How To

How to Make Matcha Tea

Matcha is a popular form of green tea that has been served in Japan for centuries. The stone-ground green tea powder is the centerpiece of Japanese tea ceremonies and, when prepared correctly, makes an earthy, frothy drink that will leave you with a pep in your step!

 

Matcha is traditionally prepared with a specific bowl, whisk, and scoop. A great Ceremonial Matcha Set will allow you traditionally prepare a bowl, however if you’re in a pinch feel free to use a mixing bowl, kitchen whisk, and half teaspoon measure.

 

The best matcha powder to use is a “ceremonial grade” matcha powder, such as Argo Tea’s First Flush Matcha. Other matcha grades, such as “premium grade” or “culinary grade” teas are also acceptable, however they may have a more bitter flavor.

 

To begin, boil some water. When it reaching a rolling boil, take it off of the heat source and let it sit for a few minutes. While you’re waiting, use your matcha scoop to measure out about a half teaspoon of matcha powder and place it into the bowl. Slowly add water to the bowl, making sure to froth the tea. Matcha is traditionally made either as a thicker liquid (known as koicha) or a thinner liquid (known as usucha). Experiment to find your preference! Once you’ve made a nice layer of froth on the top of the matcha, it’s ready to drink! Serve with sweets for a nice afternoon pick-me-up, or drink quickly for a fast jolt of energy!


How to Make Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is an American classic, found in abundance in the southern United States. If you’re looking to always have a jug on hand this guide will help you brew the best sweet treat you can!

Begin by brewing the black tea of your choice, such as Argo Tea’s Nilgiri black tea. If you’re looking for a fun twist on the classic, try other types of tea such as a Ginger Peach tea or an Oolong Coconut tea. Brew according to package directions, brewing as much as you’d like. (You’ll probably want to make at least a quart as it’s going to disappear quickly!)

When the tea is brewed, sweeten it to your liking. The traditional Southern Sweet Tea uses about five pounds of white sugar for each gallon of tea, however for a healthier alternative try a sugar substitute such as stevia, or a natural sweetener like honey. Stir in the sweetener until it dissolves and let sit in the refrigerator until cool. Serve over ice, garnish with lemon, and enjoy!

Don’t want to put in the hard work? In a rush and want a porteable drink? Pick up Argo Tea’s Carolina Honey ready-to-drink Carolina Honey, which is our take on the Southern Sweet Tea featuring grade-A Wisconsin wildflower honey and a hint of lemon!


How to Make Milk Tea

 

Milk tea is a catch-all term for a number of drinks, including bubble teas, tea lattes, and other sweetened tea and milk-based drinks. When making milk tea at home, you’ll need to experiment a bit to figure out exactly what you find exciteaing! Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your Milk Tea experience!

  • When brewing your tea make sure you’re brewing it at double strength, using around 2 tsp of tea for every 8 oz of water you’re brewing. This will allow you to add lots of milk to your drink and not lose the flavor of the tea itself!
  • Try to make your drinks with a 1:1 milk to coffee ratio. If you’re using double strength tea this will allow you to evenly balance the flavor of the tea with the flavor of the milk.
  • If you’re looking to make an iced milk tea, let the drink cool down in the fridge instead of pouring it over ice. This will prevent it from becoming watered down as the ice melts.
  • Experiment with different types of milk! Oat milk or almond milk make for great non-dairy alternatives to the traditional milks, and condensed milk will add a sweet and creamy flavor to your cup.
  • Be careful of the type of tea you’re using! Green teas, oolong teas, and black teas are generally the best to add to milk. High acidity teas, such as hibiscus teas, are likely to curdle dairy milks and make non-dairy milks separate.
  • Sweeten your teas as you see fit. Some may love an unsweetened milk tea while others might enjoy a flavored simple syrup or natural honey sweetener.

