Yup, there’s a better way to make a cup of tea than just dunking a bag in microwaved water. The folks from August Uncommon Tea, an L.A.-based artisanal tea importer, have turned us on to simple at-home steps to making the perfect cup.

Step One: Add Great Water

Use bottled spring, filtered or purified water but avoid distilled or reverse-osmosis waters, which cause bitterness.


Step Two: Use a One-Cup Diffuser

To enable tea leaves to fully expand and release maximum flavor, use a diffuser with a micro-mash filter.

Step Three: Weigh Your Tea

Want a predictably perfect brew? Measure 3.5 grams into a cup using a precision scale. Adjust by half-gram increments to taste.

Step Four: Control Water Temperature

Some teas get bitter in boiling water. Use a temperature-control kettle or a kitchen thermometer and choose the right temp for your leaves (black teas at 212 degrees Fahrenheit; oolongs at 194 degrees; greens at 176 degrees; and delicates like florals at 158 degrees).

Step Five: Time the Infusion

Between three and five minutes is optimum--no longer or you’ll risk an acrid cup.

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