Loose leaf teas are sensitive to heat and brewing time variances, so paying attention to the details is best for the optimal cup. Our recommendation? Invest in a tea thermometer, and check the temperature of your water before adding in the tea. At right are optimal temperatures and brew times for the most popular varieties.
• Black tea
• Green tea
• White tea
• Oolong tea
• Herbal tea
• Rooibos tea
MAD FOR MATCHA
The same healthy benefits of green tea are much more concentrated in powdered matcha. Brew it on its own, stir it into drinks, smoothies and oatmeal, or even incorporate it into pancakes or baked goods. Whole Foods, Red Stick Spice Co. and others offer containers of the bright-green powdered tea.
SENCHA WITH MATCHA BY YAMAMOTOYAMA
Go for a mix of matcha and sencha green tea leaves—two of Japan’s most popular varieties of green tea—with this blend. Find it at Vinh Phat, 12351 Florida Blvd., for $3.99 per package.
3350 Highland Road, highlandcoffeesbr.com
Eternal Spring (left)
Oolong tea packaged and sold by Highland Coffees with a deep scent and relaxing taste. $8.20 for 4-ounce bag
Gen Mai Cha (right)
Traditional Japanese green tea packaged and sold by Highland Coffees with roasted popped brown rice in the mix. $8.20 for 4-ounce bag
RED STICK SPICE CO.
660 Jefferson Highway, redstickspice.com
Rooibos Renewal by SoGo Tea Co. (left)
Made with green rooibos, orange peels, rose petals and mallow flavors, creating a mellow and complex flavor. $3.29 per ounce
Tropical Vacay by SoGo Tea Co. (right)
A bright, energetic green tea blended with fruit, calendula, safflower and cornflower. $3.29 per ounce
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
7529 Corporate Blvd., wholefoodsmarket.com
Chamomile Medley by Rishi Tea (left)
A caffeine-free herbal tea made with chamomile blossoms, lemongrass and spearmint. $4.49 per ounce
Good Hope Vanilla by Republic of Tea (right)
A bright red rooibos tea with a strong, rich taste courtesy of vanilla beans. $2.49 per ounce
8342 Perkins Road
Dried Bitter Melon Tea (left)
It smells tangy, but this tea imported by Asian Market has a more muted taste. $3.46 for 1.58-ounce package
Dried Rose Tea (right)
Try this one, also imported, for its pleasant aroma—or to watch its dried rosebuds expand into tiny floating flowers. $3.46 for 1.58-ounce package
This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.