Things to help you feel beautiful while you're on
your journey back into your Little Black Dress
|Copyright © 2006-2011 Dancing Bulls Advertising
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
1. Start with fresh cold water in a saucepan or tea kettle. Do not use hot water to begin the boiling
2. Pre-heat your teapot: pour some of your hot water from the tea kettle or from the hot water
spout in your water cooler into your teapot, swish it around, and then discard the water. You do
this so that the hot (non-boiling) water will not cool down too quickly as it hits the tea, and to
allow your loose leaf tea to open up and relax before pouring in the hot water. You see, tea is just
like us. When we get into bed at night and the sheets are cold we curl up a bit and wait until we
adjust to the coolness of the sheets and then stretch out. If tea leaves are placed into a cold
vessel they do the same thing; they curl up and wait to relax until they adjust to the temperature.
When we immediately add very hot water to the vessel, the tea leaves go into shock. As you can
imagine, this will affect the smell and taste of the tea leaves (not to mention your enjoyment).
3. Then add your loose tea to the teapot or strainer as explained earlier. Do not use too much tea.
You can always add more tea to your next steep.
4. Tea Balls: Most tea experts frown on the use of balls because they do not allow the tea leaves
room to expand which gives tea its best flavor. This is the same criticism the commercial grade of
tea bags receive. When you feel you need something else to make your tea, buy it. But there's no
need for you to run right out and buy a bunch of tea accessories; I'd much rather you get started
making tea with whatever you have on hand. If you do use the ball, please fill it only half way with
your tea to allow for complete saturation and expansion of the tea leaves.
5. Pour your hot water over the tea and cover. Some people believe that the water has to be
boiling (not boiled) when it hits the tea leaves and that if it's merely hot then the tea will be
insipid. Wrong! Do not use boiling water, it destroys the flavor of the tea and lessens the flavors of
your additional steeps.
6. Leave the lid off during the steeping (brewing) so as not to "stew" your tea leaves in the water.
The lid will only serve to add additional heat and over cook your tea.
7. Steep your tea according to your taste. An easy way to remember the steep time is to start
with steeping all teas for 2-3 minutes. You will always have a great tea and you can be thinking of
the other matters in your life while the tea is steeping or maybe just close your eyes and
concentrating on your breath for 2-3 minutes. If you feel the taste of the tea is too weak add
more tea to your next steep. Do not steep the tea longer to make it stronger. If you do, you pull
out all the wonderful flavor and leave less for the next steeps you make. If the taste is too strong
reduce the amount of tea in your next steep.
8. While your tea is steeping, rinse your teacup or mug with hot water, the same way you rinsed
9. If you like to drink your tea with milk in it, pour the milk into the cup before you pour in the
brewed tea. This keeps the milk from curdling or coagulating. Rice or almond milk, or you can give
your favorite tea its own milk-like flavoring by adding Tahitian vanilla beans or extract to your cup
or pot (this is a great tip for people who can't have dairy).
10. Before pouring the tea, shake the tea pot a little and then let the tea leaves settle again. Now
pour the liquid into your favorite cup or mug.
11. Taste the tea, and then add sweetener or lemon if necessary. You put the sweetener or lemon
in last for the same reason you taste a meal before you add salt (you don't put salt at the bottom
of the plate and then put your meat over it). Some teas are sweeter than others and you may not
need to add anything at all. And every cup or pot of tea you brew will be different from the
last--you may have added a pinch more or less tea, or let it steep for a few more seconds. These
factors will change the taste.
If you do use sweetener and don't want to use sugar, agave (from the cactus plant) or honey, I
recommend and urge that you stay away from the chemicals in those blue, pink, and yellow
packets and try Stevia, a non-caloric natural sugar substitute, instead, which you can find at any
health food store.
By Dr. Tea, of Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium. Author of The Ultimate Tea Diet.
Tea Tips: www.teatips.tv