Looking to get into tea but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck: It’s easy, once you know the basics! Check out our quick and handy guide to help you make the perfect cup of tea.
Embrace Loose Leaf
Tea bags are convenient. For one, you can brew your tea without any additional equipment. And, unlike loose-leaf tea, you can easily find tea bags at the grocery store. The problem is the tea quality just isn’t very good. Not to mention, tea bags are wasteful and add unwanted byproducts like glue and bleach to your brew. Yuck.
Enter: loose-leaf tea. Not all loose-leaf tea is quality, but the best teas are loose leaf, and it’s more affordable than you might think. You don’t need a lot of tools to make your tea (more on that later). And thankfully, it’s easy to find high-quality loose-leaf tea here in Albuquerque. New Mexico Tea Company, The Fragrant Leaf, and Old Barrel Tea Company all sell loose-leaf tea and teaware, and they’re close to home!
Know Your Preferences
Green tea. Black tea. Pu'er. What’s the difference? Knowing what kind of teas you like will help you narrow down the choices and discover your tea-leaf soulmate! If you aren’t sure where to start, this video gives a quick but thorough overview.
Get a Brewing Device
While you can get super fancy, you really don’t need anything special to brew your tea, and, more often than not, it’s a matter of preference. To keep things easy, we recommend gaiwan brewing. A gaiwan is simple, yet elegant, and perfect for extracting all the delicate flavors out of most types of teas.
Pick Your Kettle
Some tea aficionados claim different teas have different ideal brewing water temperatures, whereas others use full-on boiling water no matter the type of tea and simply adjust the steeping time. We recommend picking up an electric kettle, which will allow you to set your desired water temperature, keep the kettle warm, and experiment with different settings to see what you like best. Try to find a stainless-steel kettle, as kettles with plastic parts (even if they’re high-quality plastic) can affect the tea’s flavor.
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