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How To Brew Tea Perfectly Every Time

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How To Brew Tea Perfectly Every Time

Brewing tea is a guide for beginners and experienced tea makers alike. Learn how to make tea properly and brew the best cup of loose leaf tea every time.

If you're transitioning from tea bags to making tea with loose leaf tea, this guide is for you.

I’m still learning how to make tea, and I’ve been brewing tea my entire life. I’m not saying exactly how many years that is, but it’s safe to say it’s many!

It may be heartening for you to know that tea masters in some Asian cultures study for years to perfect the art of brewing tea. And there's a reason they study for a lifetime. Tea mastery is a revered art form.

But honestly, it won't take you a lifetime to learn how to make a perfect cup of tea from fresh tea leaves. You need to know a few basics.


Poor tea preparation techniques and preconceived notions of making tea properly are the most common causes of tea brewing disappointments.

An ancient Chinese Zen saying asserts that to learn, you must “first empty your cup.” The story is attributed to a conversation between a student and a Zen master.

The lesson begins with the master pouring tea into the student’s cup. Instead of stopping when the cup was full, he continued to pour as tea spilled over the teacup and all over the table.

The student shouted, “Stop! The cup is full!”

“Exactly,” said the Zen master. “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions. You ask for teaching, but your cup is full. Before I can teach you, first you must empty your cup.”

If you truly seek understanding, then first, empty your cup.

Brewing loose leaf tea is an entirely different experience than brewing tea from tea bags. So even if you think you know how to brew tea, you may have something to learn when brewing loose leaf tea.


To begin, follow these basic steps:

The amount of tea used is dependent on the style of tea brewing (Eastern vs Western) you select.

Warm the teapot and cups first. Pour hot water in, swirl around and pour it off. This aids in keeping the finished brew hot.

Use freshly drawn filtered water.

Do not use re-heated water.

Pour hot water over the tea leaves to stir them up.

Water temperature, the volume of tea leaves, and steeping time are all part of the art of brewing tea. Different compounds are extracted depending on water temperature and steeping time.

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