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Lalith Guy Paranavitana
Did you know there are more than 100 varieties of tea from
just one tea plant called Camellia sinensis? The secret lies in the
different manufacturing techniques, variations in climate and altitude,
type of soil, and the inherent characteristics of the tea plant.
The tea plant has two basic subdivisions -- China Jat and White Jat.
China Jat originated in China. It has a narrow dark leaf and is
associated with high flavor and low yields. White Jat originated in the
Assam province in India. It has a broad, less-dark leaf and is
associated with high yields and relatively less flavor. By seed and
vegetative propagation, many hybrids (clones) of these two subdivisions
have been produced, combining special characteristics and thereby
improving the quality of tea. Suffice to say, that the production of
high quality tea is not a 'mechanized' art, but a human skill.
The amount of tea to be used varies from tea to tea because they have
varying densities. Example – 1 pound of White tea will be more than 4
times in volume, than 1 pound of Gunpowder green tea. Therefore ideally,
weighing the tea is the most accurate way. My standard is 1 gram tea
(any variety) for an 8 ounce cup for light tea, and 2 grams for strong
tea. However, since weighing in grams is inconvenient, use approximately
half teaspoon per cup for light tea and more for strong tea. Please
remember the above example - you need more of large leaf tea and less of
small leaf tea. Green teas, with a few exceptions, tend to taste bitter
when made strong. The cardinal rule in making black tea is to use
boiling water (212 F), not just hot water. For Green tea you may use
less than boiling water, by letting the kettle cool for 2 minutes (see
time/temperature chart below). Fill the pot with boiling water and
replace lid. Set timer as recommended for that particular tea. Allow the
tea leaves to unfurl by stirring the contents permitting free movement
of the leaves. Leaves will absorb water and swell, sometimes as much as
10 times its original volume. After the brewing period is over, stir the
pot one last time and pour into cups through a fine tea strainer. If tea
leaves remain in the pot, the tea would get stronger than desirable and
may even get bitter. Therefore, the leaves should be strained out
immediately after the brewing time ends. Other options are Infuser
baskets, tea presses and tea filters. Whatever method is used, remember
the tea leaves must have enough space to expand. If brewing in a cup or
mug, use an infuser basket or a filter.
We are the only tea company that uses 100% or, at least a very high
percentage of premium Ceylon tea in our flavored teas & black tea
blends. Most companies use the cheaper China black teas. The type of
Ceylon tea we use has been carefully chosen for its flavor and color. In
so doing we also found that the output of tea per pound is also very
high. Example – You need only 2 teaspoons of our blended or flavored
black teas to make a 6 cup pot of tea. This amounts to less than 1 gram
per cup. We advise our customers not to make the tea too strong. These
teas are best when made light. Even the best tea can be ruined by making
it incorrectly and even the worst tea can be made to taste better by
making it correctly. If you are reading this, you are on your way to
making excellent tea!
Water Temperature & Time
||7 – 10 min
||at 200 F
||3 – 4 min
||at 160 - 180 F
||4 – 5 min
||at 190 F
||at 212 F
||at 212 F
Soft water or purified water is best. Hard water may leave a film of oil
floating in the pot or cup due to the interaction between the Flavanoids
in tea and Calcium Hydroxide in the water. Hard water is unsuitable for
tea. Ice tea made with hard water will cloud upon cooling.
All White teas and most Green and Oolong teas are whole leaf teas (the
leaves and buds are complete and not broken into pieces). Most black
teas are broken leaves, because of rolling and therefore not whole
leaves. Whole leaves are capable of giving more than one infusion and
this is one reason for their higher price. In broken or macerated
leaves, tea juice is extracted from the cells during rolling and the tea
particle is coated with concentrated tea juice which is later dried.
When placed in hot water, the tea extract is quickly dissipated into the
water. Whole leaf teas on the other hand are minimally rolled or not
rolled at all and therefore, there is very little concentrate coating
the exterior. Most of the flavor is still retained within the cells and
require repeated brewing to extract all of it. Therefore they are called
multiple infusion teas. Whole leaf teas are best brewed in a glass mug,
cup or pot as you can view the leaves unfurl. In most teas the leaves
will sink to the bottom. Therefore a tea strainer or filter may not be
required. In fact a tea ball, infuser basket or filter may impede
brewing due to restricted space. When brewing is complete, drink the
liquid and simply add more hot water to the same leaves for another
infusion. This process can be repeated several times, by increasing the
brewing time each consecutive brewing, until there is no more flavor to
extract. If in doubt please ask us. We are here to help.
Our Micro-blended teas yield much more than others
because of the excellent quality and types of tea we use.
You can brew 1 Pot (6 cup/1 qt) of tea with one Tea Bag!! If cream or
milk is to be added, use two tea bags. This is possible without
compromising on quality because GUY’S TEA was processed in a ‘Rotorvane’
which reduces the size of the tea leaf without a loss of flavor. Because
tea leaves unfold and restricts the space inside the bag during brewing,
orthodox full leaf teas cannot be used efficiently in bags . By using 2
grams of Rotorvane broken leaf teas in a double chamber flo-thru tea
bag, this problem has been overcome.
On every tea particle, there is a coating of dried concentrated tea
juice which dissolves in water. Frequent dipping of the tea bag in
boiling water causes the tea to be in maximum contact with water at all
times and greatly improves the extraction process.
Duration of brewing in a pot is usually 5 minutes. If brewing in a cup,
remove the bag after a few seconds. You can use the same bag for several
cups. However, brewing in a tea pot is highly recommended. Unused tea
can be refrigerated for Iced Tea.
Cover the tea pot with a tea cozy to retain heat.
Spent tea leaf is a good source of fertilizer.
If tea leaves remain in the pot too long, the tea
may get stronger and bitter. Remember; flavor comes out first and
Excessive tannins make the tea taste bitter.
Shelf life of tea is more than 24 months if kept
airtight in a dry place. Tea should not be kept in the refrigerator
as it will absorb
moisture and food smell.
Use a dry spoon to measure tea.