There are various elements that you must consider when brewing tea:
Always use purified or spring water. They are relatively free from pollutants and other substances that can adversely change tea's taste. Avoid using distilled water, it is preferable to have some natural minerals content, as they may enhance the tea's flavor.
Another recommendation is to always start with cold water. Preheated water (as from the faucet) may have been overheated, thereby losing oxygen content while picking up possibly harmful substances from the water pipes.
Temperature is critical in making good tea. The popular conception that boiling water can be used on any kind of tea is incorrect. In fact, each type of tea, needs to be steeped at a different temperature range.
Each type of tea is processed differently, for example, green tea is very lightly oxidized, hence, it needs a cooler temperature to bring out the right flavor. Conversely, black tea, which has been fully oxidized, needs much hotter water to bring out its flavor characteristics.
Like water temperature, different kinds of tea need to be brewed for different lengths of time. Generally, delicate teas such as greens or whites need to be brewed for shorter times, while heartier black teas and earthy, fermented pu-erhs benefit from longer infusions. Of course, the duration of the infusion varies with culture and personal preference.
Here is a quick reference guide on how to brew tea. Enjoy!
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