Typical varieties of black tea are Assam, Nepal, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Rize, Keemun, and Ceylon. Western black teas are frequently prepared for approximately four minutes. In more regions of the world, the boiling water is used and the tea is frequently boilled slowly. In India, black tea is frequently boiled for fifteen minutes or longer to prepare Masala chai, as a strong drink is wished. Tea is frequently strained while drinking.
The food safety management group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has distributed a standard for making a cup of tea (ISO 3103: Tea) mainly intended for standardizing preparation for comparison and rating goals. It is defined as 2 gr. of tea leaves immersed for 6 minutes in 100 ml of boiling water.
In regions of the world that pick mild beverages, such as the Far East, green tea is immersed in water about 80 to 85 °C. Regions such as North Africa or Central Asia like better a bitter tea, and hotter water is used. In Morocco, green tea is immersed in boiling water for 15 minutes.
The container in which green tea is immersed is frequently warmed in advance to avoid premature cooling. High-quality green and white teas can have new water added as many as five or more times, depending on variety, at more and more higher temperatures.
Oolong tea is prepared about 82 to 96 °C, with the steeping vessel warmed previously pouring the water. Yixing purple clay teapots are the traditional brewing-vessel for oolong tea which can be prepared several times from the same leaves, unlike green tea, apparent to improve with reuse. In the southern Chinese and Taiwanese Gongfu tea ritual, the first drink is cast-off, as it is considered a colorant of leaves rather than a good drink.
Pu-erh teas need boiling water for infusion. Some choose a quickly rinse pu-erh for some seconds with boiling water to eliminate tea dust which accumulates from the ageing process, then infuse it at the boiling point about 100 °C or 212 °F, and let it to infuse from 30 seconds to five minutes.
Meaning “spiced tea”, masala chai tea is made using black or green tea with milk (called a “latte”), and may be flavored with ginger.
In contemporary times, there has been a fashion in India for Tandoor tea. This tea is made by putting the tea in red hot tandoor (fire oven) and then adding the hot milk when it is boiling.
While many teas is made using hot water, it is also likely to drink a beverage from tea using room temperature or cooled water. This needs longer immersing time to extract the main components, and creates a different flavour profile. Cold drinks use about 1.5 times the tea leaves that would be used for hot infusion, and are cooled for 4–10 hours. The process of prepare a cold drink tea is much easier than that for cold drink coffee.
Cold preparing has some weaknesses compared to hot infusion. If the leaves of teas or source water contain unwanted bacteria, they may flourish, whereas using hot water has the benefit of killing most bacteria. This is less of a concern in modern times and developed regions. Cold preparing may also permit for smaller amount of caffeine to be extracted.
The taste of tea can also be changed by pouring it from different heights, producing variable degrees of aeration. The art of elevated pouring is used mainly to improve the taste of the tea and develop mouthfeel, while cooling the drink adequately for fast consumption.
In Southeast Asia, the technique of pouring tea from a height has been sophisticated further using prepared black tea to which condensed milk is mixed then poured from a height alternately from matching hand-held vessels more times in rapid succession. This makes a tea with air bubbles and a frothy “head”, which is then immediately drink in a cup. This drink, teh tarik (pulled tea – which has its beginning as a hot Indian tea drink), has a creamier taste than flat milk tea and is typically in the region.
In 1907, American tea trader Thomas Sullivan started distributing samples of his tea in small bags of Chinese silk with a tie. Clients observed they could leave the tea in the bag and use it again for a new cup of tea. The potential of this packaging method would not be fully understood until later on. During World War II, tea was rationed in the United Kingdom. In 1953, after rationing in the UK ended, Tetley launched the tea bags to the UK and it was an instant success.
The “pyramid tea bag”, introduced by Lipton and PG Tips in 1996, tries to address one of the connoisseurs’ opinions against paper tea bags by way of its three-dimensional tetrahedron shape, which allows more room for tea leaves to expand while infusing. Some types of pyramid tea bags have been criticised as being environmentally unfriendly, since their synthetic material is not as biodegradable as loose tea leaves and paper tea bags.
The tea leaves are packed loosely in a container, paper bag, or other container such as a tea chest. Some whole teas, such as rolled gunpowder tea leaves, which resist disintegrating, are sometimes vacuum-packed for freshness in aluminised packaging for storage and retail. The loose tea must be separately measured for use, permitting the flexibility and flavour control at the expense of convenience. Strainers, tea balls, tea presses, filtered teapots, and infusion bags prevent loose leaves from floating in the tea and over-preparing. A traditional technique uses a three-piece lidded teacup named a gaiwan, the lid of which is tilted to decant the tea into a different cup for drink.
Compressed tea (such as pu-erh) is made for convenience in shipping, storage, and ageing. It can frequently be stored longer without damage than loose leaf tea.
Compressed tea is made by loosening leaves from the cake using a small knife, and immersing the extracted pieces in water. During the Tang dynasty, as described by Lu Yu, compressed tea was pulverized into a powder, combined with hot water, and ladled into bowls, making a “frothy” mixture. In the Song dynasty, the tea powder would be whisked with hot water in the bowl. Although no longer practiced in China today, the whisking technique of making powdered tea was transmitted to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks, and is still used to make matcha in the Japanese tea ritual.
Compressed tea was the most popular form of tea in China during the Tang dynasty. By the beginning of the Ming dynasty, it had been replaced by loose-leaf tea. It remains popular in the Himalayan countries and Mongolian prairies. In Mongolia, tea bricks were omnipresent enough to be used as a form of currency. Among Himalayan peoples, compressed tea is consumed by combining it with yak butter and salt to make butter tea.
“Instant tea”, like instant coffee, and a substitute to prepared tea, can be drinking both hot or cold. Instant tea was developed in the 1930s, with Nestlé introducing the first commercial product in 1946, while Redi-Tea debuted instant iced tea in 1953.
Delicacy of taste is sacrificed for handiness. Additives such as chai, vanilla, honey or fruit, are popular, as is powdered milk.
Canned tea is sold prepared and ready to drink. It was launched in 1981 in Japan.
The first bottled tea was launched by an Indonesian tea company 1969 with the brand name Teh Botol Sosro. In 1983, Swiss-based Bischofszell Food Ltd., was the first company to bottle iced tea on an mass scale.