Proper Brewing of Black Tea
You might know a little about the kinds of black tea drinkers enjoy, but what about the black tea brewing process? It seems easy, but sometimes, getting that steeping balance can be a challenge. When you know a little about the way black tea is made, you can use that knowledge along with experience to get your black tea brewing process just right.
Storing Your Tea
Black tea also keeps its flavor longer in storage than white or green teas. It's known to hold its potency and taste for two or more years if stored properly. For optimal storage, keep black tea in its original packaging, in a cool, dry place away from the sun. In these conditions, black tea will remain potent for a long time.
Black Tea Brewing
The brewing process for black tea is slightly different than for some other common tea varieties. This has to do with the way black tea is made: since the leaves are processed more in making black tea, the finished product has a stronger flavor-trapping component and is a little 'hardier' than some other teas.
Step 1: The Water - When attempting black tea brewing, first examine the quality of the water. Water with excessive minerals, or various contaminates, does not make a good cup of tea. You may want to use distilled water for a better result. Due to the potency and robust qualities of the black tea leaves, you want to heat water to about 91-95 degrees Celsius (or to a boil). Black tea can stand exposure to very hot water, and when infused, it releases its flavor for a great cup of tea. The hot water should be added directly to leaves already in a container.
Step 2: The Leaves - The amount of tea you use is more of a personal preference. To get the best result when brewing black tea you should use whole tea leaves to get the best result. Whether you are using loose leaves or a tea bag, it is important to remember that the more you use, the stronger the taste will be.
Step 3: Steeping - Let the mixture steep for two to four minutes. If the tea is not steeped long enough, you may still get a dark color in the glass, but the taste will be weaker than you would expect. On the other hand, leaving the tea leaves in too long will make the tea taste too strong or even bitter.
Lots of tea drinkers add milk or lemon to their teas. If this is the case, you may want to steep your black tea an extra minute or so to compensate for the dilution. Although some studies report that milk in tea decreases some of its potential health benefits, many black tea drinkers add these elements for a special flavor they are accustomed to.
When you have experimented with black tea brewing, you may find that you'll be ready to start collecting the specific flavors you prefer for long-term use. Readers who have found an interest in black tea drinking can use Blacktea.com to find out more about varieties of black tea and ways to use it, either iced or hot, for alertness, stress reduction, a balanced diet, and much more.