It`s such an easy thing to release the great aroma and flavour of a Darjeeling tea in your „cup of Mary“. “Cup of Mary”? Well, as coffee people have their “cup of Joe”, I thought: well, “Joe” should have a wife...
"Tea, in the last few decades, has become a pale imitation of itself in the form of the tea bag. The tea bag market continues to rise which shows that the consumer prefers convenience to flavour." IAN BERSTEN, "Coffee floats - tea sinks", 1993.
The preparation of a black tea (loose leaves!) is basically the same as preparing a herbal tea: take 1.75 – 2 g of tea for 250 ml hot water, pour the hot, boiling water over the tea leaves, let it steep, pour it through a strainer in a second pot, drink it. The steeping time for black should be in general between a minimum of 2 minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes, depending on the tea itself as well as on your personal taste-preference.
The only difference between herbal teas and classic black (and also green) tea is: if you use loose leaves (and we are talking here only about leaves, not about tea bags), Your leaves should have sufficient space to unfold in the pot or cup! Only then the full flavour can be released. For that, it is always better to use a separate pot or cup for the steeping! Avoid the use of a tea-egg or similar equipment. After steeping you can pour the tea through a strainer in a second pot or cup.
Black teas are oxidized teas. Teas which are not fully oxidized like e.g. black Darjeeling teas develop best if the water temperature is under the boiling point. The temperature can range from 80°C/175F – 98°C/208.4F
For our First and Second Flush Darjeeling teas we recommend a steeping time of 3 - 5 minutes, for our "Selected Darjeeling" 4 - 5 minutes, depending on the tea itself as well as on Your personal taste-preference. For our green Darjeeling tea we recommend a brewing time of 1.5 - 3.5 minutes.
If You prepare a green tea, it needs, other than black tea, a steeping temperature between 60°C/167°F and max. 80°C/176°F! The reason for this is that amino acids, which contribute to the flavour of a green tea, dissolve at 60°C/167°F, and the tannins, which also contribute to flavour and pungency, dissolve at 80°C/176°F. For that, to have the full flavour - but also the sweetness - of a green tea, and to avoid the astringency and bitterness, caused by the tannins, it is crucial to prepare a green tea within the recommended temperatures.
The steeping time should be between 1 and 3 minutes, depending on the tea itself as well as on your personal taste-preference. The ratio is the same as for black tea: 1.75 – 2 g of tea for 250 ml water.
A measuring spoon (or a small digital scale), 2 teapots, a simple household strainer and a timer. That´s it!
The tea leaves need space to expand and to release their flavour