We know that you want to get the best possible taste and enjoyment from your Nothing But Tea purchases. It’s easy to brew the perfect cup of tea if you follow these simple steps.
Check our brewing guide for the recommended amounts and timings.
Tip 1 – Use filtered water.
Filtered water will help to prevent your tea from becoming scummy.
Many teas have a variety of subtle flavors that can be destroyed or masked by tap water that contains heavy concentrations of impurities (chlorine, fluoride and salts).
The easiest way to get filtered water is with a brita filter, though there are many other options, from inline ceramic filters, water bars, and RO units
Tip 2 – Use water at the correct temperature.
Generally speaking black, flavoured, pu erh, and tisanes should be made with boiling water (100°C).
Oolongs, green and white teas should be made with water that is hot, but not boiling (70°C – 85°C), to avoid unpleasant bitter infusions.
Tip 3 – Follow the amounts recommended in our handy Brewing Guide.
The amounts are only a starting point and not absolute, do experiment. Every tea drinker is different, some of us like strong tea, others prefer it weaker.
Tip 4 – Try them without milk or sugar.
In many cases, adding milk or sugar can ruin the experience as many of our teas have delicate flavours and their own natural sweetness. So, give them a try without.
Tip 5 – Use the leaves for multiple infusions.
Many of our teas are suitable for multiple infusions. In fact, they taste better the second or third time.
This means you can drink several cups from the same leaves. In the East it is traditional to place one set of leaves in the cup, adding more hot water as each cupful is consumed. People will drink tea like this for most of the day, only changing the leaves in the evening.
Ninety-nine per cent of a cup of tea is water. If your water is poor quality then your cup of tea will be too. So starting with good quality water is key to a great drink of tea.
Hard water doesn’t do tea any good. It gives it a grey colour and a surface scum. Although some people say that a level of minerals is essential for tea taste, obviously if you can smell chlorine in your water then this will affect the taste of your tea.
- Try a cartridge water filter, which will reduce excess hardness and remove chlorine. But do read the instructions about soaking new cartridges, and change the cartridge in good time.
- Install an in-line ceramic water filter at your sink which will remove bacteria, particulates, chlorine, flourine and many pesticides. While it will not soften the water it will certainly improve the taste.
- Use bottled water for tea making, but be aware that bottled waters vary greatly between brands, so find one that’s good for you and stick to it.
Different teas require different water temperatures to bring out their best character. Check the recommendations in our brewing guide to get the right temperature for your tea.
If you have a friend who doesn’t like green tea, and says that it is always bitter – the chances are that he or she is making it with boiling water. The water temperature can make that much difference between a horrible and a great cup of tea!
The simple rule is:
- Boiling water at 100°C straight from the kettle with your black teas, pu erhs and tisanes.
- Water at 75 – 85°C for green teas.
- Water at 60 – 70°C for white teas.
It pays to experiment and find the right temperatures for your own taste.
Until you are expert at ‘listening’ to your kettle – Japanese tea masters claim that you can hear the temperature – we recommend using a digital thermometer.
Around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, professional tea tasters use the same shape and size of tasting crockery.
The design is derived from the ancient Chinese tea drinking vessels and is now standardised internationally. Thus wherever tea is tasted the methodology is consistent.
To complete your brewing equipment use a standard size teaspoon (or for really accurate tasting use a digital weighing scale).
Brewing time can be measured using a clock or watch, or a digital countdown timer.
For every tea we sell Nothing But Tea always suggests the amount of tea to use, the water temperature, and the brewing time. These are based on our own tastings and set out in our handy Brewing Guide. There is guide for each tea on the back of the packet. These recommendations are just to get you started; much of the fun of tea tasting is to find how teas subtly change in taste under a range of conditions.
Generally brewing time is for 2-5 minutes, though oolongs and tisanes can be brewed for longer.
Many people use multiple brewing with green and white teas, repeatedly brewing the same leaves for short periods. This can make quite a difference to the taste.