So you’re diving into the world of loose leaf tea? Loose tea is better in quality than bagged tea, no question. The leaves are more flavourful, fresher, et cetera. Regardless of the tea you have, it is important to understand how to brew tea properly. Ready? Here is a handy loose leaf tea steeping guide to help:
Amount Of Tea
First thing’s first: how much tea do you need? This does depend in part on your personal taste, but roughly one and a quarter teaspoons is a good starting point. You can lessen the tea if its too strong, or add more if it’s not strong enough. This amount applies to an average mug of tea—not those super-sized mugs. You’ll need more tea leaves for those!
The steeping time depends entirely on the type of tea you have. More often than not it will fall between one and seven minutes, with the average being three to five minutes. We suggest steeping black, white, and green teas for three to five minutes (for most varieties). If you want to re-steep your tea leaves, which you can do for many varieties, increase the steeping time by at least 30 seconds (no more than a minute) each subsequent steep. Another not is if you are making pu-erh tea (specifically tea cakes), you should rinse them with hot water before steeping the first time.
The other major component of this loose leaf tea steeping guide is the temperature of the water. If you boil the water too hot for certain teas, you will burn the leaves and end up with a bitter taste in your mouth. You do not want to go over 185 degrees for white or green tea, whereas with black tea 185 degrees is the minimum, and you can often go up to around 200 degrees if you wish.