How to brew the perfect cup
Read our tips to fully unlock the flavour of your tea leaves.
Everyone has his own way of brewing a cup of tea, but there are some basics you cannot pass by to get the best of your loose tea leaves. The right preparation preserves the richness and complexity of the tea, and brewing loose leaf tea is actually much easier than you think. All you need is an infuser large enough to give the tea leaves the room to unfurl and infuse, or a good teapot.
We'll go through the key points to keep in mind when brewing a cuppa: use fresh water, use the correct amount of tea leaves, watch for the right temperature and stick to the correct brewing time of the tea you are preparing.
1. Fresh water
Using freshly drawn or filtered water is important when it comes to brew loose leaf teas - or even tea bags but we know the taste won't be the same anyway!Tea loves oxygen as it fully develops the flavours. When the water is boiled more than once, it reduces the level of oxygen. So the higher level of oxygen in fresh water means the flavours will make your cup of tea brighter in taste. So chuck the stale water away, because let's face it, we're all guilty of doing this from time to time...
Brewing loose leaf tea is as easy as tea bags. Use one teaspoon (which is approximately 2g) for 200ml of water, and simply place the tea leaves in your tea infuser or tea pot.
The tea needs room to expand and open up so make sure the tea infuser is large enough. When the tea leaves unfold and fully unfurl, many nuances are extracted from the whole leaves as the water infuses every inch of the leaves.
3. Water temperature
The temperature of the water is crucial while making a cup of tea. The perfect temperature depends on which tea you are preparing because different teas release their flavour compounds at different temperatures. Also remember that tea leaves can burn, and will then produce a very bitter taste.Black teas can be brewed with water just below the boiling temperature at around 95°C -100°C, while green and delicate teas require water at a lower temperature, around 85°C. Obviously it's easier if you have a thermometer on your kettle, but if you don't don't worry: just leave the kettle lid up for 4-5 minutes after boiling.
4. Brewing time
Follow the instructions on the tea pouch which indicate how many minutes you should let the leaves steep, but it also depends on your personal taste. As a general rule, we recommend most of our black teas to be brewed between 3-5 minutes. If you like it stronger, let it brew up to 7 minutes. Green teas and delicate black teas like our Castleton Darjeeling will best best brewed between 2-3 minutes.