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How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea

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Old 12-01-2019, 08:04 AM
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Default How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea

All you really need to prepare loose leaf tea is hot water, the leaves themselves, and a tea strainer. However, each type of tea requires slightly different steeping techniques. For the best cup, follow the recommended measurements, water temperature, and steeping time outlined on the package of tea. Experiment with different quantities of tea or steeping durations. Finally, add in your favorite sweetener or milk for a soothing cup of tea that really hits the spot.


[Edit]Mastering Tea-Steeping Basics
  1. Pour fresh, cold water into a saucepan or kettle. Donít use distilled or previously boiled water as it may negatively affect the taste of your tea. Instead, start with fresh, cool water from the tap.[1] Use an electric kettle, stovetop kettle, or a saucepan to warm up the water.
    • If your local water is especially hard (i.e. high in mineral content), consider using bottled water for a more pleasant taste.
  2. Heat the water until it reaches . Remove the water from its heat source once it begins to steam, simmer, or reach a rolling boil. Depending on the tea variety youíre preparing, you may need it to be slightly warmer or cooler to bring out the best flavors in the leaves. Use an instant-read thermometer to get the most accurate temperature.
    • If you prefer, you can boil the water and allow it to cool down to the correct temperature before adding it to the tea leaves.[2]
    • In general, white and green teas can be brewed at a lower temperature with the water just starting to steam, while oolong tea is typically best prepared at a moderate simmering temperature. Black and Puerh teas can withstand a higher temperature when the water hits a rolling boil.[3]
  3. Weight out 2 to 3 grams of loose leaf tea for every of water. Since tea leaves come in different shapes and sizes, itís best to measure out your tea by weight (i.e. grams) rather than by volume.[4] But if you do measure by volume, start with roughly 1 teaspoon for smaller leaves and about 1 tablespoon for larger leaves. Spoon out your desired amount of tea into a tea strainer or teapot, depending on how you plan to steep it.
    • A teacup holds about of water, but since most coffee mugs hold about of water, you may need to double the amount of loose leaf tea you use in a larger mug.
    • The amount of tea you decide to use is completely a matter of taste. Steep more or less to see which flavor you prefer.[5]
  4. Steep the tea in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the hot water directly over the tea leaves and allow the flavors to seep out for a few minutes. Different tea varieties require slightly different steeping times, so be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. If youíre not sure how long to steep the leaves, start with 3 minutes for your first cup. Then add 30 more seconds for each subsequent cup until you find the perfect taste.
    • Generally speaking, green and oolong teas can be steeped for about 3 minutes, white tea for 4 minutes, and black and Puerh teas for 5 minutes.[6]
    • Avoid steeping tea longer than 5 minutes; it will only taste bitter. If you want a stronger cup, just add more tea leaves and keep the timing the same.
    • Since herbal teas donít contain any actual tea leaves, they can often be left to steep longer without taking on a bitter flavor.[7]
  5. Remove the tea leaves from the water once theyíve steeped. How you do this will depend on the type of strainer youíre using. Basket-style strainers, metal or silicone infusers, and filter bags can be lifted out of your teapot or cup to stop the infusion. Place the strainer on a spoon rest or saucer to catch the drips from the soggy tea leaves.
    • If you steeped the tea directly in the teapot, hold a strainer over your teacup to catch the damp leaves as you pour out the tea.
    • Discard the used tea leaves while theyíre damp, or wait until theyíve dried out to more easily tip them out of the strainer.
[Edit]Using Tea Strainers
  1. Place the tea leaves directly into a tea strainer for easy cleanup. Place a basket-style tea strainer into a cup or teapot first. Measure out the loose leaf tea into the strainer and pour the hot water directly over it. Make sure you completely cover the tea leaves with water so that they steep properly.[8]
    • After a period of 3 to 5 minutes, simply remove the strainer and the damp tea leaves.
  2. Choose a disposable filter bag for fine, powdery teas. Buy a packet of disposable tea filter bags from a tea shop or grocery store. Use one when youíre preparing especially fine tea which tends to slip through mesh strainers easily. Keep the bag upright with the opening well above the water level so the tea leaves donít float out.
