Loose Leaf Tea Steeping Guide

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!

Steeping Time

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.

Water Temperature

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.


Guide To Popular Tea Types

Are you entering the world of tea, the world’s oldest hot beverage? Tea is a wonderful drink for social gatherings, to warm up on a cold winter’s evening (or morning!), provides comfort to a person in distress, et cetera. You can find tea for just about everyone, especially when you dive into the world of loose leaf tea and the vast array of tea types out there. But for now, let’s discuss a little bit of information regarding the top three tea types now:

Green Tea

Green teas are relatively unoxidized, which means the pure varieties maintain their gorgeous colour when you steep them. The leaves undergo a heating process to eliminate the enzyme responsible for oxidization. This process is often roasting the leaves (China) or steaming them (Japan). The Chinese method results in a citrus or smoky flavour, whereas the Japanese method results in a vegetal or herbaceous quality. The former often means pale yellow tea and the latter a light green to deep green.

Black Tea

Perhaps the most popular type of tea (think Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, and English Breakfast) black tea is fully oxidized. Though this tea originated in China, it is now cultivated around the world, and some of the most famous blends come from regions in India (e.g. Assam, Darjeeling). The best black teas are done by hand, though the use of machines to produce tea is becoming much more common.

White Tea

White tea is the most delicate out of all the teas detailed on this list, and also undergoes the least amount of processing. Varieties of this tea often have delicate smells and flavours associated with it, featuring floral or fresh and earthy flavours. You can add fruit and other flavours into a white tea, but in doing so you run the risk of making it taste artificial. You must also be careful about the temperature of the water, since it is very easy to burn white tea.

3 Popular Hot Beverages For The Winter

hot beverages

Winter is the time of roaring fires, fuzzy blankets, and cozy nights in your home, protected from the blowing snow outside your door. Want to make your evening even cozier? Reach for a lovely hot beverage! Not sure what you want to have? Here are three popular options to consider. Go on, indulge!

Hot Chocolate

Interested in the taste of liquid chocolate? Want to have puffy white marshmallows dissolving into your beverage? Hot chocolate is the perfect choice for your cozy winter night curled up by the roaring fire. You can make your mug of deliciousness in a few ways. If you want it with milk, we suggest warming a mug about ¾ full in the microwave, then stirring in a couple tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix. Follow up by filling the rest of the mug with some cool milk to make sure you can drink it right away.

A faster way of making a mug of hot chocolate is to put your kettle on to boil water, before mixing the hot water with your hot chocolate mix. Of course, you can still top off your drink with milk and marshmallows, should you choose.


Need a boost of caffeine to stay awake through the next movie on your screen or to finish reading a book? You might even want to wait up for Santa! Or, really, stay up later so our kids are asleep when you pile presents under the Christmas tree. Regardless, a mug of coffee is the best of these hot beverages to keep your system running as you stay awake. Sip on it without milk or sugar, or make it as creamy and delicious as you like.


Not a fan of coffee? Need something a little bit healthier? Why not be British for the night and brew a nice cup of tea? Tea is certainly cozy and is perhaps the most popular of these hot beverages to give someone if they are feeling a little down (think chamomile or peppermint).

3 Creative Ways To Drink Hot Chocolate

hot chocolateOne of the most popular hot drinks during the winter months is the decadent hot chocolate. This is a favourite among both coffee and tea lovers alike. There are countless ways to drink this rich, indulgent beverage—perhaps there are as many different ways to drink hot chocolate as there are people who drink it. Here are three of the most creative and delicious options available, if you have trouble deciding:

Spice It Up With Cinnamon

Did you know you can make your mug of hot chocolate taste like winter? Did you know its deliciousness can rise significantly? All you need to do is add a little sprinkle of cinnamon to taste, or use a cinnamon stick as your way of stirring your drink. The spice from cinnamon blends with and enhances the flavour of your hot chocolate. Sip away with the spice!

Spike Your Drink

If you are of legal age and are not intending to drive anywhere, make your hot chocolate extra cozy by spiking your mug. You can choose from many different liquors, such as rum or whiskey, but our personal favourite is the delicious, creamy taste of Baileys drizzled into a hot mug of chocolate. Just be aware of how much you put in—make sure you keep your wits about you!

