In our last blog, we learned a little bit about what tea is as a beverage and as an agricultural product. To follow up on that, in this blog we are going to explore the variables to consider when brewing tea, some general guidelines for brewing tea, and a recipe-specific tutorial of one of our favorite teas here at KLLR Coffee.
When it comes to preparing tea at home, I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is that if you’re set-up to make coffee at home, you’ve likely got everything you need to make tea at home as well.
The bad news is that it’s not quite as simple.
This doesn’t mean that it’s difficult to do, it just means it cannot be explained as succinctly. While with coffee, we can get you situated with a general recipe to start with for most coffees that can be adjusted as needed, many teas, even amongst the same varieties, can require steeping parameters that are quite different.
Our best recommendation is to use the instructions from the packaging or other manufacturer or distributor-based resources whenever possible.
The tea will be preparing today is Chamellia – Assam Tres #8 sourced from our partners at Somage Fine Foods. This tea has been grown in the Sun Moon Lake region of Central Taiwan, a region identified as having the perfect conditions for black tea production by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station – since the early 1920s. Over 100 years later, the exceptional quality of tea being produced validates this foresight. This tea has a round body, fruity sweetness, and bright, cherry-like aromatics (12).
The recipe we will be using for this today is as follows:
- 3.8 grams Assam Tres #8 Black Tea
- 240 grams water at 182 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2-minute steep time
Check out our video tutorial for preparing this tea on TikTok!
Remember, while the specifics of the recipe may change for different teas, the variables discussed here (time, temperature, etc.) will be the same variables to consider with any tea you brew.
Much less tea is used to prepare a cup of tea than a cup of coffee.
For example: while the pour-over recipe outlined in our pour-over blog (https://kllrcoffee.com/blogs/kllr-coffee-blog/brewing-better-at-home
) recommended starting with 25 grams of ground coffee for a ~ 350 ml beverage, the tea will be preparing today will only require 4 grams of tea to prepare a ~ 240 ml beverage.
Generally, the dose of tea to produce a cup will be around 2-4 grams.
Prop-Tip: For the reason discussed above, this makes tea a very affordable drink to prepare at home. Depending on the quality and price-point of the tea you are using, expect around $1 per cup.
The temperature for steeping tea can vary depending on the particular tea, however, here are some general guidelines to help you get started:
Green Tea – Green teas require the lowest temperatures to steep, generally around 140-160F.
White Tea – White teas are still delicate but can withstand a bit more heat than green teas – around 180F.
Oolong Tea – Oolongs fall roughly between Green and Black teas – around 190F.
Black Tea – Black teas tend to require the hottest water – 208-212F.
Another variable that may change a bit based on the tea is steep-time. Again here are some rough starting points to get you going:
Green Tea – Green teas steep fairly quickly, typically within 2-4 minutes.
White Tea – White teas steep a bit longer than green teas – around 4-6 minutes.
Oolong Tea – Oolong teas steep a bit longer still at around 5-7 minutes.
Black Tea – Black teas tend to steep at around 4-6 minutes.
Quite unlike coffee, the same dose of tea can be used and enjoyed multiple times. Depending on the tea, you should be able to get several steeps out of each dose of tea you use. In addition to making it easier to justify spending some extra money on that fancy tea you’ve been wanting to try, tasting the evolution in flavor between steeps can be a unique experience.
Get Your Tea On!
If you’re interested in stepping up the tea program in your café – or your kitchen! – visit www.kllrcoffee.com and drop us a line!