Learn Something New in the New Year — Part 2: Become a Tea Expert - Firefly Books Blog

Firefly Books Blog

Learn Something New in the New Year — Part 2: Become a Tea Expert

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print
Learn Something New in the New Year — Part 2: Become a Tea Expert


In the late 16th century, the Japanese Tea Master Sen No Rikyu said, “Tea is nothing more than this: heat the water, prepare the tea, and drink it properly. That is all you need to know.”

Though we love the idea that pouring the perfect cup of tea could be so simple, having recently published the new 3rd edition of Camellia Sinensis Teahouse’s expert guide to tea, Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties we know there’s a lot more to it.

Tea can react to various factors, from the ratio of tea to water to the length of infusion to the material of your teapot. Fortunately, there is a method you can learn that will help you brew a near-perfect cup of tea every time you boil the kettle.

Now that’s a skill that’s sure to come in handy!


How to Prepare the Perfect Cup of Tea

Step 1: Warm the Teapot
Start by warming your teapot with water. Fill to about a third full, wait 30 seconds, and then discard the water.

Step 2: Add the Leaves
The basic recipe for tea requires one heaping teaspoon (5ml or 2-3g) of tea for every 1 cup (250ml) of water. You can place the leaves directly into the teapot or use a tea strainer. If using a tea strainer, make sure it is as large as possible in relation to the teapot. The more space the leaves have to unfurl in the water, the better the tea will be. Tea eggs are not recommended, as they compress the leaves.

Step 3: Add Water
Pour the water over the leaves, keeping in mind that water quality and temperature are important. You should never pour boiling water over tea leaves, as it can scald the leaves and destroy their delicate aroma. The higher the quality of a green or white tea, the less resistance it will have to hot water. Let the leaves infuse for the required time, usually between 3 and 7 minutes, keeping in mind that small, unbroken leaves will infuse more rapidly.

Step 4: Remove the Leaves
Stop the infusion by pouring the liquid into another container or by removing the filter you used for infusion. An infusion must be controlled to be successful. If it is too short, the character of the liquid will not be revealed; if it is too long, the bitterness of the tannins will overwhelm the aromas of the tea.

Step 5: Serve and Savour


Watch the How-To video on the Camellia Sinensis YouTube channel. 



Get the book:

 Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties (3rd ed.)

in Books Hits: 1695

Author Events   Firefly Books Fall 2021 Catalog PDF