Tea Tips and Information
Basic Tea Descriptions, brewing time and amounts:
2 oz of tea can yield approximately 20-25 8 oz cups of tea
4 oz of tea can yield approximately 40-50 8 oz cups of tea
8 oz of tea can yield approximately 85-95 8 oz cups of tea
16 oz of tea can yield approximately 200 8 oz cups of tea
White- is a tea made with leaves that are processed in a manner to let them wilt slightly and lose the "grassy" taste of green tea, while undergoing minimal oxidation. White teas are the most delicate of all teas. Said to be very high in antioxidants, aids in detoxifying body, good for skin and reducing age.
1.5 tsp of tea for 8 oz of tea with water temp of approximately 175 degrees brewed for 2-5 minutes (depending of tea type)
Oolong- is a traditional Chinese tea somewhere between green and black in oxidation. Their caffeine content is somewhere between black and green teas. The taste offers the best between and a green and black. A relaxing tea said to be good for skin and teeth and enhancing metabolism, digestion and weight loss.
1 tsp of tea for 8 oz of tea with water temp of approximately 195 degrees brewed for 3-5 minutes
Herbal Infusion- made from anything other than the leaves of the tea bush. Herbal teas can be made with fresh or dried fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds or roots. Naturally caffeine free- said to be good for kids.
1.5 tsp of tea for 8 oz of tea with a water temp of 208 degrees brewed for 5-6 minutes
Rooibos/Red Tea- a member of the legume family of plants. The leaves of this plant the leaves are oxidized which produces the distinctive reddish-brown color of rooibos and enhances the flavor. The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. Said to improve digestion, good for skin and allergies, high in vitamins and minerals, and high in antioxidants.
1.5 tsp of tea for 8 oz of tea with a water temp of 208 degrees brewed for 5-6 minutes.
Green- has undergone minimal oxidation during processing and is therefore subtle in color and taste. It also generally has less caffeine than black teas. Said to maybe have potential to prevent certain types of cancers, lower cholesterol; regulate blood sugar level, good for digestion, preventing cavities and aging.
1 tsp of tea for 8 oz of tea with a water temp of 175 degrees brewed for 1 minute.
Pu-Erh- from the Yunnan Province of China has long been known for its medicinal qualities, said to be good for digestion and is low in tannins has a earthy and nutty flavor. Puerh is a black tea from China and is the only deliberately aged tea.
Brewing Method #1 - Traditional - 1 tsp for 6 oz of tea with water temp of 208 degrees and steep for 10-20 seconds. Pour off water. Pour another 6 oz of 208 degree water over leaves, steep for 30 seconds and server. The same leaves maybe re-steep up to 8 times using this method
Brewing Method #2 - Western - This methods creates a stronger tea. 1 tsp for 6 oz to 8 oz of tea with water temp of 208 degrees. Steep leaves for 3-5 minutes (or longer to taste)
Black- is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and white varieties. Is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas. Black Tea is said to help to lower cholesterol and prevent tooth decay, good for the heart and is considered a gentle stimulant.
1 tsp of tea for 8 oz of tea with a water temp of 208 degrees brewed for 3-5 minutes
For additional information about the health benefits of tea check out these links:
- Tea Consumption and Health by The Tea Association of the USA
- Green Tea by University of Maryland Medical Center
- Black tea soothes away stress by University College London
- Drinking Tea May Boost Immune System by Brigham and Women's Hospital
- Tea Reduces Risk Of Stroke, New Research Finds by Medical News Today
Water for brewing tea...
Here in beautiful central KY our limestone water is great for making bourbon and strong horses. However, it is not the best for making a great cup of tea. That is not to say that our tap water cannot or should not be used for brewing tea. In fact our local water consistently rates high in terms of quality. Unfortunately, it does have a high mineral concentration. The high leave of limestone in our tap water can sometimes leave your tea tasting hard or mineral like.
Here are several suggestions to help this out.
The first is to use bottled spring or filtered water. Please note that distilled water can leave your tea tasting flat. Bottled water can differ in quality and some local bottled water still has a heavy concentration of limestone. So, if you choose to use bottled water please try one that is filtered or not high in minerals.
Our suggested solution is filtered tap water. You can buy a water pitcher with filter or a filter that connects to your sink. Both options work well. Of course, if you have a under the sink filtration system already in place then you are all set.
Of course, it always helps to also start with cold water when brewing and try not to use re-boiled water (it makes for flat tasting tea).
More about Tea Grading Termology:
Tea grades are not standardized, so they may vary widely according to country or region of origin. Also, tea grades do not necessarily indicate quality. However, generally speaking whole leaf teas are considered to be the highest quality followed by broken leaves, fannings, and dusts. Whole leaf teas are produced with little or no alteration to the tea leaf. This results in a finished product with a coarser texture than that of bagged teas. Whole leaf teas are widely considered the most valuable, especially if they contain leaf tips. Broken leaves are commonly sold as medium grade loose teas. Smaller broken varieties may be included in tea bags. Fannings are usually small particles of tea leftover from the production of larger tea varieties, but are occasionally manufactured specifically for use in bagged teas. Dusts are the finest particles of tea leftover from production of the above varieties, and are often used for tea bags.
Leaf grades are divided into the following categories:
- Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP)
This denotes tea made from the end bud and first leaf of each shoot. FOP contains fine, tender young leaves rolled with the correct proportion of tip, the delicate end pieces of the buds, that guarantee quality.
- Golden flowery Orange Pekoe (GFOP)
This is FOP with "golden tips" — the very ends of the golden yellow buds.
- Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TGFOP)
The is FOP with a large proportion of golden tips.
- Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP)
This is exceptionally high quality FOP.
- Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (SFTGFOP)
This is the very best FOP.
- Orange Pekoe (OP)
This contains long, pointed leaves that are larger than in FOP and have been harvested when the end buds open into leaf. OP seldom contains "tips".
- Pekoe (P)
This consists of shorter, less fine leaves than OP.
- Flowery Pekoe (FP)
The leaves for FP are rolled into balls.
- Pekoe Souchong (PS)
This consists of shorter, coarser leaves than P.
- Souchong (S)
Large leaves are rolled, lengthwise, producing coarse, ragged pieces. The term is often used for China's smoked teas.
- Broken leaf grades are divided into further categories: Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (GFBOP), Golden Broken Orange Pekoe (GBOP), Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe (TGBOP), Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (TGFBOP), Flowey Broken Orange Pekoe (FBOP), Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP), Broken Pekoe (BP), Broken Pekoe Souchong (BPS)
- Fannings/Fines (also referred to as Dusts) Fannings are made up of the finest siftings and are useful in blends for tea bags, which require a quick brew. A number 1 is also added to broken leaf grades to denote the best quality. Dusts and fannings are further categorized as:
Orange Fannings (OF), Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (BOPF), Pekoe Fannings (PF), Broken Pekoe Fannings (BPF), Pekoe Dust (PD), Red Dust (RD), Fine Dust (FD), Golden Dust (GD), Super Red Dust (SRD), Super Fine Dust (SFD), Broken Mixed Fannings (MBF).
From "The New Tea Companion", By Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Rishardson