Tea FAQ – Questions and answers about tea

1. In what type of receptacle should I brew and drink tea?

We recommend brewing your tea in a white china teapot. It holds the temperature well, and shows off the beautiful colour of your brew. A china teacup with a wide opening will allow your tea to breathe, and enhance its flavour.

2. Can water quality influence the taste of tea?

Yes. Soft water can enhance the flavour of your tea, while hard water can flatten its taste.

3. How much tea should I use in each cup?

This depends on the type of tea you are brewing. Generally, we suggest using 3g of tea to 150-200ml of water to make the perfect cuppa. For more specific guidance, check your tea label.

4. What is the best water temperature for brewing tea?

This depends on the type of tea you are using. Each of our teas is labelled with a recommended brewing temperature.

5. What is the best drinking temperature for tea?

We think tea tastes best at 40-70°C. We suggest you start drinking it when you can hold the cup in your hand without being burned.

6. How long does tea last?

All of our teas have a shelf life of around two years. As with all teas, though, their freshness will decrease over time.

7. How is tea best stored?

To keep your tea fresh for as long as possible, and to protect it from contaminating odours, we suggest storing it in a dark, airtight container – such as a tea caddy – at room temperature. We recommend storing your tea in the caddy in its original packaging, as green and white teas oxidise on contact with metal, which can make them age faster.

8. Can tea react with medication?

We cannot give medical advice. If you plan to drink tea whilst taking medication, consult your GP or pharmacist about possible side effects.

9. There are white deposits in my teacup. Does this mean the tea has gone off?

If you notice white deposits in your cup of tea, this is most likely a sign of hard water. The deposits are formed by minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

10. As my black tea cools, a dull film forms on its surface. Why is this?

In the tea trade, this film is known as ‘cream’. It consists mainly of caffeine and essential oils, and is usually a sign of a high-quality tea.

11. I can’t decide which tea to try. Can you give me some pointers?

Your choice of tea will, ultimately, be a matter of personal taste. Black tea is strong, while green tea is fresh and slightly tart. White tea is light and soft, and oolong tea has a delicate and long-lasting flavour.

If you still can’t decide, why not try one of our organic tea taster sets? They provide an affordable way of sampling a selection of our high-quality organic teas – helping you to find your favourite.

12. Why does tea have a stimulating effect?

The caffeine in tea increases your blood flow and metabolism, which has a stimulating effect on your brain and central nervous system.

13. I find it hard to sleep after drinking tea. Is there a solution to this?

The caffeine that occurs naturally in tea can make it hard to get to sleep. We suggest drinking only light tea or tea brewed for a shorter time in the evening, and avoiding it entirely in the two to three hours before you go to bed.

14. How much tea is it safe to drink each day?

There are no fixed rules, but it’s usually fine to drink up to about 10 or 15g (about 1 to 1.5l) of tea each day.

If you’re pregnant, you may need to reduce the amount of tea you drink. We recommend consulting your GP about this.

15. Is it healthier to drink strong tea?

Strong tea has more of the naturally occuring properties. We at Pure Tea recommend slightly lighter but more frequent brews.  Please see our recommendations for tea preparation.

16. Is it ok to drink cold tea?

Yes – provided it has not been left for more than three hours.

17. How many times can I infuse the same tealeaves?

This is really a question of personal taste. As a guide, we suggest the following as a maximum:

• Black tea: one to two times
• Jasmine tea: two to three times
• White tea: two to three times
• Oolong tea: two to three times
• Green tea: three to four times

If using your tealeaves more than once, it’s important not to let them dry out between infusions. Also remember that the flavour of the tea will become weaker with each infusion.

18. Why does my tea always taste bitter?

You could be using too much tea, and/or infusing it for too long. Try using less tea, and reducing its brewing time.

19. Is it good to infuse tea for a long time?

The properties of longer infused tea differ from tea that has been brewed shorter. Longer brewed tea contains more tannins and therefore tends to get more bitter. Shorter infused teas contain more vitamins and are less bitter. From our point of view, shorter brewings are better tasting.

20. Can I use tea as a cooking ingredient?

Yes. Indeed, this is common practice in many Asian countries.

When you use tea in cooking, you benefit from more of its natural health-giving properties than when you brew it as a drink. This is because the leaf itself ends up in your dish, rather than its flavours and properties being extracted during infusion.

21. Why can’t I prepare tea with cold water?

Many of a tealeaf’s most important elements are only soluble in hot water. To achieve the best colour, fragrance and taste, it’s vital to brew your tea at the correct temperature – see our tea labels for more details.

23. Is it true that green tea contains less caffeine than black tea?

In their dried state, black tealeaves contain roughly the same amount of caffeine as green tealeaves. The difference arises from the infusion process: the longer a tea is brewed for, and the hotter the water, the higher the caffeine content.

24. Is tea dehydrating?

Because of its caffeine content tea has been attributed to have slight dehydrating effect. A study of Nebraska Medical Center, USA, however, shows that caffeine plays a minor role.  Tea supports as much as other fluids, as well as other drinks, the recommended daily fluid intake of at least two liters.

A recent study by the Research Institute for Child Nutrition in Dortmund also shows that drinking tea counts towards your daily fluid intake. For Prof. Dr. Friedrich Manz is certain: Tea and coffee are not classified as dehydrating.

25. How do I distinguish fresh tea from older tea?

Because of its caffeine content tea has been attributed to have slight dehydrating effect. A study of Nebraska Medical Center, USA, however, shows that caffeine plays a minor role.  Tea supports as much as other fluids, as well as other drinks, the recommended daily fluid intake of at least two liters.

A recent study by the Research Institute for Child Nutrition in Dortmund also shows that drinking tea counts towards your daily fluid intake. For Prof. Dr. Friedrich Manz is certain: Tea and coffee are not classified as dehydrating.

26. How do I make the perfect cup of tea?

Much like cooking, tea infusion is a science in itself. Tea quantity, water temperature and brewing time all play a vital role in ensuring the best from your cuppa. All of these factors vary depending on the type of tea you use – check our tea labels for brewing instructions.

27. Is it safe for children to drink tea?

You are advised not to give tea to children under three years of age. This is because, for children in this age group, the stimulating effect of caffeine can have a negative impact on brain development.

Children aged three and over can drink weak tea, but strong tea is not recommended.

28. I’ve heard that tea can help with study or exercise. Is this true?

Research shows that tea contains flavonoids – antioxidants that help prevent cell and tissue damage. What’s more, the caffeine in tea is invigorating, and stimulates the brain and nervous system. So yes, a cup of tea before study or exercise can be beneficial.