet has 2.7 grams of tea in it--if you have a digital scale, measure out 2.7 grams of loose tea, or simply use one heaping teaspoon of tea (yes, that's where the term "teaspoon" comes from!), and you should have a very quality cuppa' tea.
One fun thing to do, though, is to put double the amount of tea into your cuppa', and shorten your steep time. At the two leaves and a bud offices, we've been known to measure out nearly 4 grams of tea, and steep for a short 1-2 minutes, for a big, robust cuppa' flavor. Give it a try and see what you think!
And if you really want to get creative, try putting together your own blends of loose tea, and let us know what delicious concoctions you come up with!
Iced Tea: Preparation with Sachets
Don’t have a 1 oz. or 3 oz. iced tea packet available? Preparing iced tea with two leaves and a bud’s tea sachets is simple! Here’s our basic recipe for preparing iced tea from two leaves and a bud tea sachets:
- Choose 5 sachets of your favorite two leaves and a bud tea of choice (or mix it up with a combination of sachets), add them to a half-gallon pitcher and fill halfway with water.
- Steep 3-5 minutes depending on personal taste
- Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold, clean water; allow to cool slightly
- Pour over ice in individual glasses and garnish as desired
Pretty simple, right? But what if you run into that very common problem where your iced tea clouds? Here are some of the things to know about clouding and how to avoid it:
- Most importantly: Clouding does not affect the flavor of your iced tea! It’s an aesthetic problem only—you won’t notice any issues with the taste of cloudy iced tea. In fact, clouding occurs more often in teas rich in minerals and polyphenols—so the higher quality your tea, the more likely it is to cloud!
- Clouding occurs when you cool your black tea too quickly. To help avoid clouding, cool your black tea on the counter, rather than shoving it right into the refrigerator.
Those are our quick tips and tricks for preparing the perfect cuppa’ tea. What are some of your tricks?