How to Brew Tea: Brewing & Serving Tips

A little tea education can help you choose the teas to please your palate most. Here are a few simple explanations to help you understand some of the differences in your favorite teas.
How to Brew China Mist Iced Tea
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You can purchase China Mist Iced Tea in filter packets or in loose tea format. For automatic home iced tea brewers, follow instructions of the manufacturer.

How to Brew Tea with a Filter Packet: 1. Place one filter packet teabag into a 1/2 gallon container. 2. Pour 1 quart boiling water over teabag and allow to steep 5 to 7 minutes or to taste. 3. Remove teabag. 4. Pour 1 quart of filtered cold water into the tea. 5. Serve over ice. 6. Garnish with your favorite fruit or orange slice to taste.

How to Brew Loose Tea: 1. Place one 3/4 ounce packet of tea into a 3/4 gallon container. 2. Pour 50 ounces of boiling water over tea allow to steep 5 to 7 minutes to taste. 3. Strain the resulting tea from the tea leaves. 4. Pour an additional 46 ounces filter cold water into container. 5. Serve over ice. 6. Garnish with your favorite fruit or orange slice to taste.

How to Brew Leaves Pure Teas Hot Tea
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How to Steep the Perfect 6 - 8 ounce cup of hot tea. Quality water and learning proper tea brewing times are essential for a flavorful cup of tea. In all cases, use the freshest filtered water available.

Start by preheating your pot or cup so that the water does not drop below desired tea brewing temperature while steeping. To do this simply fill your teapot or cup with very hot water and let stand for a about two minutes to preheat it (then toss the water). Now, start with room-temperature, fresh water.

Heat the water to the recommended temperature (see below). Pour the water over tea leaves, teabag or tea sachet and steep as recommended in the timetable below.

If you enjoy brewing stronger tea, we recommend using more tea leaves. You can also experiment with longer or shorter steeping times, and hotter or cooler water.

Black Tea
1 tsp.
205º - 212º
5 minutes
*Darjeeling for 3-5 minutes
Green Tea
1 tsp.
180º - 190º
1-3 minutes
Oolong Tea (dark)
1 tsp.
205º - 212º
1-2 minutes
*multiple steeps
Oolong Tea (light)
1 tsp.
180º - 190º
1-2 minutes
*multiple steeps
White Tea
1 tsp.
140º - 160º
3-6 minutes
Herbal Tea
1 tsp.
205º - 212º
5-7 minutes
Tea Ingredients
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If you are allergic to a particular fruit, will you be sensitive to the fruit-flavored tea? No. Allergies to fruits are actually allergies to fruit proteins. Our flavorings contain no fruit proteins.

What is the flavor used to make Earl Grey tea? It is Oil of Bergamot.- an essential oil that comes from the rind of a fruit called Citrus Bergamia. The tree is cultivated in southern Calabria (Italy), where the entire supply of bergamot oil is made.


Does herbal tea have caffeine? Herbal teas are not tea in the traditional sense, because they do not come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Herbal teas, or tisanes, are made from herbs, flowers, spices, seeds, etc. Because they do not have any "real tea" in them they normally do not have the caffeine that comes from tea.

How does the caffeine in tea differ from the caffeine in coffee? It is the same caffeine, however, as tea has no component buffers (and coffee has several) the caffeine in teas enters and exits the bloodstream more quickly than that found in coffee. This makes tea a great stimulant for athletes.

How much caffeine is there in tea? According to the Food & Drug Administration of the United States, "a serving of tea (about 5.5 oz.) generally contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine (less than half as much caffeine as in coffee), but the actual levels vary depending on the specific blend and the strength of the brew."

Is there a difference in the caffeine content of Black, Green, Oolong and White Teas? The difference in caffeine content in each type depends on the specific blend, temperature of the water and steeping time. It is a generally held view in the tea industry that black tea contains the most caffeine followed in descending order by oolong, green and white teas. The differences down the scale are subtle, though it is generally held that green tea contains about a third less caffeine than black tea, though some green teas may have the same or more caffeine that some black teas. It is for this reason that the FDA and the Tea Council set general levels for all teas.

