Getting the Soirée Started
While everyone here at Soirée is an absolute tea enthusiast, we realize some people may be new to the tea party. Therefore, we put together the following questions and answers to bring any novice up to speed.
Why loose leaf?
It all comes down to quality. Loose leaf tea is much more potent. It’s comprised of real, actual tea leaves, instead of tea dust and fannings. To fully enjoy the health benefits of tea, choose the loose and ditch the bags.
Are some blends different?
Yes. Getting down to tea basics, all traditional tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. There are four categories of traditional tea: white, green, oolong and black. Verywellfit explains, “The difference between [the teas] is the degree to which each leaf is oxidized or fermented. Usually, tea leaves that are heavily oxidized are darker or redder, and teas that are less fermented are lighter or greener. Traditional tea usually contains caffeine.”
Herbal teas and fruit teas are different in that they do not contain caffeine, and are produced with dried herbs or fruit.
How long should you steep?
This varies, depending on the type of tea you’re drinking. Even the recommended boiling temperature varies from tea to tea. At Soirèe we recommend the following steep times:
- Green tea: Steep 1-2 tsp in 8 oz of water (175 degrees F) for 2-3 mins
- White tea: Steep 1-2 tsp in 8 oz of water (175 degrees F) for 2-4 mins
- Black tea: Steep 1-2 tsp in 8 oz boiling water (212 degrees F) for 3-5 mins
- Mardi Grey: Steep 1-2 tsp in 8 oz of water (200 degrees F) for 3-5 mins
- Tiramisu Black Tie Partea: Steep 1-2 tsp in 8 oz of water (175 degrees F) for 2-4 mins
- Herbal tea:
- Terrific Turmeric: Steep 1-2 tsp in 8 oz of water (212 degrees F) for 5-7 mins
- PJ Soiree—Citrus Chamomile: Steep in 8 oz boiling water (212 degrees F) for 6-7 mins.
A few other good tips we gathered from Lifehack:
- Always use cold, fresh water for boiling. Don’t re-boil old water.
- Pour the water over the tea leaves already in the cup – not the other way around. Don’t throw the tea into a cup already filled with hot water.
- Always cover the cup with something (e.g. a small plate) for the entire steeping time.
- When steeping is done remove the leaves immediately.
How much tea do you use for a pot vs. a single serving?
For a single serving, you’ll use 1-2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea per 8 oz of water, depending on your strength preference. For a pot, the amount of tea you use will vary depending on the size of the tea pot and the volume of water it holds. Here are some guidelines:
2-3 cup Teapot – 12-18 ounces (our Tiffany’s Blue Tea Pot is 18 oz.): Use 2-4 tsp of tea.
4 cup Teapot – 24 ounces: Use 3-5 tsp of tea.
6 cup Teapot: – 36 ounces: Use 4-6 tsp of tea.
What accessories do you REALLY need?
A kettle to boil water, loose leaf tea and a cup is all you really need! Oh, and an infuser to steep the tea leaves. Stainless-steel strainers with deep wells give the loose-leaf tea more room to expand or bloom as it steeps, providing optimum flavor. We love the Red Basket Infuser). Of course, there’s a wide variety of accessories available to tickle your fancy – you can find them all here.
Is it best to drink it straight or make it a latte?
It depends on the type of tea and your taste preference. All teas can be enjoyed on their own. Milk lends itself better to some teas more than others. Spiced black teas make great lattes (like our Dance the Chai Chai) as do green teas (and Matcha). White teas and herbals are probably better left alone.
Which teas pack the most punch from a health standpoint?
Different types of teas offer different health benefits. Peppermint and ginger teas aid with digestion. Turmeric tea eliminates inflammation, increases cognition, helps prevent cancer, strengthens the immune system and eases gastrointestinal distress. It also aids in protecting the heart, regulates diabetes, soothes pain, counters depression and improves skin quality. It’s perfect for when you’re feeling a little run down or under the weather.
Matcha green tea packs the healthiest punch. Unlike steeped tea, Matcha is made by grinding the entire tea leaf into a powder. Because you consume the whole leaf, it has approximately 10 times more nutrients than regular green tea. Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. But the amazing health benefits don’t stop there! Here’s a quick list. Matcha:
- Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
- Boosts metabolism and burns calories
- Detoxifies effectively and naturally
- Calms the mind and relaxes the body
- Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
- Enhances mood and aids in concentration
- Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- Prevents disease
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
We, of course, love it because it tastes great and makes us want to Soirèe all day! And honestly, that’s not all. To discover even more benefits behind the powerful green Matcha, read our previous post, Five Matcha Green Tea Tidbits You May Not Know.
Which teas just taste good?
Every single one of them! All teas have their own unique flavors, but they are all delicious!
Which types of teas are best to drink at certain times?
Since black, green and white teas contain caffeine, those are probably best enjoyed in the morning or for some mid-afternoon pep without the crash. Herbals are caffeine free, so those can be enjoyed anytime, even right before bed. Chamomile tea helps you relax and induces sleep, so that is best enjoyed at bedtime. Turmeric and Matcha are packed with amino acids, antioxidants and immune boosting properties, so those are good to enjoy while under the weather – or anytime for that matter – to prevent getting sick.
Becky Goplin is a Marketing Manager and Content Specialist working from her home in Madison, WI. You can catch her typing away on her MacBook, sipping on a chai latte. Find her on Instagram @bgoplin and Twitter @BeckyGoplin.