Loose Leaf Teas and Brewing Accessories
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Making Loose Leaf Simple!

Joy's Teaspoon News JT Herself Tea 101 tea beginner

By: Naomi Rosen Joy's Teaspoon receives questions daily about our products.  There are three, however, that we receive more often than not.  Below is an email received from a curious client: “What is the best way to brew iced tea?  How do you brew a single cup (bag, brew basket, special contraption)?   Is it true that if you don’t use it you lose it?” While I cannot attest to the final question, the first two I can most definitely be of assistance with! Loose-leaf tea is just as easy to brew as the bagged stuff you find at the grocery store.  You heat water, you steep the tea in water, you drink it.  I promise you it’s that simple.  In fact, loose-leaf teas come in so many varieties and blends that you will likely have a harder time choosing a favorite than brewing the tea! Let’s talk equipment!  Listed below is what you will need to make a wonderful cup of tea, pot of tea, or an entire pitcher of iced tea: •Teapot (for heating the water) • Loose-leaf tea (preferably of the Joy’s Teaspoon variety) • Infuser (Don’t let this scare you.  It’s a basket, a ball or a bag that you put the loose-leaf tea in.) When you receive your tea from Joy’s Teaspoon, on the back of your package will be three (3) things: • Amount of tea in a serving • Steeping Temperature • Steeping Time Single Cup Simply measure out the tea into whatever you have chosen to brew or steep.  Put the heat on your teapot.  For some, just letting it boil is good enough.  But for those that would prefer the “perfect” cup of tea, a candy thermometer or digital thermometer can be used to measure the temperature of your water.  Most teas are brewed at just before boiling, OR, the water is allowed to boil and then cool back down for a few minutes.  Whatever your choice, pour the hot water over the tea and allow it to steep for the amount of time specified on the packaging.  In the case of black, green, and oolong teas, you will want to remove the tea leaves from the cup once it is steeped.  Leaving them in will produce a very bitter taste in your tea.  On the upside, those tea leaves can be steeped again!  Just increase the steeping time by a few minutes. An Entire Pot You need to brew an entire teapot instead of a cup!  “Stop the train,” you say!  Deep breathes and simply increase the amount of tea.  Temperature and steep time will stay the same. I’m melting…I need ice! Iced tea is a simple one as well.  There are two very simple brewing methods: hot brewing and cold brewing. • Hot Brewing – For hot brewing, you will measure out the proper amount of tea for the entire pitcher, place the infuser in your pitcher, and pour approximately 3-4 cups of hot water over the tea. Once the tea has steeped, remove the infuser and add ice until chilled to desired temperature. Note: Be sure to add enough tea for the entire pitcher, not just 3-4 cups. Your tea will likely turn out weak. Cold Brewing – If time permits, you can simply put the tea directly in the pitcher (you can use an infuser if you really hate leaves in your cup), and fill with water.  Let the pitcher sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight and you get cold brewed iced tea! Everyone takes their tea differently.  I’m a naturalist and love the tea completely naked. However, pick your poison and try lemon, milk, sugar, etc. until you have your own perfect cup. The whole point is to enJOY the tea!

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  • MrsJones on

    When you cold brew a pitcher of ice tea without an infuser how long will it last? At some point will the leaves make the tea bitter like over steeping a hot cup of tea?

  • joysteaspoon on

    Sarah, it’s all preference in my opinion. If the mouth of the pot is large enough, and the basket is deep enough, I prefer the basket. If I’m using a smaller pot, the bag is simpler. Great idea on the infusers! Next installment!

  • Sarah on

    this seems like a good primer on tea brewing. I have never cold brewed ice tea before, I till have to try that. When you brew a whole pot do prefer a brew basket at the mouth of the pot or a bag? Just curious. Maybe another tea 101 you could talk about infusers more, kinds, types, what teas work best with what infusers?

  • joysteaspoon on

    The tea is good for 3-4 days when you cold brew it and the lack of heat keeps the tannins to a minimum (bitterness). I’ve never really pushed the 3-4 day limit. Cold brewed iced tea out here is usually gone within 48 hours.

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