November 17 2020 – Diana L
You’re excited. Your loose leaf tea just arrived and you can't wait to try it! The aroma is amazing (just as the words described it.) But how do you make loose leaf tea?
You've probably read about so many methods, but which is the best method to make loose leaf tea? A tea ball? A mesh infuser? How do you steep tea if you don't have a tea steeper...grin and bear it in a cup? (Ok, maybe not grin because you may have tea leaves stuck in your teeth…)
Don’t worry - there's more than one way to properly steep tea.
Whichever way you choose, don’t forget two basic rules apply to each method:
Rule 1: Heating your water to the proper temperature for each tea is important! Please don’t ever be so lazy to microwave your cup of water. Microwaving causes a breakdown of the water molecules making your tea taste flat – not to mention that whole “super-heated” issue that can happen without you realizing it!
Rule 2: The general rule of thumb is one teaspoon of tea per 8 oz of water. Before you heat the water, make sure you look up what temperature is best for each type of tea. Herbal teas brew at a lower temperature than black tea. Specific instructions for all of our teas are listed on each package of tea.
Choose the method to make tea that suits you. You can use these same methods to make chai tea, green tea, or any tea for that matter. Just adjust the water temperature and steep time as instructed on the package.
Everybody's taste buds are different, so adjust the amount of tea you use to the size of the mug or teapot you are using, for the intensity you prefer. Remember, longer steeping does not equal stronger tea, it just makes for a bitter cup. More tea leaves equal a stronger tea.
6 Ways to Make Loose Leaf Tea
The easiest way on earth to steep the perfect cup with your loose tea is to use a loose leaf tea infuser. It is very simple to use and with no-mess cleanup! Just add your tea and hot water to the tea maker.
When your steeping time is up (don’t forget to be patient for each type of tea!) rest the tea maker on your favorite mug to release the tea through the strainer at the bottom of the tea maker! Easy-peasy-1-2-3! Since many teas are good for multiple steeps, you can still enjoy a few cups of tea from the same infuser. Or steep and chill to enjoy an iced tea later.
To clean, use a spoon to take out used tea leaves and rinse with water. The filter also comes apart for cleaning in the dishwasher. (And don’t forget to share your used tea leaves with your garden - your flowers will thank you.)
Another form of tea straining is to use an infuser basket. It simply sets on top of your cup or mug. Place the tea in the infuser and pour the hot water over the leaves and let it steep into your cup.
Direct in your cup
This is another easy way to make loose leaf tea. Simply put your tea leaves directly into your cup, pour in the hot water, and steep until ready. Note: Your leaves will be floating in the water, so only use this method if you don’t mind a few tea leaves bumping your lips and/or ingesting a few leaves. Remember to turn to your friend and ask “do I have anything, uh, stuck...?”
Use a teapot
Many teapots come with a removable infuser basket, but in case yours didn’t — or you have a vintage tea set you want to use — here’s how to brew tea in your teapot.
Spoon the tea leaves into your teapot, pour in hot water, and steep for the suggested steep times. When the tea is ready, pour the tea into your teacup through a mesh kitchen strainer or slotted spoon to keep tea leaves out. (You can also use this infuser method for the direct to cup mentioned above if you don't mind a few more dishes.)
Bag your own tea
Bagging tea is not the same as store-bought teabags. Filled with the dust and fannings of the broken leaves, store-bought tea bags don't provide the flavor you experience when the full leaf opens up in your cup.
You can buy tea sachet bags (also called pyramids) and fill them with your fresh, whole loose leaf tea. You can also make a teabag with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or loose-woven cotton muslin cloth. Simply take the filter or a square piece of cloth and place your tea in the center. Pull the edges up and twist to form a little pouch and secure it with a string.
French press method to make tea
For those ex-coffee drinkers who are wondering what to do now with the old French press in your cabinet, you can also use it for brewing tea! Just use the press like you always did, using your loose tea leaves instead of coffee. Just make sure to clean the press very well first so you don’t get any coffee flavors mixed with your tea. (If you’re really desperate, you can even brew your tea in a very, very clean coffee maker.)
Take your tea to go!
If you are the type that is always on the go, take your tea along! Enjoy loose tea on the go with a heat-resistant, tea infuser bottle. Simply put your favorite loose leaf tea into the removable stainless steel tea filter and let it steep.
The same goes for Matcha. Remove the stainless steel tea filter, add your favorite Matcha and hot water, and shake. The Marino loose tea infuser bottle is a lightweight, yet durable and leak-proof to-go glass tea bottle. It’s the perfect water bottle for infusing fruit or steeping loose leaf tea anywhere, featuring a carrying strap and silicone grip.
Steep, sip & repeat! Enjoy!