The Essentials of Loose Leaf Tea Brewing

by on Friday, June 15, 2012 10:39:00 PM

One of the biggest objections we still get when attempting to switch customers from teabags to loose leaf tea is that loose tea is too hard to brew and too time consuming. One of our goals at our store is to help explain how easy it can be to brew high quality tea, so here are our essentials to brewing a great cup of tea.

1. High quality tea: It is important to start off with high quality tea not only for taste and health purposes, but also because it is much easier to brew without all the astringency and bitterness! Make sure that you trust your tea sources and those who are selling you tea.

2. High quality water: The second ingredient for good tea is good water! Make sure that you at least run your water through a filter of some kind and look into getting water from a reverse osmosis system if you want clean water without heavy mineralization and strong tastes that will affect your tea.

3. Space: The third key to brewing great tea is to use a teapot or filter that gives the leaves lots of room to expand! If the tea leaves are constrained, then water cannot flow through them correctly and the leaves cannot get bigger as the water soaks into them.

4. Water temperature and time: In our opinion almost all high quality teas (with very few exceptions) can be brewed with 195-205 degree water (just under boiling). In addition, high quality tea will be full of flavor so unless you are looking for a really strong tea, the leaves will not need to brew for very long, typically we will brew 1-2 minutes for the first couple of steepings.

5. Amount of tea: This doesn't have to be an exact science, but typically for leafy teas such as our White Peony King tea, we use about 1 tbsp of leaves per 8 oz cup and then brew the leaves 3-4 times. For heavier and denser teas, we use about 1-2 teaspoons per 8 oz cup and steep 3-4 times

These are the essentials of brewing great tea! Simply follow these steps and you will be brewing an amazing cup of tea in no time.

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