Art is subjective. So is making the perfect cup of Tea. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Everyone seems to like different things. Black Tea or Green Tea? Tea Bags or Loose Tea? Add milk, lemon, honey, sugar, or nothing at all? Ultimately, it all depends on personal preference.

There is an optimum temperature for some Tea types that does not work for others. There are brewing times that create a great taste in one cuppa that utterly ruin another. Is there truly a definitive answer to the question: How To Make The Perfect Cup of Tea? Put simply, no.

So why, then, have we made a blog about it? The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company have over 30 years experience with everyone’s favourite brew. Before then, four generations of the Smith family, who run our company, worked on the Tea plantations of Assam, India. The bottom line is we know what we’re talking about. We have some ideas of our own.

Different Tea Types

Different Tea Types

Seldom are two Teas the same. For this reason, you’ll find different brewing instructions for almost each and every one of them. Four main types come from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant: Black, Green, White and Oolong Tea. 78% of Tea drinkers choose Black, 20% Green, and the remaining 2% either White or Oolong. But this, of course, is barely scratching the surface.

Although not “Tea” in the conventional sense, there is a vast multitude of Herbal and Fruit infusions available today. Popular choices include Peppermint, Camomile, Hibiscus, Ginger, Turmeric, Nettle and Milk Thistle. This is to name but a few. There are thousands!

We stock over 1,000 Types of Tea, as well as 80 types of Coffee. For the rest of this article, we’re going to look at several of our most-loved beverages and how to make the perfect cup of Tea out of them. Let’s start with the most popular of them all: Black Tea.

How To Make Black Tea

How To Make Black Tea

Black Tea is the most oxidised type of so-called “real” Tea. During oxidation, oxygen particles interact with the cell walls of the Tea leaves. This turns them darker and darker until they’re either brown or, indeed, black (hence the name!).

Oxidation also alters the flavour profile of the Tea. It often creates a distinct maltiness, sometimes with added smoky and fruity notes depending on the Black Tea variety. Lapsang Souchong, a smoked Tea, was the first Black Tea created hundreds of years ago. Now, there are many choices. This includes Assam, Darjeeling, Kenya and Ceylon Black Tea.

However, things can get complicated when brewing this type of Tea. Nowadays, after all, most choose to drink it with either milk, sugar, honey or lemon. In 1946, the English writer George Orwell wrote an article called “A Nice Cup of Tea”. In it, he argued the case for adding milk only (and adding it after the Tea, we hasten to add!). We shall follow his lead in these instructions:

  1. Put Loose Leaf Black Tea into one of our Loose Tea Filters.
  2. Boil water, making sure it’s fresh for better oxygen levels and, ultimately, better taste. If you live in a hard water area, consider trying our Heritage Hard Water Tea.
  3. Allow the water to cool to no more than 96°C.
  4. Put the Tea Bag in a PORCELAIN cup. Porcelain has the least influence on the taste. Metal cups, in comparison, create an unwelcome metallic undertone.
  5. Add freshly boiled water to your cup.
  6. Let the infusion steep for AT LEAST 3 minutes and NO MORE THAN 5 minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger it tastes. Past 5 minutes and it might start getting bitter.
  7. Add a dash of milk and stir THOROUGHLY.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How to make the perfect cup of Tea using Green Tea

How To Make Green Tea

Green Tea is the second least oxidised type to come from the Camellia sinensis plant. This lack of oxidation ensures that it maintains much of its natural chemical structure and taste. When brewed, Green Tea often has a grassy flavour but may also have floral, vegetal, herbaceous or seaweed notes.

According to legend, an ancient Chinese Emperor named Shennong discovered it in 2737 BCE. The story goes that he came to rest underneath an unknown tree with a cup of boiling water by his side. He eventually fell asleep in the midday sun, only to wake and find leaves from the tree above infusing in his drink. Shennong, an avid herbalist, decided to try it. It was Green Tea!

