There's something very soothing about a perfect cup of tea, but let's agree, we often fail to get that perfection. Ever wondered why? It is because people often mess up with the process of brewing. If you look around, you will find different people having unique choices in regard to their chai. While some like it 'kadak' with milk and masala, some enjoy the light liquored black tea. Then there are the ones who go fancy with their tea choices and sip on white tea, oolong tea, smoked tea and more. The health-conscious people swear by green tea and herbal tea. Now, with such extensive variations of tea, we often get confused about their brewing process. But what you need to realise is that the way to a perfect cup of chai goes through the process of infusion.
How long you infuse your tea leaves defines the taste, texture and flavour of the beverage. And yes, different types of tea leaves have different steeping time. In this article, we will take you through some common tea variations and explain how long these leaves must be steeped in water. Let's get started.
Also Read: Chais Of India: 8 Different Types Of Chai From Across The Country
Art Of Tea Brewing: 6 Different Types Of Tea Leaves And Their Steep Time:
1. Loose Tea/Powdered Tea:
Let's start with the most common variation available in almost every household. It's the powdered loose tea, packaged and sold by different brands. This version is usually used to prepare masala chai and gets its flavours from the ingredients added to it. Powdered tea (also called CTC tea) should not be infused, instead, boil it well in water or milk to get the aroma and colour out of it. Then add masala and other ingredients of your choice and enjoy.
2. Black Tea:
To put it simply, it is the tea made without milk. You will get different qualities of black tea, with the best ones being single leaf first flush grown on high altitude. Ideally, you should never put this leaf in boiling hot water. Instead, switch off the flame, let the water be for a minute and then add your tea leaves. Close the lid and let it set for four to five minutes before straining. Always remember, the more delicate the tea leaves are, the lesser the temperature of water should be. It helps enhance the aroma of the tea.
3. Green Tea:
While the process of brewing green tea is quite the same, the duration of steeping the leaves varies. If you are using loose green tea, steep it for two minutes and for the ones who go for tea bags, infuse it for three-four minutes.
4. Herbal Tea:
Herbal tea or de-caffeinated tea doesn't need straining. You can just add the leaves of the dried flowers in your cup of hot water, let it set for six to seven minutes and drink. You can steep these leaves for up to 15 minutes at times. This helps enhance the aroma and oozes out the essential oils from the flower you are using.
Also Read: 5 Nutritionist-Approved Herbal Teas To Boost Overall Health
5. Oolong Tea:
Oolong tea should never be made in very hot water. Ideally, it should be heated to just below the boiling point and then infuse the leaves for around five to six minutes.
6. White Tea:
A good quality white tea should be steeped in water with 160-degree Fahrenheit. It is a very delicate tea, made from bud and leaves harvested in Spring season. For the ones who like their tea light, steep the leaves for maximum two minutes and if you want a body to it, keep it for a minute more and then strain.
Now, keep this guide handy and set up a mini tea-bar at home in style!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.