Topic 1: Water: The basis of life... and tea

Water is truly the base of drinking stellar tea. Did a friend get you an exotic tea that you’ve been wanting to try? Well it will taste like hoo ha if your water stinks. The truth is, 99% of tea is water, and the rest is what your leaves left behind. Let’s start with the basics:

-Get filtered water. If you have bottled water make sure it’s something you’re willing to drink without any additions. Think the rule of wine: it you can’t drink it, don’t cook with it. 

-Start with cold water. Warm or hot water, especially water that is previously reheated has less oxygen and gives the tea a flatter, stale flavor (I’ve tried it plenty of times believe me)!

-Use the right amount of tea and water. Follow the directions on your packaging to determine this. If you’re still unsure most people recommend to use one teaspoon to one tablespoon to 6-8 ounces of water, although this isn’t always the case based on the type of tea. My advice is to start with the teaspoon and then gauge what works for you. Some teas, based on the size of the leaf, may need more leaves than others.

-Brew at the right time and temperature. Very important! Do you ever wonder why you don’t like a particular kind of tea because it’s way too bitter? Nine times out of ten it’s because it was over steeped. Over steeping has lead to the cause of bitter fights and dissolved friendships. Just kidding, but really it’s a probably one of the main reasons why people don’t like tea. Here’s a general steeping chart:

Tea Type

White Tea




Black and Puerh




Steep time

1 1/2 to 3 minutes 

1 1/2 to 3 minutes

1 1/2 to 3 minutes

2 to 3 minutes

4 minutes +
Water Appearance

light steam, no  hint of 

light bubbling

full, rolling boil

-Drain your tea! Don’t forget to take your tea out of your water. Although you may be finished steeping if you don’t take your leaves out of your teacup or pot, your tea leaves won’t know that the party has stopped. And what do you get? Bitter tea and you know what bitter tea leads to...

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    Iron Kettle Teas

    We enjoy tea and hope that you come along with us in the journey of learning tea.


    May 2012