How to Make Tea

Whether you’re looking to host a tea party or just hoping for a cup of energizing green tea, the first thing you’ll need to learn is how to make a great cup of tea. Luckily, tea is incredibly easy to make. If ancient Chinese emperor Shennong can brew a cup by accident, you’ll be able to in no time!

First, pick out your tea. This is often the most exciting part of brewing (aside from drinking it!). Different teas have slightly different brewing requirements, so make sure you know what you’re brewing, whether it’s an oolong tea, hibiscus tea, or whatever makes you happiest!

Next, heat up your water. Filtered or purified water will impart the least unnecessary flavor into your cup, however normal tap water is usually fine as well. Boiling water can make tea taste extra bitter, so you should either remove your water from heat right before it boils (at about 190°F - 205°F if you’re able to measure it) or remove it from heat once it boils and let is cool down for a few moments before use.

If you’re brewing loose-leaf tea you’ll need an infuser. There are many that are commercially available however Argo Tea suggests using a teapot that comes with an infuser, like our Sencha Green Bee House Teapot. Teapots are a great sustainable way to brew tea, and often have large infuser baskets which allow the tea leaves lots of room to expand as they steep. If you’re in a rush or don’t want to give up your tea bags, Paper Tea Filters are a great way to brew your tea on the go!

How much tea should you use to brew? At Argo Tea we recommend using our Golden Ratio of 1 tsp of loose-leaf tea for every 8 ounces of water you’ll use to brew. This can be altered if you’d like a stronger or weaker cup. Whatever makes you happiest is what you should do!

After you’ve measured out your tea and placed it in the infuser, pour your hot water over the leaves, making sure that everything is wet. If you find some dry leaves floating on top of your water, use a teaspoon to submerge them fully.

Set a timer for how long you’d like to brew your tea. Most teas come with a suggesting brew time, however a good rule of thumb is that black tea, oolong tea, and white tea should brew for about 4 minutes; green tea should brew for about 2 minutes; and herbal teas such as hibiscus tea and chamomile tea should brew for about 6 minutes.

When the timer goes off, remove the infuser from the water. Leaving the tea leaves to steep in the water after it’s done brewing will result in bitter, overbrewed tea.

Finally, enjoy your tastea beverage! Feel free to add milk or your choice of sweeteners to taste.


How to Make Iced Tea

Hot tea has been around for thousands of years, however iced tea is relatively new to the game, making its major debut at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Today iced tea is a popular and refreshing treat across the world. Luckily, it’s also very easy to make at home!

 

What you’ll need:

  • Loose leaf tea (we suggest Argo Tea’s Nilgiri black tea if you’re looking for a more traditional iced tea, or our Fruit Sangria tea if you want a tart and fruity herbal tea)
  • Ice
  • Honey (optional)

 

Brew your iced tea according to package instructions, however double the amount of tea required. When the tea is finished brewing, pour over ice and serve, sweetening with honey if desired.

 

If that still feels like a whole lot of work (and, to be honest, who wants to do anything on a sweltering summer day?) try one of Argo Tea’s Iced Tea Sachets. Featuring some of our best iced tea blends, such as the fruity Pina Colada or spicy Ginger Peach, our Iced Tea Sachets are pre-measured for the perfect cup of iced tea without the hassle!


How to Make Sun Tea

Sun tea is a method of brewing iced tea that involves placing tea bags in a glass jar and allowing it to sit in the sun for hours. This steeping method allows for the flavor of the tea to be extracted while not releasing tannins, the chemical compound that provides that bitter “tea taste” some people dislike.

The United States Center for Disease Control has issued memos warning against brewing sun tea, as the method does not allow for the tea to become hot enough to kill off bacteria, which can lead to illness.

At Argo Tea, we suggest instead cold brewing (or “refrigerator brewing”) teas. Instructions can be found on our How to Make Cold Brew page. All teas will taste delicious after being cold brewed, thanks to the lack of tannins, however we suggest trying lighter teas, such as our Green Tea White Jasmine, or fruity tea blends such as our White Peach.

