long,” Campbell says. “If we brewed [green tea] for three or four minutes, it would be too bitter.” White teas are not fermented, so brew them for five to seven minutes for a richer cup. Herbals, because they are not true teas, can be brewed for longer periods of time. “They just turn richer and richer. You can brew these varieties for up to 10 minutes.”
PLEASE, NO HONEY
Campbell recommends not sweetening tea with honey or white sugar. Raw sugar brings out the flavor without weighing down the tea.
Like anything herbal, tea is best enjoyed fresh. There’s no need, however, to throw it out once it’s past its prime. “If I have tea that is more than 6 months old in my cabinet at home, I place it in a cheesecloth, tie it with string, and bathe in it,” Campbell says. “I do this with all but black tea because it leaves a horrible bathtub ring.”
For more information, check out Tea with Friends by Elizabeth Knight (Storey Books; $14.95) and Eat Tea by Joanna Pruess with John Harney (The Lyons Press; $19.95). And the Tea Association of the USA (www.teausa.org) can quench your thirst for insight into tea industry.