“How can you make tea when it doesn’t come out of the box inside a tea bag???”
This question is posed to me many times at events and markets as people stop and smell the teas in the mason jars….
I’ve even been asked this at friends homes when it’s discovered I blend and sell tea! No matter if its a market or a gathering with friends the conversation usually is the same.
After the person asks how I blend the teas and gets comfortable being a “Rookie” comes the first question: “How do you get the tea in those tiny tea bags?”
(Some day I should come up with a funny line about gnomes helping me!)
Anyway… this is usually when I say “I don’t.” and the person asking will almost always get a puzzled look on their face and say “What do you mean?” This is followed by my explaining about the dangers of plastic sachets and the benefits of loose leaf teas for health and the planet.
And then, they ask me the REALLY big question….
“HOW DO YOU MAKE TEA
WHEN IT DOESN’T COME IN A TEA BAG?”….
Around The Little Tea Cart we like let the tea leaves be complex and as for everything else…. well… we just keep those things pretty simple…. (Life is complicated enough without adding stress to a beautiful a cup of tea!)
So here’s my K.I.S.S. method for steeping the perfect cup of tea using loose leaf teas!
(K.I.S.S = Keep It Simple for Success!)
Here’s a pic of all the tools you need: Clockwise upper right to left: hot water, dish with spoon, tea pot with infuser, tea cozy for keeping your cuppa or tea pot hot, tea cup with saucer, and some loose leaf tea like our Snow Day Tea seen here in a pretty mason jar!
- Rinse out the tea pot and/or cup with a bit of hot water to warm them up! (This keeps the water hot for steeping and sipping!)
2. Add your tea to the infuser or t-sac! How much tea?? 1 tsp per cup of hot water.
NOTE: MORE TEA NOT MORE TIME MAKES A STRONGER TEA! (too much time only releases bitter tannins in your cup!)
Here’s our delicious Snow Day Tea traveling from my mason jar home to the cup or pot!
3. ADD HOT WATER & STEEP …… How Hot? How long?
SIDENOTE: Some tea friends have told me , ‘I don’t have time to wait for it to steep’ or “I just throw the bag in there and leave it in the cup all morning” GASP! …
NO! NO! NO! You will not do this…. and here’s why …
Preparing your cup or pot of tea is literally less than 6 minutes from start to finish.
Don’t you think you deserve that time to count your blessings or think about your cat? Some call it a “Tea Break” … around here we call it “Time Out for Adults”…. take the time… you deserve it… CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT TEA BREAKS
Infuser or T-Sac…Steeping the tea at the right temperature and time releases all it’s flavors!
Here’s our steep from start to finish… Our selected tea was Snow Day (a black tea blend ) it steeps for 5 minutes in 212* hot water. *some of you may like a lighter steep so sip at 3 minutes to see how YOU like YOUR cuppa!
Now about those tea leaves…. after steeping they double or even triple in size AND smell so lovely! There’s lots of wonderful ways to use those steeped tea leaves! From treating burns to fertilizing your favorite house plant– there’s so many uses! Check out some HERE
I can hear your next question:
“SO HOW DO I KEEP MY TEA HOT? Don’t I need one of those tea warmers with the candle??”
Well you could use one of those….they are quite lovely. But let’s be honest it’s you don’t really need one (Hopefully you’ll be sitting & sipping your tea within the hour!)
You can always use a nice thick tea towel but who doesn’t LOVE a handmade tea cozy!!!
(HINT: you can use them for more than your tea cup or pot! Coffee carafe, a gravy pot, or for covering your soup bowl while making another cuppa!)
Our tea cozies are handcrafted by Terri Groh, a talented artisan who loves to work with fabric of all kinds! Terri’s Country Crafts makes so many of our artisan products–from tea jellies to cozies! We’ve been fans for YEARS! Yep we’re crushing on Terri’s Country Crafts!! You can see why!! These two Winter Tea Cozies found homes in less than an hour at our recent show!
How do you use a tea cozy? Just place it over your cup or tea pot like in the pics below! Terri’s Tea Cozies keep your tea hot for 2 hours or more!! I know– I use them every day for tea tastings while blending!!
Why is choosing loose leaf tea is so important for you and the environment?
*Easy to steep to YOUR preference! A great yet easy DIY!
*Reduces plastic tea sachets in the oceans! (After all sea turtles and other animals don’t want to eat them either!!
*Doesn’t require a lot of fuss or expensive gadgets— Give yourself the treat of 5 minutes of joy AND save your money for getting more great loose leaf tea!
* Making your cuppa is so much more fun with loose leaf tea! Lots more fun than just plopping a plastic tea bag in your cup!
* And you’ll enjoy sipping a higher quality and grades of organic tea!
I hope this post helped sort out the confusion about making loose leaf teas! Steeping a cuppa should be fun and bring a smile– not befuddlement! Just remember KISS- Keep It Simple for Success!
Do you have a trick for making loose leaf teas without all the fuss? Post a comment below about your preparations for a daily cuppa!