So you’re wondering how to make loose-leaf tea. Cool. There are a few things to pay attention to when it comes to making tasty tea. From the type of tea to the equipment you use, we’ll guide you through it step-by-step and tell you how to make loose-leaf tea the right way. Here goes our list of top 6 tea tips.
#1 Use loose-leaf tea, not tea bags
Many people use tea bags and don’t even know how much better loose-leaf tea tastes. Tea bags are often the lowest grades of teas with artificial or weak flavours. They contain mostly tea fannings and tea dust, the leftovers of good loose-leaf tea. These fannings and dust give out sharp flavours but none of the goodness of a fine full leaf tea.
Your best bet is to use a high grade of loose-leaf tea and infuse it in an infuser tea mug or infuser teapot.
#2 Use a glass infuser teapot
The best way to steep a fine cup of tea is in an infuser teapot. Glass is the best material for such teapots because it is completely inert and the most food-safe material there is.
The other benefit that glass has is that it allows tea drinkers to not only enjoy the flavours, but also the visual appeal of watching their fine teas steep and infuse. Unlike coffee, tea leaves unfurl and interact with the warm water as if to ‘dance’ while releasing their goodness and flavors via infusion.
#3 Use fresh water
In some parts of the country the tap water is chlorinated strongly and this can affect the taste of the tea, if you are based in such an area consider using a water filter. To get the best flavour out of the tea the water must contain oxygen. The level of oxygen is reduced if the water is boiled more than once.
#4 Get the steeping time right
Gunpowder China Green Tea: 3-4 minutes ; drink without milk
Jasmine China Green: 2-3 minutes; drink without milk
Oolong China or Taiwan Oolong: 5-7 minutes; drink without milk
Sencha Japan Green Tea : 2-2 1/2 minutes; drink without milk
Darjeeling or India Black Tea: 2-3 minutes; drink without milk
Assam India Black tea: 3-4 minutes; drink with or without
Ceylon Uva Sri Lanka Black: 3 minutes; drink with or without milk
Ceylon / Dimbula / Sri Lanka Black Tea: 3-4 minutes; drink with or without milk
Kenya Black tea: 2-3 minutes; drink with milk
#5 Get the steeping temperature right
While most black teas can be steeped using boiling water, green teas are much more delicate and should never be steeped with boiling water. That causes the tea to “cook”, and damages its flavour and could impact its healthful nature.
Although your taste is ultimately what should determine the times and temperatures, as a starting point here is what we recommend for most teas:
Most flavoured green teas: 80° C / 175° F
Jasmine green tea: 71° C / 160° F
Oolong green tea: 90° C / 195° F
Japanese Sencha-style green tea: 93° C / 200° F
You can re-steep many green teas due to their high quality and purity without any bitter flavor. You will need to increase the steeping time slightly according to your flavour preference on subsequent steepings.
#6 Store your tea the right way
Store tea in a cool, dry place. Avoid placing it next to strongly flavoured or perfumed foods.
Do you have any extra tips how to make loose-leaf tea? Let us know in the comments?