Loose Leaf Tea
Loose leaf tea is how tea has traditionally been brewed for thousands of years. The commercially packaged tea bags that many consumers are familiar are only a much more recent invention, however what they gain in ease of use they sacrifice in flavor and sustainability. What are the benefits of switching from grocery store tea bags to loose leaf teas?
Flavor - When tea is brewed the leaves expand in size as they steep. The more room tea has to expand while brewing, the better the flavor will be. Traditional tea bags take a lot of loose leaf tea and cram it into as small of a bag as possible, which means that the full range of flavors in any given tea blend will be limited.
Sustainabilitea - Traditional tea bags are intended to be single use and disposable. Loose leaf tea is brewed in a reusable infuser or teapot, meaning that there is no extra waste created when brewing a cup of tea. Just rinse the infuser between uses and help keep the earth healthy.
Qualitea - Many large-brand tea companies use the cheapest tea they can, often referred to as "fannings", which looks like dust instead of full tea leaves. Making the switch to brewing loose leaf tea ensures that you are getting the highest quality teas. While some manufactures are switching to using real loose leaf tea in their tea bags and sachets for enhanced flavor, brewing your own loose leaf tea will result in your ability to easily ensure your cup is brewed exactly to your liking, including how strong the tea is.
If you're new to the world of loose leaf tea brewing, you might be wondering how to brew loose leaf tea. The process is no more complicated than brewing a cup of coffee! First, select an infuser or teapot. These come in all shapes and sizes and can make either an individual cup at a time or an entire pot to share. Next, measure out your loose leaf tea. You'll want to use about one teaspoon of loose leaf tea for every eight ounces of hot water you'll be brewing. Next, heat your water to just below boiling, at about 195ºF - 205ºF. Pour the hot water over your tea and let it steep for 2 - 6 minutes depending on the type of tea. Finally, remove the tea from the water and serve!