Because it is the most oxidized, and a lot of the time aged, of the teas it is very strong. So steeping it for too long can really make it taste like crap.
Laura tried steeping her DavidsTea Pu-erh to THEIR instructions, and it turned out really gross, bitter, and a little salty. Then when she tried to steep it with the 5 seconds at a time method, it turned out perfectly, and 25 seconds was enough for an entire pot. Nice and fruity like described. Also, she said the color was much more pink and pretty, as opposed to a weird shade of brownish red.
Brewing tips: Oolongs tend to enjoy being steeped more than once. Sometimes it's two, sometimes more! The tea leaves tend to be tightly curled, so when it steeps, you have the full leaf opening in the pot! Beautiful.
Another steeping tip is, if you have a pot with a filter built in, so they can literally just float around the pot, not in a strainer of any sort, that tends to yield a better flavor. At least, that's what Laura found.
Pronounced: "Ma-t-cha" (The 't' is a soft 't')
Brewing tips: Yes, matcha is a green tea, but it is also VERY unique. You don't strain it, you whisk it. And the water added has a lower temperature than even many traditional greens. It can also be added straight to smoothies and some other baked goods because it is a powder. Which, you will want to do because it is yummy AND good for you.
Brewing tips: Best steeped in milk on stove-top. Or with eggnog, your choice. UNLESS THE STORES HAVE DECIDED THAT EGGNOG ISN'T WORTH STOCKING BECAUSE IT ISN'T NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER.
|this picture is from numerous meme sites, I checked! -L|
Brewing tips: Brew this bugger at a lower temperature. Laura brews hers at 185F (the setting on her fancy kettle), and steeps about 4-5 minutes, and it turns out splendidly. They tend to not be as strong as say, a black tea or even some green tea, but they are always a delight.
Brewing tips: Herbal and fruit blends can be a bit more versatile. You can steep them at a full boil, but they can do well when brewed a little cooler. Steeping a little UNDER a full boil can give you the best results.
They also can do when being chilled and made into an iced tea (or, add some soda to it and get a tea pop!). Although, with herbals blends, there is a debate that they should not be called "tea" because they are not made with the tea leaf, but we and the Tea Sisters say screw that.