If you’re too excited to wait for your tea to brew, Argo Tea also sells a line of lightly sweetened cold brewed teas in ready-to-drink bottles, including our Cold Brew Biodynamic Darjeeling black tea and Cold Brew Armenian Mint.


What is Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea (also known as boba or milk tea) originated in Taiwan in the 1980’s. The drink features tea (usually a black tea or green tea) and milk as well as a chewy treat at the bottom of the cup, traditionally tapioca or popping boba. When served, bubble teas are sipped out of a thick straw in order to suck up the fun, textured snacks at the bottom of the cup. The drink is traditionally served iced, however in recent years hot variations on the drink have begun to bubble up in many café chains.

At Argo Tea, our bubble teas use our all-natural tea blends (like our Nilgiri black tea or our Sencha green tea) and a unique addition: instead of tapioca, we feature Nata de Coco, a common dessert in the Philippines. Nata de Coco is naturally vegan and gluten free as well as high in fiber. If you’re looking for an introduction to bubbles teas, Argo’s Nata de Coco-based bubble teas are a great way to start your journey! Our build-your-own option means that no matter your preferences you’ll find the best bubble tea!


How to Make Ginger Tea

Ginger has been popping up as a popular ingredient in many products in the past few years, however the root has been used for centuries in many different Asian cuisines. Beyond adding a spicy zing to dishes, ginger is often consumed for its health benefits. There is scientific evidence to support that ginger is great for curbing the nausea and upset stomach effects from morning sickness and cancer treatments, and studies suggest that it also can aid in reducing inflation and pain.

 

One of the most common ways to consume ginger is by using it in tea. The warm, spicy notes in ginger teas bring comfort during cold winter nights at home but can also provide an extra energizing kick to help you get your morning started.

 

Luckily, ginger teas are easier than ever to make and most, like Argo Tea’s Green Tea Ginger Twist and Ginger Peach black tea, are perfectly blended to please the seasoned ginger fan and ginger newcomer alike. These teas will provide their health benefits with no extra work, however if you’re looking for an extra zesty kick or to double up on ginger’s healthy properties, you can infuse your tea with extra fresh ginger!

 

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh Ginger Root
  • The loose-leaf tea of your choice (we suggest our Green Tea Ginger Twist, or our Lemonello for a nice caffeine-free ginger tea)
  • Water
  • Lemon and honey (optional)

 

First, start by washing your ginger. Because it grows in the ground (it is a root after all!) it might still have some dirt on it. Don’t worry! Just give it a good scrub and pat it dry and you’ll be good to go.

 

Next, have yourself a grate time! Using a microplane or cheese grater, go to town on the ginger. Because you won’t be consuming the root itself, you don’t have to worry about peeling it. The amount you’d like to use is up to you, but we suggest grating about a tablespoon of ginger for every 8 – 12 oz of hot water you plan on using.

 

If you don’t have any fancy kitchen tools, don’t worry! Peel your ginger and then use a fork to help grate it up. You can also just mince the ginger instead!

 

Pour your water into a pan or kettle and bring it to a boil. Add your ginger and start a 10-minute timer. (Feel free to adjust the time for your personal preference!) While your ginger water is boiling, set up a teapot with your loose leaf tea measured out with 1 tsp of loose leaf tea for every 8 oz of water you’re using. Many teas are great when brewed with fresh ginger -- such as a traditional English Breakfast tea -- however we recommend experimenting with some of your favorite tea blends, like Argo’s caffeine-free Happy Chai.

 

When time is up, take the water off heat and let it sit for a few minutes, until it’s at about 190°F. Pour the ginger water over your loose leaf tea, making sure that none of the fresh ginger chunks make it past your teapot’s infuser. Allow the tea to steep for the time recommended on the package.

 

When your tea is done steeping it’s ready to drink! Remove the tea from the water and add any extra flavor enhancers, such as fresh squeezed lemon or sweet honey, to make your drink just the way you want it!

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