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The Art of Brewing Tea

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Forget morning coffee; instead choose tea. Served hot or iced, tea is a beverage that can be paired with breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some popular varieties of teas available on the market are oolong, green, black, white and herbal tea. Oolong, green, black and white tea are all made from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, but for each type of tea the leaf has been oxidized at a different rate, giving each one a unique flavor. Herbal teas are made from any flowers or ingredients, not necessarily the Camellia sinensis’ flower.

Tea can be purchased prepackaged in individual tea bags, or as loose tea leaves whose preparation requires a tea infuser. From herbal to green, the brewing method is the same. Individual cups of tea can be made by placing one or two tea bags into a cup of boiling water. Check steeping time on the box and be sure not to oversteep. Oversteeped tea will have a bitter taste, so be sure to remove bags after three to eight minutes. Sweeteners such as honey, simple syrup, sugar and sugar substitutes can be added in addition to a squeeze of lemon for flavor.

For larger crowds, pitchers of tea can be prepared with either a hot brew or a cold brew. For hot brewed tea, keep the ratio at two tea bags (or two tablespoons of loose tea) to one cup of water. Steep for four to six minutes, take tea bags out (or strain out loose leaves), cool for a few minutes, then add one cup of cold water for every cup of water you added initially.

The cold-brewing method takes longer to prepare, but is just as delicious. Add a ratio of two cups of cold water to one tea bag (or one tablespoon of loose tea) and leave in the fridge for six to twelve hours. For both hot and cold brews, once completed, add sweetener (simple syrups work best for iced teas) and/or fruit and then serve with ice.

Some tea flavors I recommend:

Hot teas

Trader Joe’s Herbal Peppermint Tea

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset

Cold teas

Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger

Wissotzky Tea Pomegranate Orchard

By Amanda Leifer

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