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Brewing Methods

How to Brew the Perfect Cup

At Celestial Seasonings, we consider making and drinking tea an art form that’s easy to master. Here are some tea-brewing basics to get you started.

Brewing Basics

While you’re heating the water for your next cup, be sure to think about the three basic principles of brewing tea. Have a plan before you pour.

  • Freshness. Try to use fresh, filtered water each time you brew. Repeatedly boiling and cooling water brings oxygen (the “O” in “H20”) out of solution – resulting in flat-tasting water and (eventually) tea. In addition, the taste and odor of chlorine in water masks many of tea’s subtler flavors, so filtered or spring water is the way to go if possible.
  • Temperature. Most types of tea call for a full, rolling boil to bring out the best aroma, flavor and benefits. The notable exceptions are green tea and white tea, which taste best when cooler water (around 190 F) is used.
  • Steeping time. The most common brewing mistake is over-steeping, which can bring out off flavors and increase bitterness. Keep a timer (or a timer app) handy to make sure you remove the tea bag at just the right moment.

Our Senior Blendmaster, Charlie Baden, recommends the following brewing instructions based on type of tea. Remember to check the box for specific instructions for the tea you’re making.

Black

  • Boil

    Bring fresh, filtered water to a rolling boil.

  • Steep

    Pour 1 cup water over a tea bag in a cup. Steep 3 to 5 minutes and remove tea bag.

  • Enjoy

    Add milk and/or sweetener if desired and enjoy.

Learn about black tea

Green

  • Heat

    Heat fresh, filtered water until very hot but not boiling. (Green tea tastes best with slightly cooler water.)

  • Steep.

    Pour 1 cup water over a tea bag in a cup. Steep 2 minutes and remove bag.

  • Enjoy.

    Sweeten if desired and enjoy.

Learn about green tea

Herbal

  • Boil

    Bring fresh, filtered water to a rolling boil.

  • Steep

    Pour 1 cup water over a tea bag in a cup. Steep 4 to 6 minutes and remove bag.

  • Enjoy

    Sweeten if desired and enjoy.

Learn about herbal tea

Try It Iced

Many Celestial teas taste great served over ice. Check the box to see if we’ve included iced brewing instructions – if so, we’ve tested your tea and it’s ready for your pitcher. Making a pitcher of refreshing iced tea takes mere moments. Just pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 tea bags in a heat-resistant pitcher. Steep according to package directions, then add 2 cups cold water. Serve over ice. Makes one quart.

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