The art of loose leaf tea brewing – Understanding the basics
Loose leaf tea is a fine drink that should be crafted with care and attention. To truly brew a fantastic leaf tea beverage, you should understand the different steps involved and learn how to perform processes like boiling, preparation and stirring. One important aspect of the tea making process is steeping. Steeping is how the tea leaves infuse with the boiled water and are the process that releases the juices and flavor of the tea. Without enough steeping, you will create a brew that is bland and insufficiently diffused. How do you steep tea leaves? What is an appropriate time to leave the tea to infuse for? Are there any tools that you can use to help the process?
Once the water has boiled, you should immediately place your loose tea leaves in the cup/teapot. If you leave the water to cool, you risk hindering the infusion process. The tea leaves should be placed directly in the hot water, alternatively, you can use a strainer or a tea ball to ensure that no part of the leaf breaks away into the cup. Once the leaves are placed in the water, you should leave them to steep naturally. Don’t apply any pressure or attempt to stir the concoction. If you press or prod you risk breaking the leaves and disrupting the steeping process. Allowing the tea to steep naturally, will ensure that the juices and nutrients properly diffuse with the hot water to create a full-bodied and flavorsome brew.
Ensure that you watch the steeping process. Loose leaf tea making should be treated as a labor of love! Don’t simply walk away and start watching TV; be attentive, watch the leaves infuse with the water and monitor the steeping progress. There is no set time frame to steep your leaves. We could tell you 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes, but it will take as long as it takes. Watch to see how the water changes color and when the drink has a full color your tea is ready!