Choose a ceramic teapot, or a covered cup. A teapot with a built-in strainer will prevent leaves from entering the spout.

For best results brew teas loose, not in a tea ball or infuser, to allow flavor to develop fully. Different teas have widely varying weights. With lighter weight teas, be sure to add enough leaf.

Start with good-tasting water. Try different spring waters. Do not use boiling water when brewing white or green tea as this will cook the leaves and destroy their flavor.

Until familiar with a particular tea, steep for a minute or two, then try a sip. Pay attention to taste rather than color. When the tea tastes right to you, serve or pour off all of the liquid to avoid oversteeping. Most of these teas are meant to be infused several times. Simply add additional hot water as needed. Increase steeping time with subsequent infusions.

Feel free to experiment with water temperature, brewing time, and proportion of tea to water. There is no right way or wrong way to make tea. Let your palate be your guide.

Notice the beautiful colors and shapes of the leaves as they steep; appearance is very much a part of the experience. But most important, enjoy the tea!

All tea has a shelf life. Proper storage is necessary to prolong freshness. Store tea in opaque containers to avoid contact with light. Use a container with a tight sealing lid to guard against moisture and to prevent tea from drying out. Keep in a cool place.

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