Guide to Tea Shop Tea Essentials >

From selecting to steeping,
here's everything you need
to know about making the
perfect cup of tea.

TEA STYLES

All tea actually comes from the same plant, called camellia sinensis. But, different cultivars
(there are more than 2,000 tea cultivars) and various processing methods that oxidize the
leaves can transform the tea's color and flavor to create these common tea styles.

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White Tea

BREW TIME
5 Minutes

 

Oolong Tea

BREW TIME
3 to 4 Minutes

Green Tea

BREW TIME
3 Minutes

Often made with the fresh, young
shoots of the tea plant, white
teas have a subtle, delicate flavor
that can be herbaceous or
even slightly sweet.

Also called Jade teas, oolong
teas are rolled and semi-oxidized,
making them greener than
most black tea but darker than
most green teas.

Green teas are made by quickly drying
tea leaves one of two ways: either
steaming or roasting. The flavors
range from grassy to smoky.

Herbal Tea

BREW TIME
4 to 5 Minutes

Black Tea

BREW TIME
3 to 5 Minutes

Pu'erh Tea

BREW TIME
5 to 7 Minutes

Though not technically a “tea,”
because they’re not made with
leaves from cameillia sinesis, herbal
tisanes such as peppermint and
chamomile are well known brews.

The most common style of tea in the
West, black tea leaves are used to
make classic tea blends, such as
Earl Grey, or enjoyed on their own.

Tea leaves that are dried
and then aged for months or even
years, making teas incredibly
sought-after and valuable.

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TEA TIPS

There are no hard-and-fast rules for making and enjoying tea,
but these tips can help ensure you get the best brew possible every single time. 

Rinse tea leaves by
pouring hot water over
the leaves or tea bag,
then quickly straining.
This will clean and
soften the leaves so
they can release their
full aromas when
steeped.

Most people use too
much tea when brewing
a single mug. For most
teas, a teaspoon (about
2.5 grams) is enough to
brew an 8-ounce mug.

When steeping, use a
teapot with a lid or cover
your mug with a saucer.
This keeps water
temperature the same
level throughout,
ensuring an even brew.

Experiment with making
cold-steeped tea from
your favorite teas:
Combine tea and
room-temperature water
and let steep in the
refrigerator for 8 hours.
Strain and serve chilled
for smooth, flavorful
iced tea.

How to brew the best tea

HOW TO BREW THE BEST TEA

The Tea

Whether you brew with loose leaf
or tea bags, look for organic teas
that contain whole leaves that
aren’t crushed into dust.
Whole leaves stay fresher for
longer, making them your
best bet for flavor.

Water Temperature

Whatever you do, don’t pour
boiling water on tea, which can
scald the leaves and strip away
some of the flavor. Black teas
brew with just-boiled water (about
190 to 200 degrees) while green
teas fare best with slightly cooler
water; around 180 degrees.

The Time

Brew times vary by styles, so
check the label to be sure you’re
brewing it for the correct amount
of time. Some teas at risk of
over-steeping or under-steeping,
so watch the clock to be sure you
get the best flavor.