How to Brew Loose Tea
Many people prefer using teabags instead of loose tea, because of the convenience of using a tea bag to brew tea. However it is a common misconception that loose tea is more difficult to brew. It can be more difficult, depending on the way you choose to brew your loose tea leaves, but modern teaware includes some very convenient and useful ways to brew loose tea leaves in your home or on the go!
The main reasons for using loose tea leaves instead of pre-bagged tea is because loose tea is usually of much higher quality, and you can see for yourself the quality of the tea leaves. Tea bags can easily hide the quality of inferior tealeaves, or even tea “dust”. Additionally, brewing loose leaf tea allows you to control the strength of the tea by using your own measurement of leaves to the brew, as well as allowing the leaves to properly unfurl, releasing the full and unhindered flavor of the tea leaves.
All methods of brewing loose leaf tea involve a strainer of some type. However the convenience of some of these methods are comparable, or even better than, the convenience of using a teabag.
A tea travel mug is a wonderful choice for brewing and carrying loose tea leaves. Most travel mugs specifically suited totea include a built-in tea strainer to automatically strain the tea leaves at the same time as brewing them.
Tea infusers are another wonderful choice and come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Most tea strainers function by holding the loose tea leaves in a metal or mesh container. If the infuser is metal, it will usually have many small holes through it to allow the water to flow freely through the tea leaves. When you are finished steeping the tea, you can then quickly and easily open the chamber to dispose of the used tea leaves, and rinse the infuser for future use.
Some tea strainers are of the most simple variety, such as the cone-shaped bamboo tea strainers which you can use with loose tea, or along with loose tea in a teapot. The strainer has a small handle which you use to hold the strainer to position the cone-shaped part in the teacup, after adding tea leaves to the inside of the strainer if you are not using the strainer with a teapot.
Another way to brew loose tea is by using disposable tea bags. Some disposable tea bags are of the heat-and-seal variety, where you place any amount of tea leaves into a paper tea bag (which closely resembles commercial tea bags), then you use a household iron to iron the open end shut). Other disposable tea bags are simply paper sacks which hang over the side of the cup.
No matter which method you use to brew your loose tea, you will find that the convenience is equal to that of commercial tea bags, and that the quality is higher and the flavor better, making loose tea the ideal choice for brewing your tea!