The water you choose for your tea should be low in alkalinity, free of chlorine, soft, and have a clear, clean taste. The ideal water contains few minerals and is pH neutral. Springwater is a popular choice but there are also filters that can reduce the chlorine and alkalinity in order for you to get the true flavor of your tea.
There are different water temperatures for different varieties of tea. Water that is too hot can cause scalding of the tea and a loss of the lighter notes. Water too cold won’t bring out all the features. White tea should be between 160 and 185 degrees. Green tea is best between 185 and 195 degrees. Oolongs and black teas should be between 205 and 212 degrees. Herbal tea should be between 195 and 205 degrees.
The general rule of thumb is a tablespoon of tea for every 8 to 12 ounces of water but this can vary depending on the different styles of tea.
The time varies depending on the tea as well. White tea should be brewed for two to three minutes. Green tea should brew for two minutes. Blacks and oolongs should brew between one and a half and four minutes, while herbal tea should be between three and four minutes.
Different Ways to Brew Loose Leaf Tea
You can use different tools to properly brew your tea. You may find some of the pieces where you buy loose-leaf tea.
Tea Pouches and Tea Balls
Tea balls are easy to use and classic but there are some flaws with this method. A cheap tea ball can fall apart after just a short period of use. Instead, invest in a good tea ball or tea strainer. You are also able to make your own tea pouches at home. These are tea bags that you fill yourself so that you are able to select the flavor, type, and level that is right for you. If you are going to do this, be sure you don’t fill them up all the way since this will keep the tea from unfurling as it infuses, which negates the point of choosing whole leaf tea.
In-Cup Tea Infusers
These are convenient. You drop the infuser with the tea inside, add hot water, steep for the desired time, and then remove the infuser and enjoy your tea. The best infusers are made of a non-reactive metal or a BPA-free food-grade plastic.
This provides you an easy way to brew tea anytime and anywhere. The simplest way to do so is to add tea leaves and water, brew, and then use the provided lid to strain when you pour it into the cup. You can also drink from them and use the lid in order to stir the leaves away before you take a sip. You are also able to pour sips of tea into the lid in order for it to cool down faster or share with others.