Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, and can be obtained all across the globe. While tea is readily available at restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops, making it at home can be just as easy, and even more convenient, while also giving you more control.
In fact, brewing tea at home is part of the daily routine for millions of people all over the world, from China to India. There are numerous ways to brew tea, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways, beginning with hot tea.
Hot brew tea is perhaps the most used and well-known, and is popular year-round. Hot brew tea always includes heating up water, and then steeping tea leaves by using tea bags, a tea ball, or simply by placing loose leaf teas into the hot water and filtering them out before consuming.
To brew hot tea, begin by heating filtered water on your stove, or with an electric kettle. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, remove the water from the heat, and pour it carefully into a tea pot, or into a cup or mug. Allow the tea leaves to steep for the desired amount of time before removing.
Boiling water is usually used for most black teas, while water heated just below the boiling point is best for white, green, herbal, and oolong teas. White tea is the most gentle of the teas, and requires slightly cooler water.
Tea bags are generally good for just one use, but some loose leaf teas can actually be used numerous times before they lose their flavor.
When you hear the term “cold brew,” it’s easy to think of coffee, but you can actually brew tea using a cold brew method as well, and for similar reasons.
To make a cold brew tea, portion out the required tea amount into whatever you’d like to brew and store it in. This can be in a mason jar, pitcher, or a bottle.
Put your tea into the container, add the desired amount of water, and cover. Place the container into your refrigerator and chill for 4 to 12 hours, depending on the strength you’d like.
If you are unsure for how long to brew, taste the tea every hour to gauge the strength. Once you’ve gotten the tea to where you’d like, take the leaves or bags out and discard. You can then add sweetener, other liquids such as fruit juice, or dilute the tea with more water.
Some people may not like hot tea. Iced tea offers a refreshing and versatile alternative.
To make iced tea, use the same process outlined with the hot tea method, only with a double portion of the tea in the same amount of water. Double-strength tea is preferred for iced tea, as the temperature minimizes the flavor and strength.
Once your tea is finished brewing, pour the hot tea concentrate into a heat-proof plastic or glass pitcher or container. After doing so, fill the remainder with cold water and ice, tasting every so often to make sure the strength is to where you'd like it.