In China, tea has been cultivated for over 2000 years. And the first book on tea was written during China's Tang Dynasty (618 to 907) by a monk called Lu Yu, otherwise known as the Sage of Tea. It should be to no surprise that over this long period of time, people developed the knowledge of how to properly brew tea and what definitely not to do.
The Don'ts Of Tea
• Drink tea on an empty stomach.
Tempting as it is to get up in the morning and brew up your favorite tea to get that chi flowing, its best to eat at least something before doing so. This is especially the case when it comes to teas with higher caffeine content. Have you ever felt slightly nauseous when drinking green tea in the morning? That's the green tea caffeine content and tannins irritating the stomach. To avoid this, try eating a little something beforehand. Or perhaps, start your morning off with some vitalizing herbal tea and switch to green tea sometime after you have eaten.
Although it's not for everyone, you can also try drinking pu-erh tea in the morning. When anything is fermented, there is a variety of micro-organisms that are born to aid our bodies. The same is with pu-erh. The micro-organisms that thrive in our fermented friend pu-erh help increase the healthy bacteria in our stomachs, in turn benefiting our digestion. These enzymes help to wake up the stomach, body, and mind gently.
• Gong fu cha shortly before going to bed.
Although the content is lower than in a cup of coffee, tea still contains caffeine. Brewing tea gong fu style means we get many concentrated infusions. It might just get you tea drunk, and that's not always what we want before bed!
• Brew green and white teas with boiling water.
Green and white teas are minimally processed, which means they are quite gentle. Brewing them with boiling water will actually put the hard work of the farmers to waste. To preserve all the fresh qualities of a green tea, tea farmers make sure to heat the tea leaves only in quick rounds, thus keeping all the bountiful benefits. Brewing the tea with boiling water will only kill more of its great qualities. On the other hand, many oolongs, pu-erh, and tisanes should be brewed with boiling water.
Note: For green and white teas especially, try making cold brew tea! This will even further preserve the health benefits of these teas.
• Over-steep tea.
As you may have noticed, the longer you steep tea leaves, the darker and more bitter the tea gets. Every tea has an ideal brewing time, and it is best to follow it to enjoy a sweet-tasting, delicious tea.
• Brew tea in tea bags.
The convenience of tea bags may be appealing at first, but we find the reasons not to more compelling:
The tea leaves in tea bags are usually of lesser quality.
• In tea bags, unbroken loose leaf tea doesn't have enough room to expand and brew properly. • Buying loose leaf tea is more economical. • Tea bags are most often not environmentally friendly and may even be hazardous to health. • You can, however, buy or make your own sustainable tea bags to make tea brewing easier if you are on the go.