Tea hacks

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See also Coffee hacks

[edit] Hot Tea

  • Brew a concentrated pot of tea, say, using four times the normal amount of loose tea (avoid tea bags at all costs -- they are more expensive, and yield less flavor). During the hectic day, just boil hot water, and add it to a cup 25% filled with former concentrate -- for a perfect cup without repeated hassling. (If you add milk, try keeping at room temperature during the day.)
    • Time the brew exactly to your liking; then add honey or sugar if you wish, but another hack is to use your favorite fruit juice instead (say, about a quarter cup per pot).
  • If you are using tea bags brewed in the mug you can buy mugs with lids in Chinese supermarkets. These keep the tea hotter so its brews better (and stays hot longer). They are also slightly larger that normal mugs so closer to the 1 & 1/2 cups size that tea-bags come in.
  • The essence of chai tea is not the tea itself (which is usually just black tea) but the added spices. This can be found at an Indian grocery store and added to the concentrate above. My recommendation: Tea Masala -- pure spice extract.
  • Zen monk hack: add nothing. Plain hot water (sayu in Japanese; cf. tea ceremony) is surprisingly refreshing. As for the source, avoid tap water. Enlightened way to diminish caffeine habit.
  • When making tea in a pot your teapot should be as warm as possible. Instead of swilling some boiling water around in it, zap it in the microwave for a minute with half an inch of water in the bottom - the perfect temperature for a perfect brew.
  • Remember not to overboil the water! The water becomes less aerated and it will make your tea flat. Also, many green teas should be brewed with water a bit less than boiling... 180-190 degrees or so. I don't bother with a thermometer, just stop the water "right before" it's about to boil, let it sit for 30 seconds, and brew.
  • Drink herb tea (like Celestial Seasonings) to break your caffeine habit and spend less time cleaning the stains normal tea causes on your mug and teeth.
    • Herbal tea is nice, especially when you don't want the caffine. However, herbal tea doesn't have nearly the antioxidants that real tea does. I find it has little flavor either.
  • Green tea leaves and bags can be used more than once.
  • Be careful with keeping warm tea in a pitcher on the counter too long, I have personally seen a pitcher of tea "incubate" something and pour out like runny jello. Very, very unpleasant.
  • When you're done using loose-leaf tea, scoop out the wet leaves and give them to your houseplants. It's a great fertilizer, it's eco-friendly, and your plants will love it. --saladspork 12:32, 20 Apr 2005 (PDT)
  • Drink green tea in situations where you can't readily clean you mug, it leaves less mess in your mug --Lolindrath 09:53, 19 December 2005 (EST)

[edit] Iced Tea

  • My grandmother brewed iced tea in similar concentrations and kept it chilled in a pitcher in the fridge. When it was time to pour, it was diluted in the glass, usually by half. My grandparents liked strong, unsweetened tea.
  • Iced tea too cloudy? While cloudy iced tea doesn't affect the taste, we like it to look nice and sparkling clear. To do this, pour some boiling water into the tea. It should become clear again.
  • On brewing iced tea so it does not become cloudy: According to Alton Brown, Sweet Tea if you strain the tea into room temperature water (instead of cold water), it should stay clear.
  • Keep a bottle of simple syrup (sugar dissolved in hot water) in the fridge at all times to sweeten iced tea with.
  • Try fridge tea: mix 16 ounces of cold water with 3 teaspoons of loose-leaf green tea or 4 teaspoons of loose-leaf black tea, and let steep in the fridge for 24 hours. Strain and drink! Iced tea made with this method is clear 95% of the time.

[edit] Sweeteners

  • I strongly recommend creamed honey over other sweetners. Honey is healthier than other forms of sweetners, and if it is from a local source it may provide some protection from allergies. As for creamed honey, it dissolves much better in hot water/tea than any other sweetner (including regular honey) and it doesn't solidify like regular honey.
  • Hack from Tibetan monks: add butter. Experiment with the amount. Butter lowers tryglycerides and raises metabolic rates. Margarine should be avoided because of its damaging trans-fatty acids.
  • A little sugar (1/2 teaspoon or less) acts as a flavour enhancer for herb teas — especially the fruit flavoured ones that smell good but don't taste of anything.
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