Quick Start Tea Guide

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Want to get quickly and easily get into tea? You’ve come to the right place! With this Quick Start Tea Guide, make tea easy and delicious.

Cup of hot tea in teacup


Hi, I’m Jee, a certified Tea Sommelier and I’m all about making tea easy and delicious.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to tea, I can help!

Read on to find out:

  • 3 ways to make iced tea 
  • How to get into tea
  • Easy steps to make tea properly 
Iced tea in cup

3 Ways to Make Iced Tea

1/ Hot brew method

  • Brew tea in hot water, strain tea leaves, then cool.
  • Takes about 1-2 hours to make, with the bulk of time waiting for the tea to cool in the refrigerator. 
  • I rarely use this method to make iced tea.
  • Recipe: Easy Sweet Tea

2/ Ice chill method

  • Brew tea in hot water, strain tea leaves, then cool quickly using ice. 
  • Takes less than 10 minutes to make.
  • One drawback is that you need a lot of ice to make iced tea using this method.
  • Recipe: Quick & Easy Iced Tea

3/ Cold brew method

  • Brew tea in cold water in the refrigerator for 12 hours, then strain tea leaves.
  • It takes a while (12 hours!) but it’s the BEST way to make iced tea.
  • Iced tea is clean, refreshing, and so smooth.
  • Less caffeine than making tea the other two ways.
  • Recipe: How to Easily Make the Best iced Tea (Cold Brew It!)

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

Iced Tea Cheat Sheets

Join my free email list to get my tea tips in your inbox every week! Plus, get my iced tea brewing cheat sheets.

Tea infuser lifted from mug

How to Get into Tea

If you’re ready to go beyond tea bags and want to get into tea here’s what you need to do:

Drink loose tea

Drink one tea a week

  • The idea is to get to know tea better by drinking one tea for an entire week. Or even a month.
  • You want to get to a point where if you drink that tea 6 months later, you’ll be able to recognize the taste and be able to identify the tea.
  • I do this when I’m trying to get to know a tea. It’s something I learned in my tea sommelier course.

RELATED: Want to Get into Oolong Tea? Start Here.

RELATED: Want to Get into Green Tea? Start Here.

Don’t add milk or sugar

  • Milk and sugar mask the pure taste of the tea so it’s best to drink it without anything added once the tea has been brewed.

Use a mug with infuser

  • I’ve found that a small mug with a big infuser is the best way to make tea properly without using traditional tea vessels like a gaiwan or a clay teapot.

My Mug with Infuser Pick:

Use an electric kettle

  • Not every tea gets brewed in hot, boiling water.
  • Use an electric kettle with a water temperature setting to get the water heated up just right.
  • Best electric kettles for tea

Use filtered water

  • You’ll see me writing this everywhere on the blog: The best water makes the best tea.
  • Water quality plays a huge part in how good your tea tastes.
  • Always make tea with filtered water.
  • Best water filters for tea
Cup of black tea in mug

Easy Steps to Make Tea Properly

There are 5 easy steps to make a proper cup of tea. It’s all down to adding a couple of extra steps.

STEP 1: Boil water.
Check your tea package to see what the water temperature should be.

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.
This is a step that’s important in making tea properly. It’s to make sure the water temperature doesn’t drop when you add hot water into a teapot.

STEP 3: Put tea into teapot and add hot water.
Tea goes in first, then the hot water.

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep.
Covering the teapot ensures the water stays nice and hot as the tea steeps. Check your tea package to see the recommended steep time for your tea.

Steeping tea in water that’s too hot or for too long will definitely make your tea bitter so be aware.

STEP 5: Strain tea leaves and pour hot tea into tea cups.
Don’t leave water sitting in the teapot with tea leaves after the steep time — this will make your tea way too bitter.

See step-by-step with photos:
How to easily make a proper cup of tea

To see how to brew Earl Grey properly:
5 easy steps to make Earl Grey tea properly

To see how to make herbal tea properly:
5 Easy Steps to make herbal tea properly

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