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Brewing Methods: Loose Tea Made Easy

Bliss DakeApril 13th, 2009 by Bliss Dake

We often hear from customers who are first time tea drinkers that they are intimidated by the thought of preparing loose tea.  Making loose tea does not have to be challenging or time consuming.  With a wide variety of tea accessories now available you can enjoy loose tea whenever, whether a full pot or single-serving with minimal preparation and effort.

Single-Serve Tea Infuser:  I often make a single-serving of loose tea while at work.  It allows me stainless-infuser1to sample a wider variety of loose teas versus drinking only flavors available in tea pouch or tea bag form.  Using a tea infuser makes preparing a single-serving convenient and quick without having to prep a whole teapot.   I heat my water using an electric kettle, and add the appropriate amount of loose tea to the infuser resting in my cup.

Within minutes I am sipping on a freshly steeped cup of loose tea.   You can find infusers available in a variety of  styles and sizes,  including stainless steel infusers, mesh tea balls, tea infuser spoons, plastic infusers, tea wands and more.  Clean up only requires washing your infuser and cup.

gaiwan4Gaiwan or Handless Cup with Lid and Saucer:  The gaiwan or small handless cup with lid and saucer is a popular method in China and Taiwan for quick and simple  loose tea preparation.   Tea leaves are added to the cup followed by hot water.

After several minutes of steeping, while holding the saucer on the bottom, the liquid is poured into smaller tasting vessels as the lid is tilted back on the cup to strain out the tea leaves.  It’s reminiscent of straining the water out of pasta.  The saucer effectively insulates the bottom of the cup allowing you to handle while hot.  Alternatively, the tea can be drunk right out of the gaiwan by using the lid to hold back the leaves while sipping the steeped liquid.t-sac1

Paper Filter Bags:  If you want to avoid dealing with a strainer or infuser all together, then you can utilize paper filter bags.  Unbleached and chlorine-free and  available in cup size or teapot sizes, the t-sac loose tea filter bag is a beautiful thing – it allows you to make your own teabag.   Add the appropriate amount of loose tea into the bag (depending on size and how strong you like your tea), place it in your cup, and add hot water.

Teapots:  After thousands of years, the traditional teapot still brews up a perfect cup. Here are some secrets for preparing the highest quality tea using a teapot.

fine-dining-copy-2Teapots for tea types:  We recommend that you dedicate one teapot for only one type of tea: one for black, green and herbals.  Pots can become seasoned by black teas and if you prepare other styles of tea, like green, in the same pot, it may affect the flavor.

Teapot serving size:  Other factors to consider when thinking about tea preparation is how many cups you will be serving. It is best to have both a small and large teapot – a small one for single cup and a larger one for multiple cup servings.

Teapots are made out of a variety of materials including cast-iron, clay, glass, porcelain, silver and earthenware.  Whether it is tea culture in China, Japan or other countries, each respective tradition involves preparing and drinking tea in distinctive way, including the kind of teapot used.  Enhance your loose tea drinking experience by building up a collection of teapots and use to compliment different settings or moods.

As you can see, many options exist for quick and easy loose tea brewing.  So, pick your tool, and start infusing.  Happy steeping!

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5 Responses to “Brewing Methods: Loose Tea Made Easy”

  1. ben says:

    The most efficient method I find to make a single cup is to use an infuser like this: http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/46956800. Much more environmentally friendly than disposable bags.

  2. Jen says:

    I like using a French press.

  3. Julie says:

    Thank you for the advice. I always gave away my loose teas because I did not know how to prepare them. Now I’m eager to prepare my first cup.

  4. mightyLeaf says:

    Your welcome. Hope you enjoy exploring the world of loose tea.

  5. Lily says:

    I always use a mug with a strainer or a stainless strainer which can be used with any regular mugs. It is very handy as this way I can re-brew the same tea leaves several times during the day.

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