Which tea has more caffeine, green or black? It really depends upon how you steep the tea. All teas are lower in caffeine than coffee or soft drinks. Green tea is widely thought to have less caffeine than black, though brewing methods certainly affect the amount of caffeine that ends up in the finished liquor.

BENEFITS OF TEA For more information on the many benefits of drinking tea visit: The Tea Association of the USA

Where Does Tea Come From?
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It’s easy to think that white teas, Green teas, Black teas and Oolongs come from different plants, when in actuality all teas are derived from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis. Regional growing conditions, handling, plucking and processing determine the specific type of tea (white, green, black, Oolong) the leaf will become. Also the “varietal” of the camellia sinensis will add a certain character.

Many of the finest teas are still picked by hand (plucked), usually by women who harvest the tea gardens and estates with extremely sharp blades attached to their finger tips. Harvesting tea in this fashion takes a great deal of skill and experience and is considered to be very skilled labor. Many of the finest tea leaves picked in this manner include only the first two leaves and a bud from the uppermost tip of the stem. The bud refers to the leaf bud and not that of the flower, which grows lower on the bush. Depending on the climate, tea may be harvested from the same plants as many as 7 times per year. Each harvest is called a flush and each flush has its own character.

Most Leaves Pure Teas® come from China, India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon teas), and Japan. In China and Japan, the great majority of tea consumed is green tea. Black teas are most popular in India and Sri Lanka. Our teas are all hand picked (Orthodox method) teas.

Tea is made up of only three components – essential oils, polyphenols and caffeine. Polyphenols is what gives the tea its health benefits, the essential oils is what gives the tea the aroma and flavor and caffeine gives the tea the natural energy lift. DON'T FORGET: A key ingredient of tea is water - the better the water, the better the tea. Many large cities across the U.S. and abroad have chemically treated tap water, so as a general rule, it is best to always use filtered or bottled water when brewing tea, though distilled or reverse osmosis water is not recommended.

Tea Terms
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What is Black tea? Black teas are those teas whose leaves are allowed to fully oxidize before they are dried. Black teas are the most popular type of tea in the Western world today. Rich in polyphenols, several varieties are frequently blended together to create now famous blends (Breakfast, Earl Grey to name a few).

What is Oolong tea? It is allowed to partially oxidize before drying. Its oxidation level falls between green and black tea. Most oolong teas have complex and sometimes fruity flavors and floral bouquets.

What is Herbal tea? Also known as infusions or tisanes these consist of dried flowers and leaves of plants other than Camellia Sinensis and are not truly “teas”. Herbal tinfusions can also be made using fresh flowers, herbs, seeds, roots and bark. Some herbal teas are flavored with fruit, or essential oils and various spices.

What is White tea? White teas are the least processed of all teas. They are essentially plucked, carefully handled and dried. White teas are known for their subtle and sweet flavors. What is a green tea? A tea is defined as a green tea if the leaf has been protected from oxidation. Leaves are plucked and then carefully transported to the factory for processing which includes: withering, rolling, drying (and no bruising or time between rolling and drying, for oxidation).

Where in China are the leaves for your iced teas grown? Most of the leaves are from the Hunan and Yunnan provinces, famous for their teas as well as their spicy foods and beautiful women. Much of our leaf is grown around the 2-3000 ft elevation level in old gardens on bushes 20-45 years in age. Most workers are drawn from local villages and well paid for their services, many are skilled in production as well as plucking experts. It is beautifully, hilly country rich in both tea and food traditions. High mountains loom overhead and the air is clear. The people there do not drink iced teas and, in fact, don’t have the availability of ice. They think our tea drinking habits are odd but like that fact that we utilize their teas.

What is Rooibos? Rooibos is a natural herb that is unique to the South African Cedarburg Mountains. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and abounds in the minerals copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha- hydroxyl and magnesium.

