The process of brewing tea is a personal affair, one’s method varies from another. Some prefer to use tea bags while some fancy loose tea leaves to make their cup of tea.

Tea Bags Vs. Loose Leaf tea

You may prefer tea bags over loose leaf tea as tea bags are easy to brew and you do not need strainer to strain tea leaves. But the leaves packed in most tea bags may not be of good quality and in fact may be dust generated from broken down tea leaves. The broken tea leaves may have lost nearly all of their aroma and essential oils.

Loose leaf tea has more flavor, aroma, and more antioxidants, than the small leaf fragments packed in tea bags.

There are some elements to consider if you want to brew yourself a perfect cup of loose leaf tea.

Tea Bags Vs Loose Tea Leaves

The Tea Leaves

Using fresh tea leaves makes all the difference when it comes to brewing loose leaf tea. Also, you should use a proportionate amount of tea leaves.

The Water

Fresh filtered water is recommended.

The Steeping Time

Different teas have different steeping time. Refer to the table below for the steeping time of some popular tea types.

Stepping time for different types of popular loose tea

Types of tea Water temperature Steeping time
White tea 175 ° F 2 to 3 minutes
Oolong tea 195 ° F 2 to 4 minutes
Green tea 175 ° F 2 to 3 minutes
Black tea 212 ° F 3 to 5 minutes
Rooibos tea 212 ° F 6 to 7 minutes
Herbal tea 212 ° F 6 to 7 minutes

Let the boiled water cool for 2 to 3 minutes if you are brewing green, white, oolong tea while you can directly steep rooibos, black and herbal tea in boiled water.

If you want a stronger flavor, use more tea leaves and increase the steeping time. You can steep for shorter time and use cooler water if you think your tea tastes too strong or bitter.

The Teaware

Ceramic and glass works best for loose leaf teas. Learn more on different teapots used to brew tea.

Glass teapot

Brewing of Loose Tea

Serving Size: 2 people

What You’ll Need

  • A tablespoon of loose leaf tea
  • 16 oz. of water
  • Two cups
  • Strainer

Directions to Make Loose Tea

  1. Boil filtered water in a pot. The boiling point differs for different types of tea (take reference from the table above). Avoid using hard water for better taste.
  2. Pour the boiling water into cups to warm them. This will also allow the water to cool.
  3. After 2 minutes, pour the water back into the pot.
  4. Put your loose leaf tea into the pot and cover.
  5. Steep for appropriate time.
  6. Pour the tea into cups using a strainer.
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