Brewing Times & Temperature
Green & White Teas
Green and white teas made from the camellia sinensis plant are delicate teas that take the shortest amount of time for brewing.
Green - Brew green tea at 176 - 180 degrees and let steep for 2-3 minutes for loose leaf and 1-2 minutes in a bag.
White - White teas are highly prized and delicate teas. Brew at 150-155 degrees for no more than 1-2 minutes for loose leaf.
Black and oolong teas made from the camellia sinensis plant are delicious, hardier teas that take longer to brew than white teas, but less time than a tisane.
Black - Brew black tea at 210 - 212 degrees and let steep for 3-5 minutes for loose leaf and tea bag.
Oolong- Brew at 175 - 190 degrees for no more than 2-3 minutes for loose leaf and tea bag.
Rooibos is not a traditional tea. Rooibos (or redbush) is made from the oxidized leaves of shrub found in the South African Western Cape mountains. It has a number of healthful benefits and is non-caffeinated. Honeybush is from the same rooibos family and has a slightly sweeter taste reminiscent of chocolate and honey.
Brew rooibos or honeybush at 210 - 212 degrees for 6-7 minutes for loose leaf and tea bag.
Tisanes / Herbal Infusions
Tisanes are brews without the presence of black, green, or white teas from the camellia sinensis plant. Tisanes are made primarily --but not exclusively-- from roots, branches, leaves, stems, bark, flowers, spices, and herbs.
Tisanes should be brewed at 212 - 215 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
American Royal Tea sells fine single source teas as well as unique blends.
Green and black tea as a base - Brew according to black tea time/temperature.
White and green - Brew according to white tea time/temperature.
Rooibos and tisane ('herbal") - Brew according to tisane time/temperature.
Sizes & Weights
Amount of tea/tisane for brewing
The amount of tea used is dependent solely on your individual taste; however, the general guide below are suggested serving sizes.
You can drink your tea/tisane plain, or add milk, cream, honey, or sugar. Almond, rice, and soy milks are also delicious additions to your cup of tea.
1 teaspoon, per 10 ounces = 1 serving
For tisanes, you may want to add an extra 1/2 or 1 teaspoon
1 tea bag is 1.5 teaspoons of tea/tisane.
(For tisane) 3-4 teaspoons, per 12 - 32 ounces
(For green and black tea) 2-3 teaspoons, per 12 - 32 ounces
(For white tea) 1-2 teaspoons, per 12-32 ounces
For those who enjoy a stronger, fuller flavor, use 2-3 teaspoons (or 2 tea bags) per 10 ounces.
American Royal Tea uses US fluid ounces (fl. oz.) to regulate tea sizes. US fluid ounces measure volume --not weight. A good explanation of the difference is from The Kitchn blog:
Think of one cup of flour and one cup of tomato sauce; they both occupy the same volume of space (i.e., 8 fluid ounces), but they have very different weights (about 4ounces for the flour, and about 7.9 ounces for the tomato sauce). So no, fluid ounces and ounces should not be used interchangeably.
General measurements for sizes are:
1 fl. oz. = 6 teaspoons
2 fl. oz. = 12 tsp. = 1/4 C.
4 fl. oz. = 24 tsp. = 1/2 C.
8 fl. oz. = 48 tsp. = 1 C.
16 fl. oz. = 96 tsp. = 2 C.
Tea bags hold 1.5 teaspoons, per tea bag.
Black teas (camellia sinensis or camellia assamica) have a stronger, deeper taste that most people associate with traditional tea. In the United States, the introduction to tea may have been Lipton's or Bigelow teas.
The cam. sinensis is grown in primarily China, Korea, and Japan, while cam. assamica is grown in India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and East Africa.
Black and green teas have a deep history starting in Asia, primarily in China. The introduction of tea to the western world proved so popular that the acquisition of black tea was fraught with intrigue, wars, battles for control and taxation, and in the New World —the spark of the Revolutionary War.
The sinensis plant is considered older than the assamica, but one is not necessarily better than the other; it just comes down to a matter of taste, when the tea was plucked, which leaves are used, and how the tea is processed or not processed. Is it dried, oxidized, fermented, pine smoked, powdered, aged, etc.? Was it picked young ("first flush"), mid-season, or late in the season? Etc.
Green tea notes can range from floral to vegetal.
White teas are incredibly light and range from faintly sweet and floral to herbaceous. They are not bitter.
The longer you brew a black or green tea, the more bitter it will become. Some people prefer a stiffer, stronger brew.
Rooisbos is actually a bush that only grows in southern Africa. The name translates from Dutch as “red bush” and is indigenous to southern Africa. Rooisbos has sweet taste that ranges from honey to fruity to chocolate notes.
American Royal Tea uses primarily fair-trade organic camellia assamica, unless otherwise noted. However, all teas are organic and all black, green, and rooisbos teas are fair-trade.