Ready to get the most out of your love of tea? Here are some suggestions for habits you can incorporate into your life that will enhance and enrich your tea time.
1. Use Fresh Water. Every Time.
Hard water. It’s not just unkind to your skin and your shower doors, it can affect your tea as well. If you live in a hard-water area, you should definitely use filtered water. If neither of those is an option, then use fresh water every time you make a cup or pot of tea instead of reusing the water that’s been sitting in your kettle.
Why? Every time you boil water again, you’re condensing the minerals naturally found in water. When the minerals cool down, they rise to the surface and leave a film on the top. So… only use the amount of fresh water you need to keep the lime scale in your kettle to a minimum, and enjoyment of your cup of tea at a maximum.
2. Be a Peep Who Steeps
People who properly steep their tea get the most out of their tea-drinking experience. Not all steeps are created equal, however, so make sure you’re steeping each tea the correct length of time and with water at the correct temperature. Pouring hot or boiling water over your tea for the recommended time at proper temps will allow your tea to be all it can be!
White Teas: 175° F / 3 minutes
Green Teas: 175° F / 1-3 minutes
Oolong Teas: 180°-212° F / 1-5 minutes
Black Teas: 212° F / 5 minutes
Herbals: 212° F / 5 minutes
First Flush Darjeelings: 175° F / 3 minutes
3. Back Away from the Bag!
Next time you make tea with a teabag and you’re tempted to squeeze the bag against the side of the cup, don’t. While you might think you’re just squeezing out excess goodness, what you’re actually doing is releasing more tannins, which leave a bitter taste.
Developing habits like over brewing and squeezing excess tannins into our teas have led many people to get used to teas that taste strong or bitter, losing their true natural flavor. If you like a stronger tea, choose one that is brewed to taste that way. Our Tea Rating System can help you choose the perfect tea for you.
4. Tee Up a New Flavor
We know, you love your Earl Grey. It has been your steadfast companion for years, seeing you through celebrations, hard times and long winter nights. You and Earl go way back.
But with so many teas out there, we’d like to encourage you to try something new every now and then. You don’t have to break up with Earl (nor, like in the Dixie Chicks song, does Earl have to die)… just give a new tea a chance to earn a place in your heart as well.
So, if it’s been too long since you had Oolong or a few years since you gotcha a matcha, make a habit out of trying out a new tea or two. Harney offers sampler collections if you don’t know where to start. Or invite all the tea drinkers you work or hang with to bring in everyone’s favorite and do a tea swap. It’s time to brew up a new batch of fun!
5. Drink Up!
The health benefits of drinking tea have been documented in many studies over the years. While there isn’t always sufficient evidence to make a direct correlation between drinking tea and all of these conditions, it’s been said that tea may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, stress and more. It’s also said to be hydrating, helpful with stomach bacteria, good for the immune system, skin and joints. (We think it helps you be a cooler person, but we may be slightly biased.)
Even if tea doesn’t quite have all those superpowers, studies have shown that tea definitely carries some health benefits. Drinking three to five cups a day has been suggested as a good habit to have to give at least some of those health benefits a fighting chance of improving your health and well-being.
Interested in learning more about how to make the most out of your tea habit? Check out these pieces of wisdom: