Top 10 Mistakes You Make When Brewing Tea

mistakes you make when brewing tea

Look everyone makes mistakes. When it comes to tea though, making a mistake can mean the difference between a tasty hot cup of heaven, or a cup of sewer water. Ok maybe I am exaggerating
a little bit, but the reality is, making a few little mistakes can really dampen the flavour of your tea!

Mistakes Not To Make When Brewing Tea

  1. Over brewing the tea
    Some teas need to be steeped for 2 minutes, some need to be steeped for 8 minutes. With every new tea you buy, you should make sure to read the recommended steeping times. One of the biggest mistakes “newbies” to tea make is simply steeping it until they think it should be good, and then drinking the tea. Next time, read the tea label, and prepare according to instructions. Some people like to tweak the steeping times a bit, and this is totally fine, but make sure you follow the recommendation at least once so you can see how the tea was intended to taste.
  2. Not boiling the water to the right temperature
    There are some golden rules you need to follow when it comes to water temperature. You don’t want to damage the tea! Also, some teas take a little hotter water in order to get the flavours out into the water. As an example, Japanese Green tea is typically steeped with water at 74 degrees. In contrast, White tea should be steeped at 94 to 98 degrees. We did an entire write up on “Does Water Temperature Really Matter”, now is a good time to go read that post!
  3. Using a Tea Ball
    If you still have one of these things, throw it in the garbage immediately. The thing with the tea ball is that it doesn’t let the tea expand to give the water the natural flavour that is pent up inside the tea. If you want to see a video of exactly what we mean when we say “Ban the Tea Ball
  4. Using too much, or too little tea when brewing the tea
    Certain teas require that you use two heaping table spoons of tea. Some require just two teaspoons. If you use the wrong amount of tea for that magical cup, you are going to end up wasting a lot of perfectly good tea, or worse yet, making yourself a nasty cup of tea.
  5. Buying the wrong tea
    Some people think that they will like the same teas that everyone else likes. The reality is you need to find a great quality tea company, and then explore and experiment with the different teas they provide. A great tea company will tell where the tea comes from, how it was prepared, and even what port it was shipped from! There are many “cheep” tea places out there, especially on the internet, so make sure you do your research before spending your precious money on the wrong tea.
  6. You think grocery store tea bags are actually tea
    Ok sure it is “real” tea, but it is pretty much the lowest quality, worst tasting tea you will ever drink. This is like saying you’ve eaten Italian Fettuccini Alfredo, when in reality all you’ve done is microwaved a no-name box of instant Alfredo. Do yourself a favor and buy some loose tea, and welcome to the world of… heaven. Welcome to heaven.
  7. Microwaving your water, or using hot tap water
    Ok I never considered the fact that anyone would ever want to do this, but I have a friend (I won’t mention his or her name here) that told me in order to save time, they basically poor in hot water from the tap. Later if the tea gets cold, they microwave it. *Sad Face*. The problem with doing this is a microwave messes with all the little subltle things that makes tea amazing. Even further, it gets rid of many of the health benefits in that cup of tea you were enjoying. Using hot water from a tap that hasn’t been brought to a boil will bring all sorts of funky flavours to your tea as well. Just make a new batch!
  8. Not storing your tea properly
    That precious tea you spent your hard earned money on needs to be stored properly! If you have it above your stove where all your spices, sugar, and other fun things are… run and move it immediately. It is actually the most common place to store tea, but it is the worst place because the heat from your stove will help all your spices mix in with your teas, and you will end up with some pretty awful stuff. Also, make sure your teas avoid heat, sunlight, and moisture.
  9. Use creamers or half and half instead of milk
    Don’t even get me started with creamers. You do realize that creamers are actually grey and nasty looking until they turn them white with a bunch of chemicals. The incredible amounts of chemicals that will go into that poor cup of tea will turn your tea nasty, and remove all the health benefits of tea. Half and half is a little bit better than creamer, but not much because it is far too heavy for your tea, and it will not taste as good as it would with milk.
  10. Use a rusty teakettle, or an electric teakettle to boil your water
    Many of us have a favourite way of boiling our water, but just make sure that you are using a tea kettle that has no rust on it. After may years, your tea kettles can rust at the bottom, and you don’t want any of that in your tea. So just check, and if you have rust, time to go buy a new one. Oh right, about that electric teakettle. Throw it out!!!!

So there you have it folks, 10 mistakes you might be making when brewing your tea! We hope this helps you get the most out of your tea. If you have any other tips, make sure you share them with us in the comments below!


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  • Jill

    The only thing I sort of disagree with is the microwave. You can heat water in the microwave with no ill effects and without it exploding and it is unlikely to harm the phytonutrients in tea if you do microwave tea.

    • Erin Carrasco

      It’s the taste Jill, the taste!  It’s like heating soup up on the stove versus heating it in the microwave. It taste better on the stove :)

      • Mary

        I think what Jill is suggesting is using the “boil water” function on the microwave to warm the water and THEN adding the tea bag. But that’s what my Granny, who is afraid of her gas stove, does.

        • Erin Carrasco

          I still thing anything that’s done in the microwave tastes different than if heated on the stove. But that’s just me!

  • Amanda Meyer

    Lots of great advice, but wondering why the hatred for an electric kettle? I find it a fast and easy way to heat my water to the appropriate temperature.

    • Erin Carrasco

      I don’t hate the electric kettle, just the plastic electric kettle!

  • Anonymous

    Why do you recommend not using an electric tea kettle?

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