The practice of drinking tea stretches back for millennia. From its origins in ancient China, tea spread around the world, becoming a (literal) hot commodity and a beverage that’s beloved worldwide. According to F&W’s Jen Murphy, a great cup “starts with knowing the finest tea regions, the best importers and proper preparation.” Each variety of tea tastes best when brewed with a specific water temperature and steep time. For instance, full bodied, malty black teas like Assam and Ceylon can handle near-boiling water and a longer steep time than more delicate teas like Silver Needle, the highest-grade white tea from the Fujian Province in China. If you need help sorting your Oolongs from your Pu-erhs, turn to our tea guide, which includes a basic primer on tea varieties, a users guide to fancy teas, menus for tea parties and more.