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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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