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How To Brew Loose Leaf Tea

Updated on March 12, 2013
black loose leaf tea
black loose leaf tea

Loose leaf tea gives you tons more options when it comes to choosing your next tea purchase and even more so it can offer the highest quality tasting tea possible, but only if you know how to brew it properly. So, you want to learn how to brew loose leaf tea? You're in the right place!

Loose leaf tea is different from tea bags, it's more fragile and that's why it requires more attention when brewing. The different types of loose teas should be steeped at different temperatures as well as different amounts of time. Unlike tea bags, you can't just leave the tea sitting in your water for the whole time you're sipping it because it will most likely become too strong, and bitter. So here are some guidelines on how to brew your teas:

Note: You will need some kind of tea strainer, tea ball or brewing basket before you continue. This is the best way to separate the leaves from the water once you're done steeping.

Black teas should be steeped for 2-3 minutes in water that is around 212 degrees (fahrenheit). It's best to start out with 1/2 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons per cup depending on how strong you want it to be.

Oolong and puer teas require the same attention as other black teas, but you'll find that they need different amounts of leaves depending on the strength of the tea.

Green teas require water that is a bit lower in temperature because they can be scalded which ruins the flavor. Stick to water that's between 180-200 degrees for the best results. Steep 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of tea for 1-2 minutes.

Follow the same rules as green tea for white teas, but you may steep for a little bit longer with these since the flavor isn't as strong.

Once your tea has steeped for the appropriate amount of time, remove your tea strainer or basket and set it aside. Keep in mind that most loose teas can be steeped multiple times as long as they stay moist, so don't throw it away unless you know you won't be having another cup anytime soon.

Now all that's left is adding in your favorite flavorings and enjoying your tea! I like to add a tiny bit of sugar or a drop of honey to mine sometimes, but I usually just drink it straight. Every tea is good with different things added so make sure you experiment and one day you'll find your perfect cup of tea.

Here are some extra tips and tricks I've learned along the way:

  • Warm up your cup or tea pot with hot water before pouring you're tea, it will help keep it warm longer.
  • Don't use the microwave to boil or heat your water if you can avoid it. Yes it's easier but the water will pick up the taste of any debris left in the microwave.
  • Always use fresh water, if you left water in your kettle from the last time you had tea then replace it with fresh water.

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    • theweaksend profile image

      theweaksend 4 years ago

      Thank you! I totally agree. =)

    • The Unlearner profile image

      Jo 4 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

      It is all in the way you brew it- Loved this hub.