Brewing Tea: What is a Tea Infusion?

Beverages

When it comes to daily routines, everyone is different. You might be an early riser or a night owl, or you might look forward to your favorite cup of coffee in the morning or in the evening after dinner. While it might seem like we are only a coffee shop due to our name, “Mochas & Javas”, we also cater to other beverage groups as well besides coffee. Because we know that millions of Americans everyday enjoy some form of a tea, whether hot, iced, flavored, or black, we take pride in our tea service as well! With different benefits and effects from coffee, we value the cultural and health significance that comes along with a carefully infused cup of tea.

A Briefing on Tea History

While tea as a beverage first got its start in southeast Asia, the trend has spread all over the world, exploding with the first tea drinking queen of Britain. Catherine of Braganza arrived from Portugal to marry Charles II, and her arrival brought tea to England in the seventeenth century, later spreading to the New World. Since then, many different types of teas have emerged from various cultures allowing us to have our pick of many wonderful tea options including Matcha, Chai, Jasmine, Chamomile, and many many more. 

What is Tea Infusion? 

With so many different types of tea out there, it is no surprise that many of them are made quite differently. Infusion is the process that is used to make some of the most commonly drank teas, especially herbal teas. Infusion is a very simple process where water is heated to a boil and then is poured over the dried tea leaves or berries. Then, the plant product is left to sit in the hot water for a while so that it may “steep” until the desired strength is achieved. The steeping time can vary based on personal preference, and depending on the type of tea, the recommendation would fall anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes. Some teas, like green or white teas, can start to become bitter if steeped for too long, so it’s important to figure out what your personal taste requires. After the steeping process is finished, the tea leaves or berries are then removed from the water, and you are left with your infused beverage ready to be enjoyed!

Other Ways to Make Tea

Any beverage in which the water is heated separately to have the flavoring ingredient placed in after is considered an “infusion” but there are other methods as well. Decoction is when the plant matter is placed in the cold water to be boiled along with it and then strained before consumption. This creates a more concentrated beverage. Many teas that originate from India are prepared more frequently this way, as well as many “root” or “seed” teas. This is also how many forms of coffee is made, like Turkish and Etheopeon coffee. 

Knowing whether or not to infuse your tea or using the decoction method will most likely be based on the plant type you are using for your tea. Beyond that, it is always best to play around with different options until you find the right cup of tea for you!

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