While our instinct is usually to reach for another cup of coffee, we’ve decided to officially join the afternoon tea club. With endless flavors (and caffeine levels), our need for a 3pm beverage has transformed from a pesky craving to a luxurious moment of zen.

Despite coffee’s popularity, it turns out tea is the most commonly consumed beverage after water! However, not many people know the three cardinal rules for brewing a perfect cup. Ravi Kroesen, Head Teamaker at Smith Teamaker has three simple steps so you don’t fall victim to another overly-steeped, astringent cup in the office kitchen or grabbed on the go between errands. 


  • Pay attention to the steeping times on the packaging – typically 3 minutes for green teas, and 5 minutes for black and herbal teas. 


  • Water temperature is essential to brewing a great cup of tea. For green and herbal teas, bring water to 190 degrees F. Without a thermometer, simply let boiling water cool for about 2 minutes before steeping. Black teas should be brewed just off the boil. Avoid using a microwave when you can, as it tends to harbor old food residue that can taint the flavor.


  • Your tea will pick up the flavor qualities of the water that you use. Make sure to always use filtered water for the best resulting flavor.

Ready to take your tea game to the next level? Kroesen recommends the Breville Variable Temp Kettle ($145) which has five temperature buttons preset for brewing the perfect green, white, oolong, or black. Bottoms up!