I love free educational tea classes!!!
I love Smith Teamaker so I was super excited when I saw they were offering a webinar on line. I am always looking for tips in tea making!
I quickly signed up to see what I could learn. You are never to old to learn and you can never know enough about something. Getting someone else thoughts and tricks on how they do things can always be useful. You never know what you learn.
I got signed up with 99 others. I was so excited to see what Sara was going to teach us. I learned several tips and tricks!!
Sara went over 6 different ways to make tea:
2. Tea Pot
3. Gawain/Small Pot
4. Grandpa/Farmer Style
5. Tea Press
6. Iced Tea- hot/cold brew
It was fun to see her make each style and explain how and why she was doing it that way. We could also message in questions to her and she would give more explanation of something.
The biggest tip/trick I learned was adding water first to the cup/mug or the tea pot. I usually drop the tea bag in first, but Sara said not too.
Here is why-
Let the mug/cup or tea pot take the brunt of the hot water- do this for all kinds of tea.
Green, White, and Oolong tea need water to be 185-190 degrees for the leaves, since they are more delicate. If you put the water in the mug first the mug takes the brunt of the hot water- not the delicate leaves.
(side note- the cooler the water the sweeter and more delicate the tea)
She also said if you put hot water in the mug first, SEASON THE POT/MUG, let it heat the mug/pot a bit, then pour the water out it heats up the mug/pot and the tea will stay warmer longer. Then add your 185 degree water, then your tea, and steep. That makes sense. She said that if the water is 185 degrees, then it steeps for a few minutes it will be 160 degrees (give or take) when you go to drink it. If you heat you mug /pot with water first the cup/pot will stay warmer longer.
Another thing was WATERING UP- fill you cup or pot part way with the water, add tea and let steep. Then take the bag out and fill the cup or mug up with the remaining hot water. (you are not watering it down, because what you have in the cup/pot is more concentrated and you are now just making the amount that equals the tea you put in).
Same thought here, if you have a Black or herbal tea and the water temp is 212 degrees, by the time you have steeped your tea the temp maybe down to 180. So, by adding more 212 degree water (after you remove the tea) you are heating it back up. Now, this would not work for me, because of my delicate tongue. I can't do super hot teas, but I get the concept.
The other interesting thing I learned was not to have the tea pot lid on all the way when steeping the lighter more delicate teas. Allow some of the airspace to help the flavors.
I emailed Sara for clarification on the airspace with steeping in a tea pot, this is what she said-
"When steeping delicate teas like white, green, and oolongs it’s helpful to leave some breathing room for the air to escape to keep the tea from getting a “stewed vegetable” taste to it. It’s most apparent with green teas. I always keep it slightly covered so too much heat doesn’t escape, but enough to allow the steam to disperse into the air rather than back into the teapot." From Sara Kaufman
The hour went so fast!!!!
I have always said that tea won't go bad- and she agreed. She said it may not be as good as before but it won't go bad.
You want to store your tea in airtight containers and don't let moisture in.
Another thing I had heard before was that tea will pick up the aromas around it. I emailed Sara about this too, I wasn't sure what the exact word was, so she emailed me back, "Tea is hygroscopic. Which means that it absorbs moisture and flavor from its environment. That’s why when you leave it in your spice cabinet it will start smelling and tasting like curry. The wonderful flipside of that, however, is that the same process is how we get such wonderfully fragrant teas as Jasmine Pearls. With Jasmine Pearls they intentionally layer a sheet of green tea and a sheet of jasmine blossoms (think food dehydrator on a very large scale) so that when the jasmine blooms the green tea absorbs the scent of the flowers. Pretty cool, huh?"
So be careful where you store your tea.
If your tea is in the cupboard or pantry is by onions or something with a strong aroma? I would move the tea.
Even iced tea in the fridge should have a lid on it, because if you have something else in the fridge that smells your inced tea could pick up the aroma. And I have had that happen.
Watch for other tea companies to be offering webinars or YouTube videos. Learning about tea is so helpful and fun.