by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Creating the perfect pot of tea is not difficult. All it takes are some easy to follow, common sense steps and you have a great tasting, healthy pot of tea.
The water you use, makes a difference. Clear spring water makes the best tea. If you use tap water, run the faucet to clear the water sitting in the pipes. Colder and fresher makes a tastier, livelier infusion.
Warm the steeping pot. Run the pot under hot water in order to warm up the pot Choose your pot with care. Most metal pots (stainless steel is acceptable), can impart flavor to the water; aluminum and unlined copper are the worst offenders. Glass and enamel are preferred.
Pour the measured, fresh water into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat the water until it just comes to a rolling boil. Over-boiling removes too much oxygen, imparting a flat taste to the tea.
Add the tea leaves to the warmed steeping pot (one teaspoon per cup, plus one “for the pot”). Immediately pour the boiled water over the loose leaves; cover the pot.
If available, place the tea cozy over the pot. This will keep the pot warm during the steeping, which helps extract as much flavor as possible. A thick towel, while not as traditional, will do as well.
Steep three to five minutes for most teas; longer, to taste. Also be sure and steep the herbs longer for the teas made from sticks, twigs, roots or berries, as well as, herbal infusions.