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Loose Leaf Tea Brewing Tips

 

brewing tea


After water, tea is the second most popular beverage in the world. The trend of drinking tea is booming globally and more people all around US are joining in. All of this is because antioxidants in the tea prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases while aiding in weight loss. Tea that is freshly brewed is natural, free of fats, calories, gluten, sugar and preservatives as well as low in caffeine. 


Tea is brewed in 2 forms: bags and loose tea. Almost all tea lovers agree that tea-bag tea and loose leaf tea differ in their quality. With most of the leaves’ aroma and essential oil trapped inside the loose leaf tea, its taste and quality are worth the time it takes to brew. While teabags are convenient and easier to use, loose leaf tea provides the most benefits if one knows how to brew loose leaf tea. Four main components help in brewing the perfect cup of tea. They shall all be discussed to learn how to brew loose leaf tea perfectly.


1. The Loose Tea Leaves


how to brew loose leaf tea


All tea leaves come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Depending on the variety of the plant, the weather conditions and the soil used for the plantation, the tea leaves vary in their properties. Oxidation of the leaves after they have been plucked leads to the variety in tea leaves as well. Types of loose tea leaves that are commonly used to brew tea are: white, green, black, oolong, mate, rooibos, pu-erh and herbal or fruit tea.The time needed to steep each type differs.


White tea requires 5 minutes of steeping.


Green tea and oolong tea takes 1-4 minutes of steeping to be brewed.


Pu-erh needs 2-5 minutes of steeping.


Black tea and herbal/fruit tea are steeped for 3-5 minutes for perfect brewing.

 

The amount of loose tea leaves required for perfect brewing are consistent. Mate requires 1.5 tespoon per cup of tea while all other tea types need a tespoon per cup.

 

2.  The Steep or Tea Infuser


The perfect tea brewing requires a good steep or infuser to draw the flavor out of the leaves. The infuser also helps hold the leaves together and prevent them from floating around in the cup. 


The vessel used for steeping (i.e.the infuser) may be made of different materials. If it is made of ceramic, the flavor steeped from the leaves would be best, glass steep would be great, but metal infusers may give unwanted flavor to the tea.


Some people use paper to steep and then throw it away.


Some tea leaves may be steeped again.


3.  Water


To brew loose leaf tea, the water used must be fresh, filtered and warm. Using hard water to make tea can alter the tea’s taste. The temperature that the water needs to be at before adding tea shall be given below. However, for the sake of ease, it may be helpful to note that for black or herbal tea, the water needs to be at a roaring boil. For white and green tea, however, the water should be close to the boiling point (bubbling slightly), but should not be at a roaring boil. For white, green and oolong tea, the water should be at 185 degrees Fahrenheit, while for the black. Mate. Rooibos, herbal/fruit and pu-erh tea, water needs to be at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. 


4.  Tea Kettle


To boil the water, a tea kettle may be used. The tea kettle may be stovetop or electric. The electric kettle is more efficient that the stovetop. If it is not available, a small saucepan or the microwave may be used to warm the water.


5. Steps on How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea


To brew loose leaf tree, the following steps need to be taken in the right order:


1.  Take water in the tea kettle and boil it.

2.  To the tea infuser, add loose tea leaves. (Double amount of leaves would be needed for making iced tea.)

3.  Place tea infuser inside teacup or a mug and pour the boiling water over it, into the cup when it reaches the required temperature. Allow circulation of water in the leaves.

4.  Time the tea, and when the time to steep is over, take the infuser out and place it somewhere for re-brewing.

5.  Serve. For iced tea, pour the water over ice for best results.


These tips can be used for perfect brewing of tea leaves and would help in preparation of the best and healthiest drink out there after water.

 

 



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