Brew tea - Do we make all teas the same way?

How to brew tea using loose tea leaves


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When I brew tea I always use cold filtered water. I personally used a brita filtering system for a long time. The brita is a plastic pitcher with a filtering system inside. You pour water in the top and it runs through the filter.

With the complete remodel of our kitchen, we graduated to an under sink filtering system. I love knowing that our water is safe because it's being filtered at home. I have read that bottled water is often no better than city tap.

I'm a person who tends to worry that we take too many chemicals into our bodies through foods and beverages. I buy organic loose leaf tea to gain the health advantages of drinking it. I want the water I'm using to be as chemical free as possible too.


Next step-heat the water to the right temperature

Loose leaves will need a lot of room to open and expand.This will allow the essential oils to release their flavor into your pot. Use a large enough vessel or tea infuser to allow for this to happen.

While waiting for your water to heat, prewarm the teapot. If the heated water for your tea is poured into a cold teapot, the drop in water temperature will decrease the flavor extraction from the tea.

I always advise that you use the amount of loose leaf tea recommended by the tea company. There are usually directions on the packaging. Generally about one teaspoon of loose leaf is recommended per 6 to 8 ounce cup of water. White teas are the exception here. I find 1 tablespoon of loose leaf is recommended for these teas.

It is very important to use the correct water temperature when you brew tea. Follow the directions that come with your tea for the recommended brewing time and temperature.


brew tea Black tea leaves -- bring the water to a rolling boil. Immediately pour the boiling water over the tea. Allow black tea to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. I usually steep mine for 4 minutes. Always remove the infuser or strain the leaves. I find leaves left in the teapot makes very bitter tea.

Loose leaf green tea is more delicate than black tea. To brew use water that is about 180 degrees Fahrenheit or just below boiling. This lower temperature helps protect against a bitter taste in green tea. Brew tea for about 3 minutes.

White loose leaf tea is prepared much like green tea. If the water is too hot it will ruin the delicate leaves. The ideal water temperature is between 175 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of white tea per eight ounces of water in a cup or teapot. Pour water over the tea and steep for two minutes.

Oolong loose leaf is brewed just as black tea is.

Pu-erh is tea that has been aged. You can buy loose leaves or pressed into what I would call a pellet. The pellets are called a tuo cha.

Fill a tea pot half way with boiling water, unwrap the paper covering and place the tuo cha piece in the pot.
It is recommended to wait just a moment, and then pour the water out. Replace with fresh boiling water.
Allow the tea to steep for five minutes. If you have not used an infuser then strain the tea while pouring. The leaves can be steeped again for a second serving that will be as good as the first - it's impossible to over steep this tea.

Note: All loose leaf tea can be steeped more than once. This makes tea, even loose leaf tea an inexpensive beverage. You can’t argue with that.

More information on how to brew tea

Brew Chinese white tea
Pu erh brewing method
Steeping black loose leaf tea
How to brew green tea
Herbal mint tea

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