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Ask Master

David De Candia is the resident guru of all things tea. Use this page to ask all your tea-related questions and David will answer them directly. Don't be shy. Ask away!

As the Tea Buyer-Master Tea Blender for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, David's one of the world's leading tea experts. He joined the company in 1998 as a warehouse manager before his genius for tea made him the man solely responsible for the research, buying, blending and packaging of tea. David's a globe-trotter, searching the world for the finest and best quality teas which he hand selects for use in our signature drinks.

What's the best way to steep our whole leaf tea?

Start with fresh, cold water, either bottled or filtered. Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat. Then add one teaspoon of tea leaves per 8-oz cup of water into a teapot or infuser, or, if you're using tea bags, immerse the tea bag directly into a 12-16oz cup. The steeping time depends on the type of tea, so take a look at the guidelines to see how long you should steep your particular tea.

Steeping Time

Green Teas ............. 3 minutes

Black Teas ............. 5 minutes

Oolong Teas ............. 5 minutes

Herbal/Fruit Infusions ............. 7 minutes

Keep in mind that each tea has its own special characteristics, so always be sure to consult the instructions printed on the label for best results.

I like my tea strong! Would steeping it longer make the tea stronger?

Actually, no. Over-steeping your tea will turn it bitter. For stronger tea, simply add more tea leaves, or a second tea bag.

Why do you insist on our using filtered water for tea?

We recommend bottled or filtered water because most of the impurities have been removed from it, so what you'll taste is just pure, pristine tea.

What's the best way to make iced tea?

Follow these directions are for a 48oz. serving. Take four tablespoons* of tea and add to your tea filter. Next, place the filter in a container and fill with 48oz of hot filtered or bottled water. Steep the tea according to the steeping time recommended on the packaging. After steeping, remove the filter and let the tea cool completely. Let the tea chill in the in refrigerator and drink with ice. They don't call it "ice tea" for nothing.

* You may also substitute loose leaf tea with tea bags. Use 1 tea bag for every 16oz of water.

What's the best way to store tea?

To ensure freshness, be sure always to store tea leaves in an airtight container. It's best also to store the leaves in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

How can I make a tea latte at home?

Pour eight ounces of hot water in a 12-oz cup. Now add your favorite Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® tea sachet or loose leaf tea, and steep the brew according to the directions on the package. After steeping, add 1/3 cup of our French Deluxe™ Vanilla Powder and stir well. For the final delicious touch, top off the tea latte with hot or steamed milk. Enjoy!

Do you have any suggestions for pairing tea with food?

This is as delicate a question as asking what wines are best paired with which foods. What foods to pair with your tea depend on the characteristics of the tea in question. If you're enjoying a flavored tea, you can pair it up with heavier and spicy foods. On the other hand, unflavored stand-alone tea has delicate aromas and flavors that can easily be overwhelmed by the wrong pairings. Lighter foods such as chicken or salad are your best bet for pairing with unflavored teas. For more pairing suggestions, be sure to check out the Tea Pairing section of this website.

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