Drinking a hot cup of black tea is one of life’s most simple pleasures. It can perk you up in the morning and it can help you unwind in the afternoon. And knowing how to brew black tea is essential to exploit its countless health benefits.
Weight loss, improved digestion, improved cardiovascular and brain function, plus a ton of antioxidants are just a few. It is simple to make black tea at home, but a little extra effort to prepare it exactly right is worth it.
With so many positive associations with this beverage, why risk a subpar cuppa?
- 1 Ingredients
- 2 Brewing the Black Tea
- 3 Black Tea Recipes
- 4 How Long to Brew Black Tea?
- 5 How to Consume Black Tea
- 6 How to Drink Black Tea
- 7 Best Time to Drink Black Tea
- 8 How Much Black Tea Should I Drink?
- Black tea of your choice (loose-leaf, preferably)
- Tea Kettle
- Strainer or tea ball
- Your favorite mug
Brewing the Black Tea
Many people have asked me about the best and simplest way to brew black tea. So, I’ve prepared a simple guideline you can follow to prepare your perfect cup of black tea:
There are many kinds of teapots to choose from. To brew black tea, a ceramic teapot is your leading choice. Ceramic holds the heat best, and since black tea requires a high temperature this works best.
The thick walls of the teapot will hold the heat in longer, thus allowing your beverage to sit longer. Be sure that your teapot is completely cleaned and rinsed out before you start.
How Much Tea
Measure out the appropriate amount of tea leaves. Depending on how strong you like your black tea, 2-4 grams is a good amount. Add leaves directly to the teapot, or into an infuser if you are using one.
To simplify the process, use one teaspoon of leaf tea for each cup you want to make.
The best way to brew black tea is to use freshwater. Water temperature is very important, too.
Different types of tea do better with different temperatures. A green tea, for example, is best at a slow boil, which is just under a rolling boil. Black tea, however, is ideal at a rolling boil, or 212 F (100°C).
Pour the water directly onto the tea leaves. This will help release the flavor better for a fuller taste.
Cover the teapot. Generally, you want to leave black tea to steep for 3-5 minutes. The exact amount depends on your taste and the type of leaves themselves.
To determine your ideal time, check the strength of your tea starting at 3 minutes, and every 30 seconds after that until you find your preference.
Once you are done steeping, remove the tea leaves either by removing the strainer or pouring your tea through a filter. If you do not remove the tea leaves completely before you drink, the taste will be affected.
To maximize the health benefits of drinking black tea, it is recommended to drink it, well…black. However, if that isn’t enjoyable for you then feel free to add a bit of sugar, honey, lemon, or milk.
By now, you have learned how to brew black tea with ease. Serving it will be less of a problem. Just don’t try lemon and milk at the same time and you’ll be good!
Also, I will cover some of the possible options on how to serve black tea by revealing some of the best and most popular black tea recipes in the world.
Black Tea Recipes
Did you know that there is so much more to a cup of black tea than just plain tea? Sometimes a nice, simple cup of tea is what you need. But other times you are in the mood for something special.
Here are some ways to enjoy your daily intake of black tea while spicing things up.
How To Make Black Tea Taste Better
A straight black tea may be too strong for some taste buds. It can taste bitter, especially depending on how it was prepared. There are several things you can do to cut the bitterness.
For starters, you may try steeping it for less time. Many people like to add milk and a spoonful or two of sugar, but honey and lemon are also popular favorites.
Be sure that you don’t add lemon if you are also adding milk. The two do not combine well and may make your tea go bad.
Black Tea Blend Recipes
You can do a quick search for DIY recipes to mix your special blend of tea. Why settle for a standard blend of Earl Grey when you crave a more exotic taste.
You can add fruit flavors, spices, or herbs. Additionally, you can even mix different types of tea leaves for a new taste.
If you are looking for a strong yet fruity taste, try combining some black tea leaves with dried fruit or even berry flavored tea leaves. Looking for something with a kick for a chilly, snowy evening?
Add some mulled spices to your teapot. Even a few mint-leaves in with your black tea will give your cup a special twist.
Black Iced Tea
Nowhere is black iced tea more popular than in the American South. This drink has become iconic down there and is very simple to make on your own.
