HOW TO STEEP
THE PERFECT TEA
A cup of steaming tea is more than simply soothing since this ultimate
comfort beverage is filled with extraordinary health benefits. While tea is a
catch-all name for anything from a drink from the leaves of the tea plant to
herbal blends (tisanes or infusions) of leaves, roots, grains, or dried fruits,
the drink in all forms is a variation of kindness in a cup.
BY ELIZABETH RIPPS
PHOTOS BY DAVID YOUNG-WOLFF
MODEL REBECCA BENENATI HAIR & MAKEUP BY MEGAN PORSCHEN
Prepared from Camellia sinesis leaves that
have undergone minimal oxidation during
processing, green tea leaves are plucked,
sorted, steamed, or minimally pan-fired to
enhance flavor and nutrients.
Green tea is valued for its wealth of antioxidants and cancer-fighting components,
including catechins and flavonoids. The
phytochemicals have been shown to boost
immunity, reduce hypertension, reduce risk
of heart disease, and improve cellular functions. Green tea increases metabolism by
turning on ‘fat burners’ within the body, is
great for skin, and increases alertness as a
result of its slight caffeine levels.
How to Brew
If your water is too hot, then the tea will
take on a bitter flavor. Ditto if you steep for
too long. Boil water at a maximum temperature of 140 degrees; best to simmer it at a
slightly lower temp to bring out the delicate
flavor. Steep for no longer than three to five
With an earthy flavor, green tea is delicious
on its own, sweetened with honey or agave,
or freshened with lemon.
Stand Out Flavors
Jasmine (combined with the fragrant flowers) and genmaicha (combined with roasted
brown rice) have robust yet delicate flavor
profiles and are among the most common
green tea varieties.
Green tea is excellent for breakfast, as a
dessert accompaniment, or paired with a
simple sweet treat.
With delicate leaves, white tea is the least
processed and has a smoother, subtler flavor than its counterparts.
This brew is also rich in antioxidants and
cancer-fighting compounds; white tea has
been shown to lower cholesterol, boost
heart health, and it functions as a wonderful antibacterial and antiviral.
How to Brew
White tea will also lose flavor if brewed too
hot or steeped too long. Concoct an optimal cup of white tea by starting with water that is hot but not boiling: simmer and
steep your tea bag for no longer than three