Drinking and preparing loose leaf tea. A Beginners Guide…………

Did you know that tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world after water? As tea lovers make the move towards better quality loose leaf teas we can’t place a greater emphasis on the delights of discovering a whole new world of tea. There’s a time and place for teabags, of course, but it is truly the vast exploration of loose leaf tea that will keep you excited and intrigued to try more.

At High Tea we love to drink loose leaf tea and this is why:

  • QUALITY – our teas are full of flavour, aromas and complexity. These qualities just don’t appear in supermarket tea bags.
  • VARIETY – we have 9 high quality varieties of loose leaf teas to try on our website.
  • ROOM TO MOVE – we believe tea leaves need space to infuse fully. This is the beauty when brewing tea leaves.
  • FRESHER – loose leaf teas are packed and sealed away from moisture and light with minimum intervention, so all the goodness is locked in.
  • CONTROL – you have complete control! Measure your leaves as you like, stronger, lighter, the choice is yours.
  • ITS EASIER THAN YOU THINK – with the right equipment all you need is water, tea leaves and a cup- no fancy gadgets needed!
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Most people think it is a real hassle to make proper tea, but happily use a cafetiere for coffee. We believe you get a much better flavour from your loose-leaf tea when you allow the leaves room to unfurl as they infuse. No chemicals, no waste and no complication! If you use good quality tea leaves you will find they can be infused several times with each brew bringing subtle differences in flavour and aroma. The trick is not to let the tea leaves stew once they have been brewed. Strain the tea completely and this will prevent the leaves from becoming bitter and will allow you to brew two or three times over. Loose leaf tea just requires one brilliant piece of equipment- a teapot!

If you are new to the world of loose leaf tea, unsure how to make it, what equipment to use or how to become better at making loose leaf tea we are here to help! The most common questions asked are:

Is loose leaf tea better than teabags? How do you make loose leaf tea? How do you know how many leaves to use? How long do you brew the leaves for? Is it difficult? Here we answer all your questions…….

GETTING STARTED

When you want to start making loose leaf tea you need a few important key items in your kitchen.

1. A good quality loose leaf tea – We also recommend starting with flavours you are already familiar with. We recommend High Tea Co Assam £9.95 for 125g which is very similar to an English Breakfast tea flavour. As you become more comfortable with loose leaf teas you can branch out to other more complex and unique flavours.

HT-Assam-Tube

2. Filtered or Fresh Water – Tap water will do the job but we like to use filtered water when brewing tea. Experiment with both and see which works for you.

3. Tea Kettle – Kettles range from fancy ones that tell you the temperature of your water to standard stove top ones. Any kettle can be used, there is no right or wrong when it comes to brewing tea.

4. Tea infuser – this is a tool to brew your loose-leaf tea. We have a range of different tea infusers you can try. See which works best for you.

a) Tea Ball – an egg-shaped tea ball with small holes to keep your tea leaves inside. They allow the leaves to expand and full flavour to be released into your cup. To use a tea ball, place your loose-leaf tea into the ball and then place the ball into your cup or teapot and fill with water to brew. When the specific time is up, remove your tea ball and you will be left with a delicious cup of tea. We recommend our Stainless-Steel Tea Ball £3.80 or Tea Tongs £4.40

Tongs-Web

b) Tea Strainer – this is an alternative to the tea ball. It is made from a fine mesh with a handle and is placed over your cup. It catches the tea leaves from falling into your cup as you pour your tea. These are really handy if you like to brew your tea directly in your teapot. We recommend our Medium Stainless-Steel Strainer £11.30

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c) Teapot with built in Strainer – We have a fantastic range of teapots with built in stainless steel strainers to make brewing your loose-leaf tea even easier. We recommend our range of Zero Teapots £26.80, available in 14 colours with a removable stainless-steel strainer. These teapots make between 2-3 cups of tea.

Zero Teapot

5. Tea Timer – It is so easy to spoil a tea by over or under brewing. We have a range of delightful tea timers to brew your tea to the optimum amount of time and ensure that you always drink it when its at its very best! We have 8 vibrant colours to choose from. Tea Timer £14.40.

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6. Temperature and Brewing Times – It is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how long to brew your tea. Each of our teas have different brewing times and measurements so it is best to follow directions from the packet. As you start to brew tea more often, you will begin to experiment with temperature and timings to suit your tastes. It is important to remember that straying too far from the teas recommendations may result in your tea tasting too bitter or too weak.

How to Brew – the fun part!

a) Choose your preferred loose-leaf tea; black, green, oolong, fruit or herbal?

We love Simply Red Fruit, £5.80 for 100g bag.

A delicious and fruity infusion tea. Elderberries and hibiscus make a wonderfully, slightly tart tea with added raisins to give a slightly natural sweet hit.

Enjoy hot or cold.

HT-Simply-Red-Fruit-Pouch-copy

b) Gather your tea tools – decide on your preferred method of brewing your tea. We love the Zero Burgundy teapot, a classic round teapot with removable stainless-steel filter. This teapot will make 2-3 cups of tea.

c) Measurement – how many cups of tea are you making? Follow the instructions for your chosen tea and measure.

d) Temperature and Time – these factors will depend on the type of tea you are brewing. As our example, Simply Red Fruit, we will take one heaped teaspoon of tea per cup with freshly boiled water and brew for 5-8 minutes.

e) Start Brewing – place your tea leaves in your tea infuser (tea ball, tea strainer, teapot with strainer, etc) for brewing. Make sure the tea infuser is fully submerged in the water so your tea leaves can expand and brew. Once the right amount of time has passed, remove your tea infuser. Add milk or sugar if you like but we recommend drinking our teas black. The tea leaves can also be reused if you wish to make another cup. Sit back and enjoy!

We hope you enjoy our selection of delicious loose-leaf teas and feel that our guide to making loose leaf tea is a relatively easy and efficient way of making tea! If you need any help with particular teas to start with on your loose-leaf tea journey or advice on the best equipment to use please get in touch at info@hightea.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Happy tea drinking!

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