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Thursday, February 11, 2010

ways to steep loose leaf tea

There are many different ways to steep loose leaf tea

Here are some that I have tried;

Automated Machines

sunbeam tea drop
see here
Gift from my boss. I use it at work sometimes. Overall it is very hard to clean, and never really does get clean so you get some of the other tea flavors you've made. If it could be cleaned easier I would recommend it highly.

Zarafina Tea Maker
see here
My mother has one that I got for her birthday one year. She likes it, and I like to use it when I am there. Downfall is you should drink the whole brew as the pot doesn't retain heat well. Other than that it lets you fiddle with the settings nicely.


French Press
I have not personally tried this but have heard it used.

Teavana Perfect Tea Maker, 16oz
I have had teas made in Teavana stores for me this way. I think it looks nice and easy, but I can't personally see why I should replace my basket brewer at this time for it.
Click the image to purchase;
"The Teavana Perfect Teamaker creates the perfect cup of tea for tea lovers on the go. Just add loose tea, 16oz of hot water and steep. Drain the tea by placing it onto your favorite mug. Prepares two 8oz cups of tea. Dishwasher safe. Does not contain Bisphenol A (BPA)."
Teavana Perfect Tea Maker, 16oz
Tea straw
You add your loose tea leaves into your cup, and when it is done steeping you drink through the straw which has a filtered / slotted end.
Con: if you drink too slow you can end up with over steeped tea, best used for teas that are hard to over-steep.

Bamboo Handle Tea Strainer (infuser basket, strainer basket, etc)

I use this regularly. I normally use it to steep the leaves in my teapot then pull them out when the steep time is up so i have plenty of tea to drink but they don't get oversteeped. You can also sue it to steep directly in your mug. Another way would be to steep the leaves loose in the teapot, place the strainer in the mug and pour the tea into your mug, filtering out the leaves. I bought mine at Teavana and you can click on the image to buy one. I like the ones with handles as you can more easily pick them up and remove the basket and leaves when the steep time is up. I use this at home.

Teavana Bamboo Handle Tea Strainer

Tea Pot with built in holes

Some teapots have built in filters before the spout or even an inner chamber built in. This allows the leaves to steep free inside the pot and not get into your cup when you pour. This is not recommended in large size pots unless you plan to serve multiple people at once as it is hard to get the leaves out when steeping is done, it is easiest to just pour into cups right away.

Tea strainer spoon / egg

Similar to the open strainer baskets above, only you can submerge these in the tea. They come in large and small sizes. I inevitably do the clasp wrong and end up with tea leaves in my cup so I avoid these.

Make your own teabag / filter bag

This is a simple method as you can throw it out when you are done, no cleaning required of a strainer or pot. They even sell little clips to keep it attached to your mug or teapot. You can use the small sizes in mugs or glasses or tumblers. They also sell larger sizes you can use in teapots and pitchers. I use this method at work.
You can buy these at Teavana by clicking the link

Teavana Perfect Paper Tea Filter Tea Bags

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