An Ode To Teachers

In my previous blog, I wrote about creating an Advent tea calendar. I was attempting to teach you how to make a craft project. I made several mistakes and was learning how to make this craft while I was creating the Advent calendar. Teaching is riff with responsibility.

The responsibility to be clear in the message, and to continue to learn ways to communicate with individuals.

The responsibility to be transparent with the material being taught; and own it when you make mistakes.

These are just a few responsibilities that come to mind. This is not an exhaustive list of responsibilities by any means. I trepidatiously rise to the occasion of writing, teaching, and informing you about tea. I humbly lump myself in the category of “teacher.”

Today I wanted to share a bit of transparency and talk about tea mistakes that I have made in hope that you can learn from them.

Disposing of Used Tea Leaves

One mistake that I still catch myself doing from time to time is putting loose tea leaves down my garbage disposal. A hefty plumbing bill later to unclog the drain and garbage disposal has been a prime motivator for me to seek out alternatives for used tea leaves . Now the tea leaves are dumped in the trash or reused for fertilizer in my rose garden. The acidity level in tea leaves helps to fertilize roses.

Steeping Green Tea - Temperature and Time

Confession time; I have steeped green tea too long in the early days of my tea journey. Oops! Green tea needs to optimally be steeped for approximately 2-3 minutes using a lower than boiling temperature, roughly 160-175F degrees. I now check my water temperature using a water thermometer. If I have misplaced my water temperature gauge and my water has come to a boil, then I simply let the water cool for several minutes before using the water.

Measuring Tea

Another tea mistake that still occurs is that I have put too much loose leaf tea in the steeping vessel. In order to correct my tea faux pas I have learned to steep the tea for less time or add more water to steep the tea according to my taste.

Tea Time Hastiness

This next tea mishap is a classic for me; I have ripped open the tea bag/sachet while opening up the outer cover. Actually this happens to me frequently because I get in a hurry to make my tea! I will try to capture all the tea and place the now loose leaf tea into an infuser basket. I will also just scoop up the tea leaves, place them in the container I am steeping the tea in and strain the tea later as I am pouring the tea.

Mistakes Happen - And That's Okay!

In talking to people about tea, a common concern comes up; some are afraid that they will make a mistake in steeping tea. I hope my transparency in my tea misadventures has quelled any concern you may have in fixing your own cup of tea. Come join me on this life long learning journey regarding tea. I will be as clear, concise and transparent as possible, tea dilemmas and all!


Thank you to all the “teachers” licensed, certified or not, who spend countless hours pouring into the lives of others. Thank you for taking the responsibility of teaching to heart and being passionate about teaching.

About The Author

Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea.  No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!

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