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Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

Using the right water releases tea’s full flavor and aroma.  Water that is hard, chlorinated, or high is fluoride or sediment can ruin even the highest quality of tea.

Water temperature is also crucial.  Water should be just before the boiling point for black tea and cooled just slightly for delicate green tea.  Avoid boiling the water too long as this will destroy the leaves and spoil the flavor.  Additionally, do not re-boil your water.  Be sure to discard old water in your kettle and draw fresh, cold water when making tea.  Previously boiled water contains less oxygen and inhibits extraction from the tea resulting in a lifeless or flat cup of tea. 

Although tea has less caffeine per cup than coffee, here is a simple way to reduce the level even more.  Caffeine is water soluble, so steep the tea bag in a cup of hot water for several seconds, remove the tea bag and discard the liquor.  Use the same tea bag to make a second cup and enjoy.  This is thought to reduce the caffeine by approximately 95 – 97%. 

Caffeine levels in tea are different depending on where they are from and how they are processed. 

In general…

Green tea contains 30 -50 mg of caffeine per cup
Black tea          40-60 mg
Coffee              100 -120 mg

Brewing your tea longer and/or in hotter water will also boost the level of caffeine.


Batavia Tea is especially wonderful iced.

1 gallon fresh water
5 tea bags of Batavia Black Tea

Optional Flavors:
Steep two-three springs of fresh mint with the tea bags
Steep two – three quarter size medallions of fresh ginger
Add Fresh lemon to taste.

Optional Sweetener:
π - 2 cups of sugar or other sweetener

Heat one to two quarts of fresh water to just under boiling point (190 degrees).
Turn off the heat five minutes to a half and hour. Pour tea into a large pitcher and dilute with one to two more quarts of fresh water, adjusting to your preference for strength. Add ice and enjoy. You may also add sweetener or try any of the recipes listed below.

If your iced tea becomes cloudy, it may have cooled too fast. You can restore its clear color by adding a small amount of hot water.