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How to Steep a Perfect Cup of Tea Every Single Time

How to Steep a Perfect Cup of Tea Every Single Time

I love tea. It’s one of my favorite drinks. And I’m not alone in this affection. There’re millions of us all around the world. Furthermore, you are more than welcome to join the tribe. And here’s what you need to do to steep a perfect cup of tea every single time.

1. You have to realize that there are different types of tea

Some of the most popular ones are: black tea, green tea, Oolong, white tea, red tea, yellow tea, Rooibos (which isn’t really a tea), Honeybush, Yerba Mate (which isn’t really a tea either).

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Each of these types should be handled differently. And by differently I mean: different temperatures of water, different steeping times, and different amounts of the tea itself.

But first, let me give you some…

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2. General tips

Steeping tea is actually very simple. All you need to do is pour some water over some tea leaves. But there are still some main rules to follow:

  • Always use cold, fresh water for boiling. Don’t re-boil old water.
  • Pour the water over the tea directly into the cup. Not the other way around – don’t throw the tea to a cup already filled with hot water.
  • If you’re using tea in teabags, don’t squeeze the teabags after the steeping is done.
  • Always cover the cup with something (e.g. a small plate) for the entire time of steeping.
  • When steeping is done remove the leaves immediately.
  • Don’t let the tea to cool down, drink it while it’s warm.

3. Steeping details for each type of tea

First, let me address the pink elephant in the room. What about the standard tea that comes in teabags from your local supermarket? There’s no rocket science in this case. That tea should be prepared in the exact way that has been described on the package. So you might as well stop reading here. BUT remember, the general rules still apply.

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Now, let’s quickly go through the most popular types of tea and their perfect steeping conditions.

  • Black tea: 0.5 teaspoon per cup; water temperature 96°C (205°F); steep for 3 minutes.
  • Green tea: 1 tsp/cup; temp. 65-80°C (150-175°F); 3-4 minutes.
  • Oolong: 0.5 tsp/cup; temp. 90°C (195°F); 3-6 minutes.
  • White tea: 1 tsp/cup; temp. 80-85°C (175-185°F); 7-9 minutes.
  • Red tea (Pu-erh): 0.5 tsp/cup; temp. 96°C (205°F); 3-7 minutes.
  • Yellow tea: 1 tsp/cup; temp. 90°C (195°F); 3 minutes.
  • Rooibos: 1 tsp/cup; temp. 96°C (205°F); 3-5 minutes.
  • Honeybush: 1 tsp/cup; temp. 96°C (205°F); 5-8 minutes.

How do you know what kind of tea you have? Once you have some experience you can tell by the way tea smells and looks like, but the easiest way for a newbie is to ask the salesman to write this down on the package.

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One more thing, as you’ve noticed not all numbers are precise in the table above. That’s because some types of tea can be steeped for various amounts of time using different temperatures of water. It’s up to you to find the perfect combination for the specific tea you want to enjoy.

4. Sugar, milk, and other things

There’s a number of different ingredients you can add to a cup of tea to make it taste even better (well, maybe not better, but differently).

  • Sugar – some people like to add sugar to every type of tea. Personally, I don’t like to do it because it changes the taste of the tea in a much wider scope than just making it sweeter.
  • Milk – goes best with classic black teas. Teas like: Assam, Ceylon or traditional English Breakfast.
  • Lemon – best with Chinese teas. But add only a little if you don’t want to ruin it (it’s somewhat similar to adding salt to a dish – if you add just a little it improves the taste, if you add too much the dish becomes uneatable).

In a nutshell, the essence of this post can be found in points #2 and #3. It’s all you need to remember in order to steep a perfect cup of tea. Enjoy! … It’s almost 5PM where I’m sitting so it’s time to prepare my afternoon drink.

Now it’s your turn to share. Do you have any interesting tea-related advice? Don’t hesitate to speak up.

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Karol Krol

Blogger, published author, and founder of a site that's all about delivering online business advice

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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