Those who recommend drinking loose leaf tea instead of tea bags claim that there are many noticeable differences between the two experiences, with notable downsides when using tea bags.
The leaves used in most tea bags come from broken tea leaves, which means that they have lost their natural oils and aromas. In other words, it’s a major compromise in quality. Tea bags also release more tannins, which means that they produce a more bitter brew. Finally, the tea bags restrict the tea leaves from fully expanding and releasing their full flavor and aroma potential.
So if you’re ready to make the leap from tea bags to loose tea, you’re probably wondering one thing: how, exactly, do I steep loose leaf tea?
Here are some tips and tricks for making a perfect drink.
Steeping Loose Leaf Tea
- Have the right supplies. Use a stovetop or electric tea kettle to heat your water. Both are effective, but electric tea kettles are faster and more efficient.
- Next, you’ll need an infuser to hold your loose leaf tea. If you don’t have an infuser, you can use a disposable paper filter or a basket infuser to place into your mug or pot.
- Measure your loose leaf tea. You should generally aim for one teaspoon of tea per cup of water. This depends on the type of tea, though. White teas and chamomile teas may require up to a tablespoon of tea, and denser teas like Gunpowder may require less. Follow the instructions on the label.
- Place tea into an infuser.
- Use fresh water.
- Heat fresh water to the right temperature for your particular beverage. For black tea, Pu-Erh, and herbal teas, heat to 212 Fahrenheit. For Oolong, 195 Fahrenheit. For Green and White team, 170-80 Fahrenheit.
- Pour your hot water over your infuser, making sure the water completely covers it. Steep the tea for the right time for that type of tea. For green and white tea, steep 2-3 minutes. For black and Pu-Erh, 3-5 minutes. For Oolong, 4-7 minutes. And for herbal, fruit, tisanes, steep 5-7 minutes.
- If you’re brewing tea to make iced tea, double the amount of loose leaf tea you use.
When it comes to steeping loose leaf tea, utilize the tips above. When it comes to choosing the right tea to brew, you can’t go wrong with teas from Four Elements, TeaSource, and NOW Foods.
Four Elements is dedicated to growing plants organically. The company has crafted award-winning creams, liniment, soaps, and delicious herbal teas. Try their popular Triple Lemon Tea, which contains lemon balm, lemon verbena, and lemongrass blended with oat straw for a delicious, nourishing and calming experience.
TeaSource’s mission is simple: Offer the best value and grow the finest teas and tisanes. Experience that brand’s value with one of their most popular tea blends, Masala Chai Tea. Masala Chai Tea is a full-bodied, aromatic, and smooth tea that is comfortingly familiar, yet also exotic. For a unique blend, try Hazelnut Orange Black Tea. Hazelnut Orange Black Tea from TeaSource is a smooth, creamy, sweet, nutty tea with a lovely hint of citrus in the finish.
Since its start in the 1940s, NOW Foods has grown into and remains one of the most well-known and trusted names in natural health. NOW Foods is a cGMP manufacturer, which means the FDA recognizes the company for following current good manufacturing practices. Try Ojibwa Herbal Cleansing Tea, an herbal immune system tea with eight natural herbs that help support easing tension and natural immune system health. And if you want a non-sugar alternative for tea sweetener, try their Better Stevia Glycerite, a zero-carb, all-natural substitute for sugar.
Not drinking loose leaf tea yet? Give some of these products and suggestions a try and see how it treats your taste buds. Also don’t forget to check out some more recipes here.