Steeping tea is an art and a skill. Many people think that all you need to do is boil water, put the loose-leaf tea in your teacup or mug, pour the boiling water over it and wait for it to steep. This is not always true.
Tea's taste can be determined by many factors, such as what kind of container you steep the leaves in, the temperature of the water, the type of tea leaves, and how long you let them steep before drinking them.
Perfecting the art of brewing tea takes time and experimentation. The key to achieving the best tasting teas starts with understanding some basic guidelines on steeping times, temperatures, types of containers used for brewing loose leaf varieties, and more!
Utensils Needed to Brew Loose Leaf Tea?
To brew loose tea leaf, you need the following four things.
- Tea Infuser
- Teapot or Tea Mug
- Tea Kettle
- Loose Leaf Tea
Let us discuss the functions performed by each of these utensils.
- Tea Infuser
Tea infuser does not allow the leaves to freely float on your brew while drinking tea because no one likes to chew tea leaves while enjoying their favorite beverage. In addition to that, the tea infuser allows you to stop steeping after a specified interval of time so that your tea does not get bitter.
Furthermore, if you wish to use a disposable filter, that will be fine as well. A basket infuser could also be used and placed on top of your mug or pot instead.
To brew tea, you will need a teapot or mug. You can also choose a tea mug that has tea infusers attached to it.
- Tea Kettle
Boiling water requires a tea kettle. You can opt to go for traditional stovetop kettles; however, for a faster and efficient boiling experience, you should go for the electric kettle option.
- Loose Leaf Tea
To brew a delicious cup of loose-leaf tea, you will need some loose leaf tea.
How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea
Follow the instructions given below to brew a fresh cup of loose-leaf tea.
Take a kettle and boil water in it.
Be Careful While Choosing Water for Steeping Loose-Leaf Tea
While selecting the water, make sure you make the right choice.
- Tap water is not a good option because it might result in a muddy brew and a robust mineral flavor.
- Distilled water is not recommended because it lacks essential minerals and results in a flat-tasting tea.
- Re-boiled water is not a good go to because it lacks oxygen and presents a flat-tasting tea. So, you must discard previously boiled water and use freshly boiled water for brewing a fresh cup of tea.
- The best option to go for is the natural spring water. However, if spring water is not accessible, you can choose filtered water.
Add loose-leaf tea to the tea infuser as soon as the water starts boiling. Then, place the tea infuser inside the teapot or tea mug.
If you are using iced tea, add twice the amount of tea you usually would.
Pay attention to water temperature.
Getting the right water temperature is the most crucial and challenging part of brewing loose leaf tea. Mainly, green tea is sensitive to water temperature. However, temperature ranges vary for different types of teas.
For example, Japanese sencha depicts an example of how cooler water extracts sweet and savory umami flavor. Sencha can be brewed at temperatures ranging from 122 degrees F to 176 degrees F.
On the other hand, black tea presents the best taste at around 203 degrees F while oolong tea at 176 to 203 degrees F. White tea offers the best taste at about 203 degrees F.
How to Get the Right Water Temperature?
Having understood the importance of maintaining the right temperature, you might be wondering how I can get the desired temperature for different types of teas. Let us find out.
Pour the water into a closed kettle and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes to reduce the temperature by 10 degrees F. Every kettle is different, so the best method is to use a thermometer to explore how long it takes for the water to cool in your kettle.
Pour the hot water into the teapot or mug once the water reaches the desired temperature. Thus, the water will flow freely through the leaves.
Immerse the infuser at least twice within a given time frame so that the water is thoroughly circulated. Then, take out the infuser and set it aside to steep. Avoid over-steeping; otherwise, the tea will become bitter.
That is it. Your delicious loose-leaf tea is ready. If you are looking for delicious and satisfying iced tea, try serving it in a mug or pouring it over ice.
While re-steeping the tea, allow a couple of extra minutes. In this way, the tea will present the original flavor.
Steeping tea is a simple process that can bring complex results. Many Tea lovers out there like drinking loose tea because it is more flavorful and complex than bagged tea. The art of steeping is simple, but there are a few tricks that make the process easier.
There are many different types of teas, each with its unique flavor and taste. To get the best out of your tea, it is essential to know how to steep loose leaf tea properly. So, how do you make great-tasting teas? We would love to hear from you!