Whether you are settling down with a cup of tea in the evening or getting your day off to a great start with a morning brew, we all have one thing in common: we want our tea to be perfect.
Making the perfect cup of tea might seem like a daunting task (especially when using loose leaf tea!), but it really doesn’t have to be so! All you need to do is choose a lovely tea that suits your mood, and remember a few very simple steps.
So here is all of the information that you could need to know in order to make the perfect tea every single time. Enjoy!
How to brew loose leaf tea
To brew loose leaf tea, you should use a teapot that can infuse the water while keeping the leaves separate.
If you were to use a normal teapot without an infuser, then the leaves would come out with the water into your cup – definitely something that we want to avoid.
Of course, this is a step that you wouldn’t have to take if you were drinking tea from a teabag. But with teabags you are sacrificing a lot for a small amount of time saved. For example:
- Substandard ingredients – most of the time, teabags are filled with offcuts of the ingredients that make up loose leaf tea blends
- Worse taste – you cannot get the same quality that you can with loose leaf tea (there’s also far less variety!)
- Nasty materials – despite a focus on using environmentally friendly materials, the majority of brands still use plastics and glue when making their tea bags. Yuck!
- Rushed – in our opinion, taking the time to brew a cup of loose leaf tea is all part of the experience! Be mindful of the smells. Use it as an excuse to take a moment to yourself and relax
Steps to make a cup of tea
There really aren’t that many steps to making a cup of tea; we guarantee that everyone can do it!
The first thing to do before getting started is consider what type of tea you are using. There are slight differences to how you proceed depending on what kind of tea you want to brew.
If you are using green or white loose leaf tea, then you should start by adding a splash of cold water to your teapot. This is because both green and white tea should be brewed at 85oC (below boiling), whereas all other teas should be brewed at around 100oC (boiling). This splash of cold water will help to lower the temperature of the boiling water when you pour it in.
Step 1 – add leaves to teapot or strainer
The first step is to add your leaves to your teapot or strainer. Usually, the recommended amount is between one and two teaspoons per person, but this can vary depending on the tea you are using so read the packaging for guidance (if you are a dab hand at making tea just how you want it, then by all means carry on!).
Step 2 – brew the tea
Boil your kettle and then add the boiling water to your teapot. Wait for it to stop rolling first to avoid burning the tea leaves.
If you’re making a pot of green or white tea add a splash of cold water to cover the tea leaves before adding the boiling water. This will bring the temperature of the boiling water down slightly so you don’t over brew or burn the tea leaves. You don’t need to do this for black, herbal, rooibos or fruit tea.
Then leave the tea to brew for 3-5 minutes. Brew for longer for a stronger taste with more caffeine.
Step 3 – serve
Once your tea has brewed simply pour it into your cup and enjoy!
Step 4 – remove excess liquid
With loose leaf tea, you can reuse the same tea leaves for at least two more brews.
If you want to do this (which we do recommend), then make sure you pour out any excess liquid from the teapot so that the leaves can dry. Skipping this step will cause the leaves to brew for longer than required which can make them taste bitter.
You’ll probably find that your tea has a slightly different taste every time you reuse your tea leaves. This isn’t a bad thing, enjoy the variety!
If you really want to go the extra mile and perform a mas-tea-class, then follow these bonus tips!
- Add a splash of boiling water to your mug before adding the tea. This will raise the temperature of the mug so that it doesn’t cool the tea down once poured in.
- The same rule applies to your teapot. Warming the teapot before you brew your tea will ensure the boiling water keeps to the right temperature for the brew.
- Use fresh water in your kettle. If you fill your kettle once and keep boiling it to make cups of tea, then not only will you be hurting your wallet as your electricity bill soars, but you’ll also end up with lower quality tea as a result. The oxygen in fresh water aids the flavour profile of the tea, and every time you boil it the water loses some oxygen.
What does steep the tea mean?
You may hear people refer to steeping the tea. This is just another word for boil.
When you add water to the tea leaves, you are steeping the tea. This is because the leaves are soaking – which is what steep literally means.
So the next time you hear a tea-lover refer to steeping the tea, you can engage in conversation rather than nod politely and avoid the subject!
How long to steep loose leaf tea
How long you steep the tea for will differ depending on what type of tea you are using and how strong you want it.
In general, the longer you allow your tea to steep then the stronger it becomes. However, there is a limit for every tea where it will become bitter if steeped for too long, so be sure to follow the guidance on your packaging and increase steep time in small increments if you want a stronger flavour.
How much loose leaf tea per cup?
We use between one and two teaspoons of tea per person. The more tea is used, the stronger the flavour will be.
If you are using a teapot that holds more than one cup’s worth of tea, then add an extra teaspoon into the infuser ‘for the pot’.
Find your perfect brew at Leaf Tea Shop
And there you have it! Making the perfect cup of tea couldn’t be easier.
Now you just have to find the right blend for you. Take a look at our black loose leaf tea if you have never strayed away from English Breakfast before, or (if you are feeling adventurous) try one of our new dessert loose leaf teas for an indulgent brew.