This beverage has become increasingly popular in recent years in part thanks to Green Tea Benefits. Scientific research suggests that it might help in the fight against several chronic conditions. It could also, according to some studies, promote weight loss and improve brain function. What more could you want from your morning cuppa? This is how to make Green Tea:

  1. Put Loose Leaf Green Tea into a Tea Infuser.
  2. Bring freshly boiled water to temperatures between 70°C and 90°C. Any hotter and you risk burning the leaves, which creates an unpleasantly bitter taste. Maintaining a suitable temperature is arguably most vital when it comes to Green Tea over any other type.
  3. Because Green Tea is so delicate, it’s essential that you brew NO LONGER than 3 minutes. We recommend somewhere between 1 and 2 minutes, depending on personal preference. Overbrewed leaves taste bitter this is very important when it comes to how to make the perfect cup of tea with Green Tea.
  4. Put the Tea Bag in a PORCELAIN cup.
  5. Add hot (again, NOT boiling) water to the cup.
  6. At this point, some choose to add different ingredients for unique Tea tasting notes. Popular choices include honey, lemon or even Peppermint Tea. Whether you personally choose to or not, be sure to stir THOROUGHLY.Sit back, relax, enjoy in the afternoon sun.

How To Make Ice Tea

How To Make Ice Tea

Ice Tea, or Iced Tea, is almost exactly as it sounds: Tea served chilled. It has existed for hundreds of years, but first became famous at the 1904 World’s Fair held in St. Louis, USA. An American Tea plantation owner named Richard Blechynden decided to pour ice over his Tea samples to entice more customers. On what was one of the hottest days of the year, it of course worked.

Nowadays, countries and regions around the world have different Iced Tea traditions. In South America, for example, many people drink Iced Yerba Mate. In China, the most common choice is Iced Green Tea. For the following instructions on how to make the perfect cup of tea when making an iced tea, we’re going to use our Bora Bora Iced Fruit Tea. Some of its ingredients include Hibiscus flowers, Papaya Cubes, Apple Pieces and Strawberry Pieces:

  1. NOTE: This recipe typically serves more than one person.
  2. Put Bora Bora Iced Tea into a Tea Filter (2tsp per person).
  3. Boil fresh water.
  4. Put the Tea in a suitably large and heat-resistant vessel.
  5. Add freshly boiled water so that it ONLY covers the Loose Tea.
  6. Allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Because this infusion doesn’t contain any Tea leaves, it’s unlikely that it will overbrew.
  7. Pop up with cold water and add ice cubes.
  8. Consider additions such as fruit pieces (e.g. strawberries, raspberries), herbs (e.g. sprigs of mint), sugar or honey. Regardless, be sure to stir THOROUGHLY.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How To Make Ginger Tea: 

How To Make Ginger Tea

We’ve already established that “how to make a cup of Tea” isn’t an easily answered question. It can get even more confusing, however, when it comes to Herbal Tea. Depending on which herb you choose, the instructions might either be very simple or very complicated!

Ginger Tea is one of the easier choices. This much-loved spice, known botanically as Zingiber officinale, is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. When brewed, it has bold peppery notes with zesty overtones. There is nothing quite like it in terms of taste and, indeed, Ginger Tea Health Benefits.

Confucius (551-479 BCE), the renowned Chinese philosopher and teacher, was one of the first people to recognise its medicinal potential. Most notably, he discovered its ability to improve digestion. Modern studies suggest that it can also boost the immune system and help with sore throats. But how do you make the perfect cup of Ginger Tea?

  1. Choose between our Ginger Root Tea (the easier option) or fresh ginger root.
  2. If using fresh ginger, start by peeling and slicing it thinly.
  3. Put either our Ginger Root Tea or freshly cut ginger into a Tea Filter.
  4. Boil fresh water.
  5. Combine the Tea and fresh water in a cup.
  6. Steep for between 5 and 10 minutes. The longer you brew, the stronger and tangier it gets.
  7. Consider adding a slice of lemon to make Lemon and Ginger Tea. Alternatively, add turmeric and make Turmeric and Ginger Tea. The choice is yours.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How to make the perfect cup of Turmeric tea

How To Make the Best Cup of Turmeric Tea

Turmeric Tea comes from the rhizomatous, herbaceous, perennial plant of the same name. This plant, botanically known as Curcuma longa, belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It originates from Southeast Asia, though has since spread as far as Queensland in Australia, Fiji and Hawaii. Its largest producer, however, is India.

