Black tea is the most common type of tea & the easiest tea to brew. Black tea has the strongest flavours of all tea types when brewed. Use quality tea leaves & follow the simple brewing instructions to ensure that you never have a cup of bitter tea.
The flavours in black tea are a result of many factors including the region, soil conditions, climate, Camelia Sinensis variety, the treatment of the leaves from plucking through to drying and then processing. To really appreciate the differences in the flavours it is important to brew the tea correctly.
It’s important to know what temperature is best suited for your leaves.
Brewing tea longer will not automatically increase the caffeine concentration in your tea. Caffeine content is a result of leaf size (the smaller the higher in caffeine) and the processing. The more processed the leaves are, the higher the caffeine content in your cup of tea.
How to brew black tea
Our high quality loose-leaf teas can be brewed multiple times due to the way they are harvested and processed. There is a chineses saying that your first brew is for your enemy, your second for a friend & the third brew is for yourself.
The flavours in artisanal teas are revealed throughout the multiple brewing sessions & some of the exceptional flavour notes are only discovered when brewed multiple times.
Some of our full leaf Ceylon black teas might give more than 5 excellent infusions, each with different flavours coming through. Our Chais Teas with a black tea base are also good to be brewed multiple times. The spices we use are not powder, they are whole pieces, allowing the flavours to keep infusing your brew multiple times.
The really fine, lower quality tea used in tea bags will only give one full flavoured brew due to the fact that they are highly processed & the surface area of the grains is so small that all the flavour is lost in the first brew. It is because of this that it can be easy to end up with a bitter cup of tea from a tea bag.
We recommend approximately 2 grams of tea to be brewed for each cup as that will be perfect for a great tasting cup.
Perfect black tea temperature
Black tea leaves are easy to brew & in general they lend themselves to suiting most people's tastes. These are the leaves that people enjoy black or add sugar, milk or honey to. Be careful though, the broken orange pekoe (breakfast style) types of teas are those that can be readily added to. Some stronger Earl Grey brews, and our Wild Teas are best enjoyed without milk added. Of course this is personal preference. Our tip is to try it black first & then decide if you would like to add flavours.
Black tea is easy to brew, and it’s a great healthy alternative to coffee. Boiling a kettle & pouring the water over a tea bag is often the first contact many of us had with tea.
With loose tea things can be a bit more exciting & more of a personal, relaxing experience. Although you can still brew black tea leaves with boiling water, some changes in flavours might surprise you if you slightly change your brewing time.
Picker’s Breakfast & Earl Grey
As Picker’s Breakfast andEarl Grey are western-style blends, the best way to brew them is using boiling water (100’c) and brew for 3-5 minutes based on individual taste preferences. They usually give one to two great infusions, but you might be able to re-steep some of them a few more times.
Some larger leaf artisanal Ceylon teas like our Thieves’ Tea can be re-steeped for 2-3 times.
Thieves’ Tea is a larger leaf tea which has been created in a traditional stone mortar. The flavours have been retained & will therefore keep infusing for up to 3 full flavoured brews. These leaves should be brewed at 100’c and taken out of the water after 3-4 minutes. Another brew is possible using the same process. You will notice subtle changes in the flavours being released into your cuppa.
Mama D’s Tea
Mama D’sis a very strong, robust, full bodied tea which can be enjoyed with or without milk. Take care when brewing Mama D’s and only brew for 1-2 minutes using boiling water. Due to the hand processed, smaller leaf size you can find yourself with a cuppa that will have a party in your mouth if you over brew this tea!
Wild Forest Tea
This full leaf tea is milder in flavour than the other black teas in our range. That being said though, the flavours in Wild Forest tea are so unique & the leaves will keep giving you a changing flavour palette throughout multiple brews. Use boiling water & brew for 4-6 minutes, remove the leaves from the water & enjoy the flavours of the wild forest where these leaves were harvested.
Sumudu Chai & Fire Chai
Black tea with organically grown spices from the same plantation are used to create our Sumudu Chai and Fire Chai teas. The spices are in larger pieces and not powder, they therefore retain the full flavours of the spice & create an aromatic brew for multiple infusions. Use boiling water (100’c) and brew for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea from the water & enjoy with or without adding milk, sugar or honey.
5 tips for brewing loose leaf black tea
- Take the leaves out of the water. The key is to take the leaves out of the water after 3-5 minutes. Do not leave the tea leaves sitting in the water in the cup or teapot after this time.
Preheat the teapot
Preheating the teapot is essential for developing the perfect flavour. Preheated teapots will keep the water temperature high throughout the brewing.
Use boiling water
Do not use coller water as it will not bring out the rich flavours in the black tea leaves.
Use small broken leaves for more caffeine
Tea with smaller, broken leaves contain more caffeine.
Avoid adding milk or sugar directly to the teapot
Adding milk will change the temperature that the tea is brewed at. Pour your tea into your cup before adding milk, sugar or honey.