Perfecting tea. For starters, to make the best tea, you have to start with the best water. Yeah, just filtered water is what you need.
If you really want to get technical: ideally, the water will have anywhere from 80-120 ppm tds. (PPM is just an acronym meaning “parts per million” TDS means “total dissolved solids”) note: this is only if you’re a fanatic. I’m sure your Brita filter will be able to do the trick.
You have now heated your filtered water to the ideal temperature and you have heated your glass, mug or canteen to its ideal temperature.
Eyeballing a tablespoon (depending on the size of the tea leaves) or eyeballing a couple grams of leaves, place the leaves in your strainer, cup, or tea steeping contraption. Sometimes a quick 10 second steeping (referred to as a rinse) allows the leaves to warm up and open quicker so your first steeping tastes better.
Steep for the right amount of time and be careful to not oversteep the leaves. It will get bitter and taste gross! Like hot dish water. Gross.
Strain the leaves from the water and breathe in the aroma from the hot leaves. Kind of like what that yoga lady always told you to do – slow down and take a moment to relax. Take a deep breath. Absorb the scents and aromas from the leaves and then from the drink. You may smell tones of fruit and citrus or you may smell tones of earth and tree nuts.
Allow the drink to cool a bit – more flavors and aromas will begin to unveil themselves throughout multiple steeping and as you let the drink cool.
Then. Grab a book. Grab a friend. Grab a map. Grab some boots. Grab an adventure.
If your teas are weak – it’s because of any of the following reasons: not enough tea leaves, too much water, water is not hot enough, leaves weren’t steeped long enough.
If your teas are bitter or too strong – it’s because of any of the following reasons: too many tea leaves, not enough water, water is too hot, leaves were steeped too long.
Rules of thumb: 2-4 grams of tea per 8-10 ounces of water is often the right ratio. 160-180 degrees for white and green teas, 175-195 degrees for Oolong teas, 190-205 degrees for black teas and 205+ degrees for herbal teas. Quick note: there’s no right and wrong answer for how much tea or how hot your water should be – its okay to experiment! Adventure a little bit!