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How to avoid bitter tea

By John Rice, General Manager. When a customer is brewing loose tea for the first time, they sometimes comment that it came out tasting bitter. Unlike most bag teas, high quality loose teas require more care in brewing, and how to do this properly will vary with the particular tea being made. This is why …continue readingcontinue reading

What is the best way to store tea?

Tea will easily get stale if stored improperly, and can sometimes even spoil. For best flavor retention, tea needs to be kept in an air-tight, dark, and dry environment, ideally at a constant temperature and away from odors. Because tea leaves are dried, they are prone to absorbing moisture and aromas of nearby items. Light …continue reading

What temperature water is best for brewing tea?

In general, freshly boiled water is appropriate for black and herbal teas, but steaming (sub-boiling) is best for green, oolong, and white teas.   A lot of people use boiling water all the time and report their tea tastes fine.  Ultimately, your taste preferences are all that matter, so feel free to experiment a bit with …continue reading

How can I get my tea to taste stronger (or weaker)?

The best way to control the strength of your tea is the alter the amount of tea leaves you use rather than changing the brew time. People will often try to let their tea brew a long time to get a strong cup, only to find it tastes bitter. To get the best flavor, you …continue reading

How long do I steep (or brew) the tea?

This can vary significantly from tea to tea, but there are rules of thumb. In general, black tea needs to brew 3-5 minutes for best flavor. They will often get bitter if you let them brew more than 6 or 7 minutes (some much sooner). Green tea often needs only 1 minute, but 2-3 minutes …continue reading

How big is a tea cup?

A tea cup is considered to be 6 fluid ounces, like a coffee cup. So when we say to use 1 tsp. of leaves per cup, if your cup is 8 ounces, you may need to use a bit more leaves to get a full strength cup.

What is a tea strainer for?

Often confused with an infuser, a tea strainer is used when you have placed loose tea leaves in your pot to brew. When ready to pour, you place the strainer over your cup and pour the brewed tea through it to catch any leaves. If you use a strainer, you don’t need to use an …continue reading

What’s that thingy you put the tea leaves in?

Often confused with a strainer, this is a ball or basket that you put your tea leaves in while they brew. The point is easy removal of the leaves once you’re done brewing your tea. You don’t want your brewed tea leaves in the water too long because they will continue to brew and may turn your tea bitter. …continue reading

What do you mean by “steep the tea”?

The verbs to brew, to steep, and to infuse all refer to the process of adding hot water to tea leaves or tea bags and allowing them to sit for a few minutes – in other words, making an infusion.

The Zen master Hakuin . . .

The Zen master Hakuin used to tell his students about an old woman who owned a tea shop in the village. She was skilled in the tea ceremony, Hakuin said, and her understanding of Zen was superb. Many students wondered about this and went to the village themselves to check her out. Whenever the old …continue reading