How To Get Started With Loose Leaf Tea
Whether you want to step your tea game up a notch, experiment with different tastes and blends, or just fancy taking your tea adventures to a whole new level, loose leaf tea is everyone’s cup of tea!
Turn Over A New Leaf
Loose leaf tea has often been seen as a bit of a fusspot! From making sure you’ve got the right kind of equipment to mastering the perfect blend - and then there’s the time it takes to brew, seems like a lot of effort for a cuppa, right?
Actually, getting started with loose leaf tea is far easier than you’ve been led to believe - and it doesn’t have to be just for special occasions and tea ceremonies.
Fancy a Brew or a Fancy Brew?
Let’s start at the beginning - what exactly is loose leaf tea? Essentially, loose leaf tea is a tea that’s not brewed in a teabag. Loose tea comes from the dried leaves of the same plant that you’ll find in your regular tea bag, Camellia Sinensis. All tea comes in grades but the difference between what you find in loose leaf versus a teabag will usually be of a higher grade.
There are six categories of tea, white tea, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, yellow tea, and dark tea, all with different strengths and flavours - there are also different grades within tea too, which can get a bit technical - but all you need to know is that loose leaf is the larger tea leaves that haven’t been broken or are not as broken; unlike the dust or ‘fannings’ that you find in teabags.
Because it’s not processed in the same way as the tea that’s in tea bags, it gives a fresher, stronger and purer taste - it’s the really good stuff! Once you open that tea caddy or loose leaf bag you’ll be hit with a stronger and more intense fragrance!
Blend And Brew
Part of the beauty of loose leaf is the art of selection. Thanks to our master blenders, who travel the world for the perfect brew, there are so many delicious, fragrant, and unique flavours.
From your classic earl and lady greys, rich Darjeeling and mellow oolongs to floral chamomiles and refreshing green teas, there’s a blend and leaf to suit every mood and taste.
Tools of The Trade
Once you’ve chosen your leaf it’s time to brew up. Everyone has their preferred way but when it comes to loose leaf there are a few things to consider to create that perfect cuppa.
If you’re making a single cup then the humble tea strainer is the way to go. Using a tea scoop to measure out the right amount of loose leaf, pop it into the tea strainer or tea ball. One of our favourite ways is to use a small teapot with an inbuilt infuser, like our Appleton Alison Fritz Teapot; letting you brew your tea to your own depth and strength.
Time For Tea
Then there's the art of the ultimate loose leaf cup, a few simple and straightforward steps to brewing to perfection:
- Water - to the perfect temperature. Always make sure you boil fresh water and don’t reboil water (this affects the taste of your tea)
- Measure - around 1-2 teaspoons of loose leaf per serving
- Brew - the longer your brew the stronger your cup - aim for at least 3 minutes. The longer you brew the stronger the stew!
Your tea needs room to breathe, move around, and release its flavours and essential oils - the longer you brew the deeper and richer the flavour will be.
There are so many more reasons to enjoy loose leaf tea from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it better for your health, to being kinder to the environment, and enabling you to brew to your very own taste.
And speaking of taste, why not try our earl grey tea loaf recipe? The ultimate way to enjoy a loose leaf brew is with a slice of cake (made with loose leaf tea, of course!).