Candy Cane Christmas

Who wants to have Christmas in a cup? Try making your own peppermint hot chocolate by purchasing a box of candy canes and using them as stir sticks in your hot chocolate. As they melt and blend with your drink, candy canes will leave the taste of peppermint behind. Many people associate the scent and taste of peppermint with the fluffy snow and warmth of the Christmas season. Why not embrace the idea and pour a little Christmas to sip on while you wait by the fire?

5 Popular Coffee Shop Drinks

When you visit a coffee shop, there is a plethora of options for you. Many places will have donuts, muffins, and other backed goods—but the drinks on offer are generally what people think of when they visit. They are the biggest sellers after all! Sometimes, however, people can feel overwhelmed at what the choices actually are beyond simple tea and coffee. Here are 5 of the most popular options and what they all entail:


This one is great for people looking to try coffee but who might not enjoy the taste. A mocha will generally be half coffee and half hot chocolate, though some places will let you customize the exact ratio. You can also opt for steamed milk and other add ins depending on where you are.

London Fog

This one gives no hints as to what goes in it, which can confuse many who do not know about it already. A London Fog is Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and a vanilla flavour shot. This is very popular among tea drinkers who frequent coffee shops, especially if they want to go above a simple cup of tea.


Though we are getting into the fancier named coffee drinks with this one, macchiatos are actually quite simple! In fact, they are just a double shot of espresso with milk foam on top. You can also go for a caramel macchiato, which means there will be caramel drizzle on the milk foam, and even some flavouring in the espresso.

Chai Latte

Not a big coffee fan? In addition to the London Fog, chai lattes are great for tea drinkers who want to visit coffee shops. They consist of strong chai tea and steamed milk, though some places will also include a sprinkling of cinnamon or even a cinnamon stick inside your drink. Delicious!


This is perhaps the most popular drink to order at a coffee shop aside from a straight cup of coffee. This drinks starts with some espresso, to which they add some steamed milk and milk foam. This is the perfect drink to add flavour too as well, the most popular being a vanilla cappuccino.

How To Make Iced Tea

Do you love a comforting cup of tea in the winter? Hot tea is great, but sometimes summer can get too hot to enjoy this hot beverage. The good news? You can ice it! Here’s how you can make the perfect pitcher of iced tea to enjoy on the patio this sunny summer.

Step 1: Choose Your Tea

What kind of tea do you like? In terms of form, both bagged and loose leaf tea will work for iced tea. You’ll likely just have a little more work to make loose leaf iced tea, but it is still a simple process overall.

We advise herbal or other fruity teas for this, though you can also make iced green tea should you wish. Teas like English Breakfast or Earl Grey, while amazing blends for hot tea, do not work as well as iced tea.

Step 2: Boil Water

Why would you boil water if you are making iced tea? You do it because your tea needs the hot water in order to steep and release their flavour. While you wait for the water to boil, move onto the next step.

Step 3: Prep Your Pitcher

If you are making loose leaf iced tea, you are likely going to need a pitcher with a built-in infuser, or other infusers you can dunk into the pitcher. Put the tea in the infuser or straight into the pitcher if it’s bagged tea). You will need double the amount of tea you would normally put in for a cup of hot tea (e.g. if you put in one bag or teaspoon per normal cup, put in two for iced tea).

Step 4: Pour and Steep

Once your water is ready, pour it into the pitcher with tea. Only fill you pitcher halfway if you plan to drink your iced tea soon. Otherwise, you could fill up the whole pitcher with the hot water if you want. Wait for four to seven minutes for steeping (adjust based on the specific tea you are making)before taking the tea bag or infuser out of the pitcher.

Step 5: Add Ice

If you are going to drink your tea right away, fill up the rest of the pitcher with ice cubes to drop the temperature as fast as possible. If you are saving the tea for later, you can just top up the pitcher will cool water if you need to, or just put the full hot pitcher into the fridge.

Step 6: Enjoy!

You’re ready! Pour the tea into a glass and enjoy the summer sun on the patio while sipping your cool, refreshing beverage.