What is Stevia? Stevia is a small perennial shrub that belongs to the Chrysanthemum family of plants and is native to Paraguay. Stevia’s inordinate ability to sweeten, offers a safe, all natural, alternative to artificial sweeteners. In its herb natural herb form Stevia is approximately 10 to 15 times sweeter than the common table sugar. The levels of the plant are rated 70 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. Because the human body does not metabolize the sweet glycosides (they pass right through normal elimination channels) from the leaf or any of its processed forms, it does not adversely affect blood glucose levels and the body obtains no calories. For people with blood sugar, blood pressure or weight problems, Stevia is the ideal sweetener. Stevia is a key ingredient in our Hibiscus Raspberry Frenzy Iced Tea.

What is Fair Trade®? Fair Trade is an innovative, market-based approach to sustainable development. Fair Trade helps family farmers in developing countries to gain direct access to international markets, as well as to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace. By learning how to market their own harvests, Fair Trade farmers are able to bootstrap their own businesses and receive a fair price for their products. This leads to higher family living standards, thriving communities and more sustainable farming practices. Fair Trade empowers farming families to take care of themselves - without developing dependency on foreign aid.

What is USDA Certified Organic? Organic is defined as “an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological activity.” Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all of the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

Do organic teas taste better than non-organic teas? If a tea garden is organic by default, meaning that it has become organic simply because the owners could not afford fertilizers and pesticides, often the flavor of the teas produced will be inferior to a healthy estates non-organic offerings. However - if an estate chooses to convert to organic and has the laborers and the means to care for the estate in a manner that includes good organic farming techniques, the teas will often have a richer and fuller cup potential, sweeter as well.

Serving Tea
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How much tea will one Leaves Sachet make? Ideally, our Sachets will steep an 18-ounce pot of tea.

Does a lime wedge work well as an alternative garnish? No, limejuice clouds iced tea. If you are looking for an alternative garnish, try an orange slice or a strawberry or a wedge of exotic fruit such as mango, pineapple or even star fruit.

Why doesn’t the China Mist I make at home taste the same as it does in my favorite restaurant? The truth of the matter is that we can control all of the variables involved in making great iced tea in a food service establishment. Everything from the type of tea, cleanliness of the equipment, brewing method, water temperature and water quality are consistently monitored and controlled in a food service operation. When we sell tea for home use all we control is the quality of the tea. If the tea is brewed too long or not long enough it can be weak or bitter. Too much chlorine in the water and the tea will smell and taste bad. If the water for the tea and ice is too hard, it can cloud the tea.

General Tea Knowledge
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How was iced tea invented? At the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, in St Louis, Missouri, an Englishman by the name of Richard Blechynden was hired by an association of India tea growers to promote their teas. Unfortunately, the weather was so hot, that there was very little interest in hot teas. Frustrated, Mr. Blechynden poured the black tea over ice to induce people to try it and the rest is history.

How much tea is consumed around the world? After water, tea is the second-most-consumed beverage in the world.

What countries consume the most tea? Ireland has the highest per-capita consumption of tea in the world - about 3.83 cups per person per day. Kuwait is second, at 3.21 cups per person per day. Do Americans consume a lot of tea compared to the rest of the world? Not really. The United States rates near the bottom of the list, consuming about a half cup per person per day. 80% of the tea consumed in the US is served as iced tea.

Our Commitment to Privacy
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What is China Mist Brands’ Privacy Policy? China Mist Brands values our customers and respects your privacy. We collect information about you in our stores and through our websites in an effort to improve your shopping experience and to communicate with you about our products, services, contests and promotions. We do not sell or rent your personal information to third parties.

Our Commitment to Security
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What is China Mist Brands’ Security Policy? The Personal Customer Information you provide -- including your credit card information -- to create and access an account with us and to make purchases from us (whether or not you use an account) is secured using industry standard e-commerce security technology such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology. We use this SSL technology to prevent such information from being intercepted and read as it is transmitted over the Internet. The encrypted credit card information goes directly to our third-party credit card processor’s secure site. Your credit card information in not stored on the China Mist Brands site.