Joshua Kaiser is a tea expert and founder of Milwaukee-based Rishi Tea. He says while every new type of tea gets some getting used to when brewing, there are some good rules to follow to make the perfect cup of tea.
First, making sure the water is the right temperature.
“You want to bring the water to a boil and then let it cool down a little bit, so maybe, boil the water and let it cool for three, four minutes and pour it over the tea,” he says.
The amount of tea varies based on how weak or strong you want to make the cup of tea, but Kaiser recommends starting with two teaspoons per cup and adjusting from there.
Once you’ve measured out the tea and cooled the boiling water, pour the water over the tea and let it sit for three minutes. After three minutes, strain out the tea and the drink is ready to be enjoyed. He recommends steeping the tea in a French press to make the straining process easier.
Kaiser says he doesn’t add anything to his teas, and that adding milk or sugar takes away from the experience.
“Really fine teas have unique aromatic profiles, different levels of bittersweetness and sweetness and the aftertaste is something to behold. When you add lemon or milk or sugar to a fine tea, you’re really missing the point. Tea is just something that tastes lovely on its own,” he says.
From there it is just about finding the right tea to enjoy. For those looking to avoid caffeine, he recommends rooibos tea which is an herbal tea with a nice red color.
He also recommends fitting the tea to the season.
“During these cold winters, it’s important to drink teas that will warm up your constitution, warm up your body and increase your metabolism. So darker teas, more fermented teas like a ruby oolong or Tieguanyin oolong or a Pu’er tea, those are really good to warm up your body during this wintertime,” he says.