    • You can also use a filter bag if you just want to make 1 cup at a time with easy cleanup.
  3. Use a mesh, basket-style tea strainer for larger tea leaves. Most loose leaf teas can be successfully steeped in these types of strainers. Choose one that fits correctly within the opening of the cup or teapot youíll be using; it shouldnít shift around or sink into the vessel, otherwise the tea leaves will escape.[9]
    • Try a travel tea mug with a built-in basket strainer if youíll be on the go. Just remember to remove the tea after itís steeped for 3 to 5 minutes.
    • While a short or rounded basket strainer may work for a single cup, use a deeper basket to steep loose leaf tea in a deep mug or teapot.
  4. Avoid using tea balls or infusers for large or fine leaves. Metal tea balls and silicone tea strainers are popular since they come in playful designs, but keep in mind the limited practicality of these tools. Refrain from using them for large-leafed tea as they wonít leave much room for the leaves to unfurl as they become hydrated. Additionally, avoid using a tea ball or infuser for fine, powdery teas as the tea leaves may slip through the holes easily.
    • If youíre steeping medium-sized tea leaves in small quantities of water, a tea ball or infuser might not pose any problems.
    • Hinged tea balls are difficult to fill and the mechanisms can be tricky to open and close, especially when the metal is hot.[10]
  5. Leave plenty of room for the tea leaves to expand in the strainer. Loose leaf tea leaves can grow up to 5 times their original size once you hydrate them with hot water. For this reason, aim to leave plenty of space in the tea strainer or filter bag. Donít overfill it with too much tea.[11]
    • A mesh basket-style strainer will allow the tea to expand, while a tea ball may compress the leaves.[12]
    • A little extra space will allow the water to flow around the tea leaves so youíll have a better result.
  6. Strain the tea after it steeps in the teapot if you prefer. This is a useful technique if you donít have a tea strainer that fits correctly in your teapot. Instead of placing the leaves into a strainer, what you can do is measure out the tea leaves and drop them directly into your teapot. After the leaves have steeped, hold a tea strainer over your cup. Carefully pour the liquid into the cup and youíll see the strainer catch the leaves.[13]
    • Since there will still be leaves sitting in the teapot, the tea will grow more bitter as it continues steeping.
  • To keep the tea warmer for a longer period of time, pre-warm your teapot or cup by sloshing some boiling water around inside it. Tip this out before adding the tea and the rest of the heated water.[14] Alternatively, try covering the teapot with a quilted tea cozy to keep it warm.
  • Delicate green and white teas are best consumed immediately while more robust black teas can be enjoyed for a longer period of time.[15]
  • After youíve poured the tea into your cup, add milk, honey, lemon, or sugar to taste. Just avoid adding milk and lemon at the same time as the milk may curdle.
  • When you start making a certain type of tea, it helps to use a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the water. Once you know how much steam and how many bubbles the water will give off at the optimal temperature, feel free to eyeball it.
[Edit]Things You'll Need
  • Kettle or saucepan
  • Cool, fresh water
  • Teapot
  • Teacup
  • Tea strainer
  • Loose leaf tea
  • Measuring scale or spoon

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]Quick Summary
  1. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...-kitchn-201670
  2. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...green-t-139441
  3. ? https://www.ohhowcivilized.com/tea-b...ide-beginners/
  4. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...-kitchn-201670
  5. ? http://mentalfloss.com/article/53641...ording-science
  6. ? https://www.ohhowcivilized.com/tea-b...ide-beginners/
  7. ? http://mentalfloss.com/article/53641...ording-science
  8. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...-kitchn-201670
  9. ? https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-tea-steeper/
  10. ? https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/tea-balls-suck
  11. ? https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-tea-steeper/
  12. ? https://www.ohhowcivilized.com/tea-b...ide-beginners/
  13. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...-kitchn-201670
  14. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...-kitchn-201670
  15. ? https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-bre...green-t-139441


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