There are two methods for making iced tea: hot brew or cold brew. Start with 8 cups of water, either hot or cold depending on which method you opt for. Add 3 tablespoons of loose-leaf tea or 6 tea bags.
For hot brew, allow to steep for 4 minutes, then remove tea bags or pour through a strainer to remove loose leaves. Refrigerate. For cold brew, allow leaves to remain up to 36 hours, then remove.
Cold-brew iced tea is less bitter than hot brew but beware. You lose many of the health benefits by forgoing the heating process. The tannins will not get released from the black tea leaves without heat.
Recipe for Black Iced Tea
- Boil 8 cups of water.
- Remove water from heat. Add 3 tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea or 6 tea bags. Steep for 4 minutes.
- Remove tea bags or pour through a mesh strainer to remove loose leaves. Pour into a glass container or other heatproof container.
- To prepare sweetened tea, add a mixture of sugar water: ¾ cup of sugar melted into ¾ cup of boiling water.
Black Tea with Milk
Milk tea comes in many forms and is popular to drink all over the world. It can be as simple as a cup of tea with a drop of milk or can be a much more complicated recipe.
Adding milk is an ideal way to cut the bitterness in your black tea. Milk tea is drunk around the world, and in many regions, milk is automatically added unless specifically requested not to.
Two very trendy milk teas right now are masala chai and bubble tea. Masala chai is a quite spicy black tea from India, served with half water, half milk.
Bubble tea was popularized in Taiwan and has been getting some notice around the world. It, too, is made with black tea and milk, with a wide assortment of flavors available to add in, and tapioca pearls at the bottom. It is a very unique drink!
Black Tea Latte
Another variation on milk tea is a tea latte. However, instead of adding regular cold milk, the milk is steamed and frothed. It can be served iced or hot.
Chai tea lattes are the most popular version of this drink, though you could make it in most flavors. Earl Grey is another popular one to use when making this beverage.
In fact, any black tea leaf would work as it is similar in astringency to espresso.
How Long to Brew Black Tea?
The question to consider here is how strong do you like your black tea? The stronger your drink is, the more bitter and astringent it will taste. The weaker it is, the less likely you will need to add sweetener to it.
A good rule of thumb to follow when you are making black tea is to allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes. When you are first learning how to make your tea, and how you like it, it is best to set a timer for 3 minutes.
Take a taste test every 30 seconds after that until you reach a point you like. Then you will know your ideal steeping time for every cup after that.
You will need to start this process over again for each new tea you buy. Not all tea leaves are the same, and the taste can vary from brand to brand.
How to Consume Black Tea
The first step to enjoying your ideal cup of tea is making sure you choose the correct tea leaf for your taste. Before you purchase, you may want to head to your nearest tea shop for some samples.
Many people prefer their first cup of black tea in the morning. Also, most of them add honey and a little milk. Some of them add sugar, too. It depends on your taste and personal liking.
I like my black tea with lemon and honey. I prefer it in the mornings and afternoon.
So, there is no right or wrong way. You can try out a few cups of the different flavors to decide what type of taste you most enjoy.
How to Drink Black Tea
As tea is gaining in popularity around the globe, so is awareness of the best methods for preparing your tea. Tea bags remain popular (and convenient for travel), but most people are catching on that loose teas make the best cups to drink.
It takes hardly any extra time to measure out the loose leaves, and the benefit is worth it. The leaves are cut and shredded for tea bags, and they lose not only their health benefits but also their rich taste.
Always go with loose tea whenever possible.
Best Time to Drink Black Tea
The best time to drink black tea is throughout the day! It makes a wonderful wake-up beverage, giving you a jolt of caffeine but also soothing you at the same time.
It also is a nice calming treat in the middle of your day, to take a break from your daily stress. After work, a hot cup of black tea is the perfect way to unwind.
How Much Black Tea Should I Drink?
As with all things, remember that moderation is the key. Black tea does have many health benefits, but it is also fairly high in caffeine. A few cups a day is good for you, to get the most out of its health benefits.
However, more than 5 cups each day could be detrimental to you. You would not want to inadvertently cause health damage.