India is where the history of Turmeric Tea began some 4,000 years ago. It later became an ingredient used in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, which recommended the herb for a multitude of ailments. Milk boiled with turmeric, for example, became a common cold and flu remedy. This is to name but one of many Health Benefits of Turmeric Tea. This is how to make it:

  1. Preparing fresh turmeric when making a Herbal Tea can be messy, and stains surfaces easily. If you want to avoid this, choose our Turmeric Root Tea.
  2. If, however, you end up choosing fresh turmeric, start by peeling and slicing it thinly.
  3. Put either our Turmeric Root Tea or its freshly cut counterpart into a Tea Filter.
  4. Boil fresh water.
  5. Combine the Tea and freshly boiled water in a cup.
  6. Steep for between 5 and 10 minutes. Similar to Ginger Tea, the longer you brew Turmeric, the stronger, earthier and spicier it gets.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How To Make the Perfect Cup of Tea with Mint Tea

How To Make a Cup of Mint Tea

“How to make Mint Tea” is one of the most common queries we receive. Our reply is “what kind?” We stock many including Peppermint Tea and Spearmint Tea. Although both have similar brewing instructions, the Tea tasting notes are significantly different depending on which one you choose.

Confused? Why not read our blogs, Peppermint Tea Benefits and Spearmint Tea Benefits, to find out more information? Alternatively, you could check out our Mint Tea Benefits article for a brief overview of each one.

  1. The following instructions apply, for the most, to both types:
  2. Choose between picking your own mint leaves or buying one of our Mint Teas. We recommend our Peppermint Herbal Tea.
  3. Put Peppermint Herbal Tea into a Tea Filter.
  4. Boil fresh water.
  5. Add the Tea Filter to your cup, followed by the water.
  6. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how herbaceous you’d like it.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How To Make Nettle Tea

How To Make Nettle Tea

When it comes to how to make Nettle Tea, things can sometimes get a little more complicated. The results, however, are well worth the occasional hassle. Indeed, Nettle Tea is a surprisingly delicious and health beneficial Herbal Tea. Though cursed by hikers, gardeners and children alike, the perennial, flowering Urtica dioica plant has earned its place in the world.

It belongs to the Urticeae family, of which there are three primary genera. Most famously, it can give a nasty sting (hence the name “stinging” nettle!) when brushed up against. According to Cree folklore, the plant developed its sting when the indigenous peoples of America refused to acknowledge Nettle Tea benefits.

Now, we know the science behind it. Nettles have hollow hairs, stiffened by silica, attached to a swollen base that contains three chemicals. These are histamine, which irritates the skin; acetylcholine, which causes a burning sensation; and serotonin, which enables the two other chemicals to react.

CAUTION: The chemicals in fresh nettles hurt! For this reason, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company strongly advise you choose our safely prepared Nettle Herbal Tea for the how to make the perfect cup of tea.

Choose between harvesting nettles or buying our Nettle Tea. If you pick your own nettles, be sure to wear suitable clothes and gloves.

  1. When using harvested nettles, cut the leaves with as little stem as possible.
  2. Either put freshly cut nettles into a saucepan or, if using our Tea, into a Filter.
  3. Pour fresh water into the saucepan and bring to a boil. This eventually removes the sting. Alternatively, use a kettle when making our simple and easy Herbal Tea.
  4. With fresh nettles, allow it to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes before straining and pouring into a cup. With Nettle Leaf Tea, infuse for the same time.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How To Make Matcha Tea

How To Make  Matcha Tea

Let’s return to the world of ‘official’ Tea, specifically Matcha. This is Tea in powdered form. The type can vary, although most associate it with Green Tea. The Tea plant used in its making is for two weeks shade-grown before harvesting. This allows the leaves to produce larger quantities of amino acids and chlorophyll, two particularly beneficial antioxidants.

