Tea has originated from China and has found fame all over the world with little to no side effects compared to your regular coffee, but compared to tea bags, using tea leaves to make your tea is better health-wise. Also, drinking loose leaf tea looks classy.
Knowing how to drink loose leaf tea is significant unless you want to make a mess because it is not convenient and easy to make like your run-off-the-mill tea bags. It takes a bit more effort to prepare, but taste-wise, it is comparatively better.
That is why this begs the question of how to drink loose leaf tea.
There are several ways you can enjoy loose leaf tea. Let us start with the simplest ones, the tea strainer and reusable tea bags (the cheapest option). Or, if you want, you can use tea balls, a portable thermos, a mesh basket, and not commonly known and used, the bombilla.
Keep reading to see how each of these methods works and how you can apply these methods yourself.
How To Drink Loose Leaf Tea
Loose leaf tea comes in various brands and flavors. You can check out the best brands of loose tea leaves here.
The following are the methods you can use to relish loose leaf tea:
1. Tea Strainer
The simplest option you have at hand and does not involve any unnecessary expense if you accidentally buy loose leaf tea is to use a tea strainer.
How to use it? Well, there is no rocket science behind using it, but there are two ways you can strain it using a tea strainer.
You can go about the usual way of filtering the tea from the tea pitcher into your tea mug or cup.
The second one involves straining from the cup. It is also your go-to method because of the richer taste of tea compared to the first method. All you have to do is wait for the tea leaves to come up on the top and strain them using a handheld strainer.
2. Reusable Tea Bags
Your second option is bagging loose leaf tea and making a homemade tea bag. It is not a great practice as tea leaves are crumpled up, and the taste of the tea is affected.
But it is one of the cheapest alternatives, and you can use a makeshift tea bag if you have a cheesecloth or coffee filter.
However, if you come to appreciate the taste and ease of brewing and transport, you can check out these reusable tea bags. The rest process is simple as it goes with your regular tea bags, dipping, steeping, and enjoying!
3. Tea Balls
These come with many colorful designs, and you can make your tea look classy, but these are not the most practical tools in your arsenal.
Leaving their charming shapes aside, the first problem most people encounter is the fastening of these tea balls, which is easy for silicon ones, but that is not the case for metal ones.
Contrarily, silicon ones tend to grow mold. You can check out how to remove mold from silicone rubber here.
These problems may not seem much, and you may think you can replace them over time, but that is not the end of the problem, but the start. The metal balls are too hot to touch even after removing, so accidental touch can cause a little burn injury.
Also, these tea balls are only good for medium-sized tea leaves. If they are too grainy, they leak into the tea, and if they are large, steeping becomes difficult, and the tea lacks flavor and texture.
So, these problems hinder their practicality, but the aesthetic factor is still there, so you can use them to impress others.
4. Mesh Bucket
The next option is using a mesh bucket or otherwise tea infusers. These are similar to strainers, but the purpose differs as they are immersed in your tea cups, unlike handheld strainers.
They come in many portable thermoses now and are usually coffee mug shaped. You can use either an open-mouth mesh bucket or a closed one.
The open one is suitable for leisure drinking, and if you want to carry your tea with you, closed ones are recommended.
Many thermoses come, especially coffee ones, with large hole strainers built in, usually silicone or metal, so if you get some sizable loose tea leaves, always check your pantry for old thermoses.
5. Bombilla Straw
These straws can be used to drink loose leaf tea without a strainer or infuser hindering you, and the best thing of all, you do not need to spend money on them again and again as they are reusable.
If you do not know what a bombilla straw is, it is a straw with a perforated end on one side and a regular straw opening on the other. It is slightly bent and is used to drink Yerba Mate.
Drinking from it does not have any negative aspects, but the charm of drinking straight from the cup and sipping it is lost, which is why it is not recommended, but you can always try and see if it works for you.
Above mentioned methods are all modern ways, and some may be cheaper than others, but nothing beats the traditional method in terms of cost-effectiveness.
So, what is the traditional method, you ask? Instead of straining or using an infuser, dip your loose tea leaves straight into the cup. Let them steep till they rise to the top after diffusing their taste. Now you need to blow on the tea.
Simple, right? By blowing on the tea leaves, you push them away from the side you want to drink and keep the taste refreshing.
Also, it kills two birds with one stone, as blowing on tea is done to cool down the tea.
Drinking loose leaf tea is a green alternative to your tea bags because it has a non-existent effect on the atmosphere, but drinking it old-style removes any adverse environmental aspects associated with it.
If you are a fan of tea and historical dramas, drink your tea this way. It will make you feel like a connoisseur and majestic.
How To Brew Loose Leaf Tea
You need your loose leaf tea, tea cup, kettle, and strainer/infuser/tea balls to prepare a delicious cup of loose leaf tea.
How To Make It?
- Start by taking a kettle and pouring tap water into it. Avoid previously treated water as it affects the taste of the tea. If your tap water contains high mineral content, use bottled water.
- Bring the water to boiling or near boiling. You can use your eyesight as a marker or a thermometer. Check out why temperature is important to brew a perfect cup of tea here.
- Take three grams of loose leaves per tea cup (usually 6 oz., but works fine with 8 oz.), but for a bigger serving, add one gram per 2 oz.
- Put the loose tea leaves in the strainer or infuser and pour hot water over them. Let it steep, and check out the steeping time for various teas here.
- Remove the tea leaves, and enjoy!
Lastly, you can drink your loose leaf tea how you see fit. Try every method, i.e., regular handheld strainer, infuser, makeshift tea bags, tea balls, or bombilla, and see which way is the most convenient for you.
But if you want to enjoy it for its worth and be environmentally friendly, then the traditional way is your method of choice. The tea leaves may pose a problem at the start, but with enough practice, you will be able to drink them efficiently.