What Are All the Dos and Don'ts for the Perfect Cup of Tea? We Asked the Experts

Everyone has their own methods for brewing their ideal cup of tea—and most people tend to believe that their way is the right way.

But if you've ever been reprimanded by a tea aficionado for the way you make your tea, whether that's for the way you heated the water, the order you added the other ingredients or for dunking or squeezing the bag, you might be wondering if there is a correct way to brew.

We certainly were—which is why we reached out to the experts at Stash Tea Company for some answers. They were kind enough to answer all of our most pressing questions, so keep reading to find out their answers.

Sweety High: What kind of water should you use when you brew a cup of tea?

Stash: Whatever water you have is fine, but if you want to go the extra mile, use spring water.


SH: What's the optimal way to heat your water for tea? What are your thoughts on microwaving the water?

Stash: We recommend an electric kettle with temperature control, so you can heat to the perfect temperature for the type of tea you're brewing. We can't hate the microwave—you gotta do whatever it takes to get your water hot—but don't put your tea bag in the microwave!

Stash Tea company earl grey

(via Stash Tea Company)


SH: Is it okay to reheat the same water twice in a kettle? 

Stash: Yes! As long as the water was already safe to drink in the first place, then reboiling won't do any harm.


SH: When you're brewing a traditional cup of black tea, what's the correct order for adding cream and sugar? Why?

Stash: Depends on who you ask; what's correct is entirely dependent on the individual's preferences. But we'd recommend sugar first, stir to dissolve in the hot tea and then add cream.


SH: Should you dunk your tea bag while it's brewing?

Stash: Go for it! It doesn't do any harm.


SH: When the tea is done brewing, should you squeeze the bag to get out the last bit of tea?

Stash: This is controversial, even within Stash! Some refuse to squeeze the tea bag at all while others press out every last drop. Again, this is just a matter of personal taste. Squeezing the tea bag will extract even more flavor, but it may bring forward some undesirable characteristics, too (such as making a green tea slightly bitter).


SH: What's the optimal brew time for each type of tea? Why is brewing for a shorter or longer time less than ideal?

Stash: Brew time differs by tea type (green tea, black tea, herbal tea, etc.), but usually every brand will give you directions for how to perfectly brew each flavor. In the end, you can adjust steep time however you like, whether that's making it shorter or longer; a shorter brew time can give you a lighter flavor and a longer brew time may make your tea bitter or bolder—you won't know until you try!

Stash Tea Company: 4 types of tea

(via Stash Tea Company)


SH: Are there any other tips you have for making the ultimate cup of tea?

Stash: Have fun with it! We encourage everyone to experiment with their tea; make it into a latte, make it iced, brew it longer or shorter or even combine two different flavored tea bags in one cup to make your own blend. There are no rules!


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