BREWING WITHOUT A TEA INFUSER
Here in the UK, we usually depend on an infuser or strainer to brew our loose leaf teas. But perhaps you’re new to loose leaf, and haven’t got round to buying one yet? Or maybe your old infuser has gone astray?
Whilst it’s not strictly necessary to remove your leaves, it does reduce the chance of over-brewing and makes for easier drinking.
NO INFUSER? NO PROBLEM!
With a quick scan of your kitchen cupboards, you could be enjoying a lovely smooth tea in minutes.
COFFEE FRENCH PRESS
If you’re a fan of coffee, you probably have a French press lying around somewhere. Making tea in your French press is more or less the same process. Add 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per cup to the French press and cover with hot water. Leave to infuse for approximately 3-4 minutes. When you’re happy with the brew, push the plunger down (without squeezing too hard and extracting the bitterness within the leaves!).
Because of the rich intensity of coffee, it’s advisable to give your French press an extra-thorough scrub, so as not to spoil those subtler tea flavours.
Your kitchen sieve can do much more than dust sugar onto your fairy cakes. In fact, it performs a very similar function to a tea strainer.
It’s possible to brew your tea separately, and place the sieve above the cup as you pour. It should catch most of the leaves!
Sieves made from stainless steel or heat-friendly materials are best. Do bear in mind that sieves can be quite bulky though. You might want to do this over the sink, and choose someone with a steady hand! Pouring from a teapot, or a jug with a lip, will give you more control. Always take care around hot liquids.
SLOTTED SPOON OR FORK
If you’re really in a fix, you can simply try fishing out the leaves with a slotted spoon or fork. This can be rather time-consuming though, and it’s certainly not easy to reach all of those pesky smaller leaves! Another option is brewing your tea in a jug, and using your spoon or fork as a barrier for the leaves, whilst you carefully pour the liquid into a separate cup.
Did you know that you can buy empty disposable paper tea bags? They tend to be slightly larger than your average premade tea bag, to make filling up with loose leaves less troublesome. Some varieties even have a handy drawstring function to close the tea bag afterwards. Once ready, you can treat it as you would your regular tea bag (remembering that loose leaf normally benefits from an extra minute or so to brew). Rather retro in appearance, many of these empty pouches are fully compostable, ensuring your loose leaf tea experience is as eco-friendly as possible.
Alternatively, Twinings’ prefilled pyramid bag range delivers the complexity of loose leaf tea without the hassle of cleaning up. Made from a biodegradable corn-starch mesh, these silky pyramid bags are strong enough to support the bigger ingredients within.