Dear Tea Friends,
I recently came across this “classic” post from the early days of Tea Party Girl. The founder, Jenny Wells, had some great thoughts on the time it takes to make tea and why it’s important to spend the time! At the end of this article I have some updates on ways to save time making tea. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to see my personal list.
As a tea lover, educator, and promoter, it’s amazing how often I hear from people that brewing loose leaf tea is too much work.
When I began to drink tea at home, I never gave the “work” a second thought.
Again, could this be because many, many Americans don’t know the great taste and experience of a brewed pot of loose-leaf tea?
The goal of enjoying a pot of properly brewed loose-leaf tea motivated me to learn proper brewing techniques.
Yes, brewing a decent pot of tea is more work than microwaving tap-water in a mug for a bag of herb crumbs from the grocery store. And yes, making dinner Rachel Ray style is more work than visiting McDonalds. (Rachel, by the way, claims to “hate” tea and I’m wondering what kind she’s drunk…herb tea bags, maybe?). But, oh the reward, the essence, the feast of the senses properly brewed tea brings!
For those of you who are brewing loose-leaf tea at home, here are my top five tips for great tasting, smelling, and “tempatured” tea:
1. Use filtered water. A decent cup of tea (and a lousy cup of tea) is made up with 95% water. The water taste makes a tremendous difference!
2. Don’t over-boil your water. All the steam pouring out of your tea kettle while you’re off getting the mail? It’s two part hydrogen and one part oxygen,right? Water without oxygen tastes flat.
3. Learn the correct brewing times for the leaves you’re using. Green tea, for example, cannot handle the heat of boiling water or long brewing times. If the green tea you’ve tasted is bitter, this is why. Brew green tea for 2 minutes at rapid steam but not the exploding steam of boiling water.
4. Throw away the mesh balls everyone owns and no one uses for brewing loose-leaf tea. They are only good for one cup of tea at a time. Tea leaves must have room to expand if they are going to release their flavor. Purchase a tea sock,sack, or pot with an infuser instead.
5. Choose a beautiful cup (try one with a thin-lip, they far surpass chunky dime-a-dozen mugs in experiencing beauty on your lips), fill it only 2/3 full so it doesn’t cool down before you finish, and try your tea with the sugar in your treat, not your tea. (For richer blacks, a touch of milk can hit the spot).
(Yes, I fit all my favorite tips over 5 into number 5…couldn’t resist!)
Don’t forget! Only brew tea that SMELLS great.
Embrace the “work” and learn the rich reward of brewing tea daily for your health and heart!
Meet Me For Tea at Three,
Dawnya’s time saving, tea making, suggestions.
If life has got you on the run adapt some new technology and keep using great loose leaf tea.
The Steep and Go by Tea Spot
#1 The K Cup Adapter - While the Keurig is not the ideal or most flavorful way to make tea, it can be adapted in a pinch. Don’t waste your time and money buying the K-cup teas. They are junk. Instead buy an adapter and choose a small cut tea such as an English Breakfast. Buy the tea loose leaf and scoop 1 1/4 tsp into the K Cup Adapter. In 60 seconds you have tea that while not as good as brewing correctly, is tolerable in a hurry!
#2 Personal Iced Tea - Here’s a great way to make custom iced to on the go. Grab a bottle of your favorite water, put a pinch of your favorite loose leaf tea in the container and add this amazing filter. In no time you will have fresh steeped, iced tea. Easy to drink and easy to travel.
#3 Brew On The Go- These easy to use disposable filters work great for both coffee and tea. Keep them in your desk along with a tin of your favorite loose leaf tea. Brew your water in an electric kettle and “TaDah! you are done!” These filters are affordable and easy to take with you.
Tea Party Girl asks: What’s your secret for making great tea?