Making Loose Leaf Tea
Making loose leaf tea is a process similar to making coffee using fresh coffee grounds. The main difference being that loose leaf tea is not made in a coffee maker, unless it is a French Press brewer. Loose leaf tea allows the drinker to alter the strength of the tea to suit their tastes and show off their skills in tea making. Making loose leaf tea is not difficult and many people prefer the loose leaf method because they can adjust the amount of tea used to make their tea stronger or weaker. Loose leaf tea is widely available in gourmet coffee shops and at online coffee websites. They are available in a wide variety of flavors as well as types, such as black, green and Oolong.
In addition to lose leaf tea, a tea filter, French Press or tea pot with built in filter is necessary to keep the tea leaves from infiltrating the brewed tea and ruining the flavor. The first thing necessary to brew loose leaf tea, in addition to the tea leaves, is boiling water. It is best for the water to be at the boiling stage when it is poured over the tea leaves. An electric kettle is the ideal choice as it keeps the water boiling and is the preferred method in Europe, the home of the most tea drinkers. If the tea is going to be steeped in a tea pot, it should be warmed first by pouring hot water in it and allowing it to sit until the water for the tea is at the boiling stage. If a French Press is being used, this same step is helpful to get more flavor from the tea leaves.
Tea should be added to the teapot or French Press, using one teaspoon of loose leaf tea per cup of tea with an added teaspoon for the pot, if a tea pot is being used. Pour the freshly boiled water over the tea leaves. If the water is allowed to continually boil it will lose oxygen which will alter the taste of the tea. Allow the tea to steep for at least three minutes and up to five minutes. If the tea is served too soon it will not have its full flavor while steeping for too long will create a bitter tea that is unpleasant. Stir the tea in the teapot a few times while steeping. If using a French Press it should be stirred after the water is boiled and the lid put on to keep the heat inside the pot. Once the tea has steeped the required amount of time, pour into the serving cups using the method that matches the type of pot used. If a teapot is used, a tea filter should be used to prevent the tea leaves from following the tea into the cup. If a French Press is used, the plunger should be pushed straight down to trap the tea leaves beneath the plunger filter. The tea can then be poured into the cups.
Making loose leaf tea is a simple process that makes an excellent cup of hot tea. Between the superior taste of hot tea and the excellent health benefits associated with it, making loose leaf tea is the smart way to serve tea to friends and family.