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Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea is only second to water when it comes to beverage popularity—so popular that it’s consumed as much as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol combined. There’s always time for better tea, though, so here are ten tips and tricks to take your tea to the next level.

10. Don’t Make Tea in the Microwave

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the elements of a perfect cup of tea is brewing it at the right temperature. Microwaves, as convenient as they are, simply don’t give us control over the temperature of the water, so it’s best to use a kettle.

9. Get the Temperature and Time Down for Steeping Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Speaking of temperature, this graphic provides recommended temperatures and brew times (as well as caffeine content), while this one (above) shows temperatures and steeping times in a much more immediate way. By the way, Steep.it is a web-based timer that also shows you brewing time—and tells you when to take the leaves out.

8. Control the Caffeine in Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Steeping time also matters when it comes to how much caffeine ends up in your cup. For more caffeine alertness, steep for a shorter amount of time. For less caffeine, you can do a brief steep, pour out the brew, and then re-steep to cut as much as 80% of the caffeine.

7. Buy the Best Tea-Brewing Gear

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

You don’t need a special tea kettle to make great tea, but they sure come in handy, with options to set the temperature, automatically turn on or off, and sometimes even remove the tea bag. The mugs, brewing baskets, and other accessories you use can also make a big difference in your enjoyment of your tea, so check out our crowd-sourced collection of recommendations. (I’m a big fan of the IngenuiTEA myself.)

6. Buy Better Tea Leaves

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Besides temperature and steeping time—and water quality—the other most critical element when it comes to a perfect cup of tea is, of course, the quality of the tea itself. Here are some recommendations.

5. Avoid Watery Iced Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the nicest things about tea is you can enjoy it all year round, warming up in winter with a hot cup of tea or chilling out in the summer with iced tea. When it comes to iced tea, make sure you use double the amount of tea normally used so the ice cubes don’t dilute your drink or use iced tea you’ve frozen in ice cube trays to avoid this problem. You can also cold-brew your iced tea for a stronger, smoother cup (and brewing tea in the fridge avoids the risk of bacteria like sun tea has).

4. Find the Tea Alternatives to Coffee

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

I know this sounds like blasphemy to coffee lovers, but you can love both coffee and tea. Both have benefits. If you’re currently a coffee-only person, though, give tea a chance with these recommendations for coffee-like teas. (They’re not as strong as coffee, but they are uniquely flavorful.)

3. Ditch the Tea Bag

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea bags are undoubtedly more convenient than loose tea, but what you trade in convenience you probably are giving up in taste and quality. Tea Muse explains it like this:

There is, of course, a huge taste difference. Teabags generally contain bits of tea leaves (typically fannings and dust), not whole leaves, and these leaf fragments brew up a nice cup of blah tea. As any tea expert will tell you, one of the essential requirements of brewing tea is giving the leaves enough room to expand so that their flavor is properly extracted. Because space is limited in a traditional teabag, the size of the tea leaf is smaller to compensate. Thus, the quality of the flavor is decreased. Thus, loose tea reigns supreme.

On the other hand, for those times you are in a tea rush, tea bags from quality tea merchants that are pyramid-shaped instead of flat are a good compromise, since they allow the leaves to expand. You can also go with a coffee filter in a pinch in lieu of a tea bag.

2. Learn Everything You Need to Know About Tea in About 10 Minutes

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

If you’re new to tea or just need a refresher, this is the hacker’s guide to tea.

1. Drink to Your Health

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

This tip won’t make your tea better, but it helps to understand how tea makes you better (so you drink more of it!). There are so many ways tea is incredibly healthy for you—even healthier than water—and you can boost tea’s health benefits with lemon.

Bonus: The Many Other Things You Can Do With Tea Besides Drink It

Use used tea bags or fresh tea to hack your body and your home. For example, feed plants with used tea bags, clean windows with tea, sooth sunburns and stop bleeding with tea bags, clean hardware floors and hide scratches with tea, freshen up small spaces with a tea bag, and maybe even get rid of warts with tea.

Photos by Tina Mailhot-Roberge, Jessie Terwilliger, naama, JoshuaDavisPhotography, ~ Mers, Photosani (Shutterstock), Sean MacEntee, KuniakilGARASHI.

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New Kids, Meet Old Technology

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Steep Tea for a Short Time to Get More Caffeine from Your Cuppa

Steep Tea for a Short Time to Get More Caffeine from Your Cuppa

Tea is a wonder drink for health but tea lovers also drink it for the enjoyment and an alertness boost. If you care about the amount of caffeine available to you from the tea, tweak the recommended brewing times.

Chemist Nikolai Kuhnert of Jacobs University Bremen in Germany tells NPR how this works:

When you steep tea, "the caffeine comes out first" from the leaves, says chemist Kuhnert. If you keep infusing, compounds called thearubigins seep out of the plant, and some will actually bind to the caffeine, he says — meaning the caffeine can’t then bind to your brain receptors and wake you up. The longer you infuse the tea, the less caffeine that’s available to your body, so a shorter brew can also be more invigorating, says Kuhnert.

Conversely, then, if you don’t want a caffeine kick, steep for longer. When it comes to caffeine, tea affects us differently than the way coffee does—it’s metabolized more slowly and the compounds in tea can counteract the jitteriness effect of too much caffeine. But still, if you’re watching your caffeine intake, watch your brewing time.

NPR’s article offers many other tea tips and fun facts, such as the thinner the cup, the longer the brew will stay hot.

Tea Tuesdays: The Chemis-Tea of Pouring the Perfect English-Style Cuppa | NPR

Photo by naama.

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A Beer Bottle for Babies Helps Kids Unwind After a Long Day at the Park

oqbehdpzo4kvpmb5taeaSo when you kick back with a cold relaxing brew at the end of the day, your little one can do the same with their milk.

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These Cool Anamorphic Drawings Will Play With Your Brain

cbwdtwfolccgvasshqmgItalian artist Alessandro Diddi is back with more mind-boggling anamorphic, and occasionally xenomorphic, drawings that seem to be popping out of the paper. Even if I know that these are plain 2D drawings, my brain keeps telling me it’s 3D. See more >

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Now We Actually Have a Real Reason to Dread Solar Eclipses 

eclipseIt’s not just superstition – a huge upcoming eclipse is set to cause havoc across Europe.

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10 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Overcome Them

You’ve got your DSLR and you are excited to test it out. You might have gone out for the first few days or perhaps weeks and then all of a sudden the excitement wears out. Why? Because you don’t seem to get what you want out of your mighty DSLR, right? You may have spent […]

The post 10 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Overcome Them by Prathap DK appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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