Tea: The Ultimate Health Drink
4 Secrets to the Perfect Cup of Tea
1. Boil water. If you're making black tea, use boiling water. The ideal temperature for brewing white and green teas, however, is 165 to 185 degrees F. The trick to achieving this: Bring water to a rolling boil in a kettle and then let it sit for 10 minutes. If it's too hot, it will damage the leaves and release bitter components.
2. Use a teapot. "It keeps water hotter for a longer period of time," says Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Association of the USA. "If you steep tea in a cup, you're going to lose some heat."
3. Time it right. Steep white tea for 1 1/2 minutes, green for one minute, and black for 3 to 5 minutes (bags and loose leaves have equal health benefits). This draws out the brew's flavor and antioxidants without making it bitter.
4. Make your own decaf. To remove the caffeine from white, green, or black tea, pour hot water over the leaves or bag and let steep for 30 seconds; this will release most of the caffeine. Discard the water, add fresh liquid, and steep again for the recommended time.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2007.
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