Think making loose leaf tea is high maintenance? It doesn’t have to be.
I steeped tea bags for years until I learned how much more flavorful and healthy loose leaf teas were. I’m proof that you can start incorporating loose leaf teas into your routine without being late for work, brewing them “wrong,” or becoming a tea snob.
(Okay, you may have to reserve judgment on that last one, okay?)
Brewing loose leaf tea doesn’t have to be an ordeal or a high maintenance activity.
I’ve created a list of things you DON’T have to worry about when you’re making a cup of loose leaf tea.
And if you want to learn about the tea flavors and aromas that you’ll experience when you’re sipping your loose leaf brews, click here to get your guide breaking them all down.
Watch the video or keep scrolling to read more.
Links Mentioned in the Video
Why is making loose leaf tea so important?
The reasons are different for everyone, but for me making loose leaf tea was important to me for the health value – at first. After my bout with breast cancer, I researched what made a healthy cup of tea, and it turned out loose leaf teas have more of the healthy oils that we read so much about.
It also turned out that making loose leaf teas were more flavorful than the tea bagged tea I’d been drinking since my college days. I thought I was so cool squeezing every last drop from my tea bag using the string and a spoon. I cringe thinking about how awful that tea was. Of course, I covered up all that bitter taste with sugar, so it was delicious.
Without further ado…
Here are 7 things you don’t have to worry about when making loose leaf tea.
1. The exact amount of loose leaf tea.
You don’t need to worry about exact amounts. I know people love the “Perfect” teaspoon that’s on the market. (Isn’t a teaspoon a teaspoon? Is there a special perfect teaspoon? I’ve always been confused about that. Tell me in the comments if you can clear the one up for me.)
All you need is a regular teaspoon that’s sitting in your drawer right now.
A regular coffee mug holds about 12 ounces of water while a smaller teacup holds about 8 ounce of water.
Use two heaping teaspoons of loose leaf tea (or thereabouts) if you’re using a regular size coffee mug, and use two level teaspoons of loose leaf tea if you’re using a smaller teacup.
It’s okay if you don’t use an amount that you like at first. You may find that you like more or less tea in your cup. What’s important is that you start somewhere.
2. The exact water temperature.
You don’t need a fancy kettle that brews your water to 175 degrees F. All you need is a simple kettle to boil water on the stove. Once you do, then you have a couple choices.
If you’re brewing black teas, then steep in boiling water.
If you’re brewing lighter teas like whites, greens, or oolongs, then let the boiled water cool 5 minutes, then the water pour over your tea.
Simple as that.
3. Brewing for an exact amount of time.
It’s true that you can’t just set and forget tea. It gets bitter if it’s steeped too long.
Just remember is that tea burns just like any other plant. So start by brewing loose leaf tea 30 seconds. If it’s too weak for you, then steep the tea for another 30 seconds.
Once you’ve made loose leaf tea once or twice, you’ll know how long you like it steeped.
4. Using fresh spring water.
I always use tap water. I don’t even use the filtered water from my Brita.
Yes, a lot of tea lovers swear that tap water imparts a metallic flavor to the tea (and it can if the water is REALLY bad).
However, you can enjoy a delicious cup of loose leaf tea with tap water. I do it every day. It is possible.
You’ll still experience all the same delicious flavors and aromas that you would whether you used spring water to make your loose leaf tea. Here’s a breakdown of all the yummy flavors and aromas you might take in.
5. Using fancy brew tools.
I love using teapots for a fancy tea ritual when I’m in the mood, but I use this loose leaf tea infuser daily. Whatever you use, it just has to be large enough to allow the leaves to unfurl completely. (That’s how you get all the delicious flavors from the leaf.)
My favorite tool is this simple yet lovely Brew-in-Mug. You can set it in any coffee mug, thermos, or tea cup. It both allows the leaves to unfurl, and its small stainless steel sieve keeps little bits of tea from making their way int your cup.
6. Making loose leaf will take too much time.
No, it won’t. Making loose leaf tea takes as much time as you want it to take.
If you like a longer ritual where you brew teas in a teapot and have a seat with your tea, then you can make a longer ritual of it. If you want to take your tea on the go with you during your commute, you can use a Brew in Mug with your thermos to make loose leaf tea in just as much time as it takes to steep a teabag.
You can handle loose leaf tea. I promise.
PLUS, it’s fun looking at all the pretty leaves after they’re brewed.
7. Making a Loose Leaf Faux Pas.
No one will judge you if you make a cup of tea that doesn’t taste great. It’s your tea, and you don’t have to listen to anyone’s opinion on how you “should” drink it.
I will say that I highly suggest using loose leaf tea if you want to drink the best cup of tea you’ve ever had and if you’re drinking tea for the health benefits. You’ll get more bang for your buck for each of those reasons.
Also, please don’t use the microwave to brew your tea. Please. 🙂
Want to learn more about the flavors you can taste when making loose leaf tea? Click here to get your free PDF breaking down tea’s flavors & aromas.
Owner & Tea Zealot
Sicilian Tea Company