Because of the unique processing of Matcha, it reportedly contains 137 times more antioxidants than ‘standard’ Green Tea. This enables it to combat free radicals in the body, the product of natural, though harmful, human oxidation. Most, however, drink this beverage because, put simply, it tastes great. When brewed, it has a rich, astringent flavour with refined grassy notes.

It’s important to note, however, that Matcha requires a few utensils to make it perfectly. A Bamboo Matcha Tea Spoon measures out the exact amount of Tea needed, while a Matcha Tea Whisk helps to create the right consistency. Both of these items are available here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. This is how to make the perfect cup of tea:

NOTE: For more information, please check out our Matcha Blogs: “How To Make Matcha Tea”, “Matcha Tea Benefits” and “Green Tea vs Matcha Tea”.

  1. Add 1-2 scoops of Matcha into a cup or Matcha bowl.
  2. Bring freshly boiled water to temperatures between 70°C and 90°C. Any hotter and you risk ruining its taste.
  3. Add hot water into the cup or bowl.
  4. Whisk the infusion with a traditional bamboo whisk until frothy.
  5. Top up with a small amount of warm water.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

How To Make Chai Tea

How To Make a Great Chai Tea

Chai Tea is a Flavoured Black Tea from India. It contains a variety of herbs and spices, with its most common ingredients including Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Peppercorn and Star Anise. There is not, however, one answer when it comes to how to make Chai Tea. This is because recipes differ from region to region, village to village and even household to household.

Chai Tea benefits the mind, body and soul in a plethora of ways. Depending on the ingredients, it can treat several ailments. Cinnamon, for example, can support the immune system. Cloves and black pepper, on the other hand, can help with digestion. If the recipe contains Cardamom, it might even boost the metabolism of fat cells. This enables the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.

We stock many Chai Tea beverages online and in store. Popular choices include Bombay Chai Tea, Spicy Turmeric Chai Tea and Night of the Iguana Belgian Chocolate Chai. It’s worth noting, however, that homemade Chai is easier to make than many believe. Below is one of our favourite Authentic Masala Chai recipes. This is how to make the perfect cup of tea:

  1. Ingredients: Assam Tea TGFOP, Cardamom Pods, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Pepper, Milk, Sugar.
  2. Use a mortar or Coffee grinder to crush the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
  3. Put the crushed spices into a small saucepan.
  4. Pour in the water while adding freshly cut ginger and pepper.
  5. Bring the water to a boil.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  7. Allow it to steep for around 5 minutes.
  8. Replace the saucepan on the heat while adding milk and sugar.
  9. Bring it to a boil once again.
  10. Take it off the heat and add our House Assam Tea TGFOP.
  11. Cover and allow it to steep for around 3 minutes.
  12. Stir THOROUGHLY.
  13. Strain into a warmed Teapot or directly into mugs or cups.

Sit back, relax, enjoy all of those lovely spices.

Conclusion

We now know that how to make Tea differs significantly depending on several factors. Before you start, it’s vital that you know what type you’d like. Choices include Loose Tea, Herbal Tea or Fruit Tisanes. Within these categories are many more options.

What Teaware you use also has an influence on your beverage. Be sure to use only the best, much of which you can buy with us. And then there is water. It’s vital that you have water at the correct temperature to ensure great taste.

Additions such as milk, sugar, honey and lemon should be of the best possible quality, too. At what stage you add them to the brew is also worth considering. There are, of course, other aspects to think about. Hopefully, though, you now know how to make the perfect cup of Tea.

If you would like to know more about recommended brewing instructions, we have a dedicated page on our website called Tea Brewing Guide, here you will see more information about the many different tea types.

Related Articles: