Ever since we talked about the perfect night in, I’ve been thinking about the finer details of that magical combo: the warm bubble bath, the scented candle, the green tea and, of course, the book. All elements are important, but today I thought I’d share my tips for brewing the perfect cup of green tea, my drink of choice.
Step 1: Water quality and temperature. These are two important steps and, yet, they’re often the first to be neglected. For water quality, it’s a simple enough rule: only brew tea with water you’d drink. No need to import that hand-drawn, Alpine well water from Switzerland, but by the same token, if you don’t drink your tap water, don’t brew your tea with it.
As for water temperature, for green tea, you want your water to be between 140 and 180*F. Don’t own a thermometer? Don’t worry. Neither to I. My lazy method is to let the water rest off the boil for two minutes before adding it to the tea leaves.
Step 2: Choose your brewing method. For loose leaf tea, you’ll need a strainer of some kind. For a single mug of tea, I really dig the Teavana joli mug. The hair-line slits in the glass ensure no leaves get through, plus it’s easy to clean. It I’m making tea for two or more people, I use a porcelain teapot and then strain it when I serve the tea.
Step 3: Choose your tea leaves. There are so many varieties out there, all of them boasting a cornucopia of flavors and health benefits. I strongly suggest finding a reputable tea merchant and only buying loose leaf teas. After that, the choice of variety, flavor and health properties is entirely up to you.
For this brew, I mixed 1/2 teaspoon of Uncle Lee’s Organix Green Tea with 1/2 teaspoon of Teavana’s White Ayurvedic Chai. Green tea is packed full of antioxidants, which help to boost the immune system. The White Ayurvedic Chai was recommended to me also for its antioxidants and, more specifically, for its detoxifying benefits to the liver and skin.
Step 4: Steep it real good. But not too good! After you bring the water to boil, let it sit for two minutes or until it’s between 140 and 180*F. My favored ratio of tea to water is 1 teaspoon to every 8 oz. of water. Pour the water slowly over the tea leaves and put the lid on your pot. Set your timer for 2 minutes.
Step 5: Exercise Reserve The timer has gone off. Strain your tea leaves, but don’t throw them away. Most high quality leaves can be reused 3 to 6 times. So reserve those luscious leaves and use them another time.Step 6: In true For the Love of Bookshops fashion, enjoy your green tea over a good book. That’s it!
Did I miss anything? Also, I’m curious: are you a coffee or tea person? I’m both! My tips for brewing the perfect cup of French press coffee are coming up next week. Stay tuned!