Learn About Tea
Seven Cardinal Sins
July 26, 2012
Seven Cardinal Sins that Result in Inferior Tea for Drinking or Cooking
1. Poor Purchasing
“A good pot of tea cannot be made from bad tea,” says John Harney. You must purchase a high quality, non-stale tea that’s been stored properly.
2. Mixture of Flavors
Tea is like a blotter – it picks up off flavors and so should be brewed only in pots used for making tea.
3. Using Inferior Water or Water at Incorrect Temperatures
Water temperature is critical for great tea; it should be pure spring water to avoid chemical tastes, and it must be just at boiling for black teas and herb teas, and slightly lower for green teas to extract good tea flavor.
4. Using an Insufficient Amount of Tea
Too much loose tea is better than too little. A teaspoon (5g) per cup for smaller pots in appropriate. For pots of 8 to 12 cups (2 to 3 liters), an extra teaspoon for the pot is good. When brewed for the proper time, if the tea is too strong, it can be diluted to the desired strength.
5. Using Cold Teapots or Infusers
A teapot must be heated before putting in the tea; otherwise the teapot will absorb the heat and prevent the extraction of tea flavors at the crucial time. There is a 25-degree difference between heated and unheated pots within the first three minutes.
6. Pouring the Tea Before It Is Ready
Tea must steep for its full designated time before the intense tea flavor is extracted. In brewing, the caffeine is released first, then color, and finally flavor. Pouring too soon will result in good color but poor flavor.
7. Timing Tea by Color
With more than 15,000 varieties of teas in the world, produced in so many countries, there are many different shades of tea. Do not judge the brew time of tea by its color – use a clock. Over-steeped tea tastes bitter.