Four Ways To Brew Loose Tea

Four Ways To Brew Loose Tea

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I’ve got a nice relationship going on with More Than Alive. They send me some of their products to try for free in return for a review…but I’m not very fond of posts where I just say “Hey guys, I tried this and it was nice.” I’d rather give you a little meat to go with that review. This month, More Than Alive sent me two types of loose tea: Coolmint and Sweet Sleep, along with a ½ pound of their Cane Creek coffee to try. So, I thought it would be fun to do a little post and let you know there are various options for brewing loose tea.

Most people don’t bother buying lose tea – they just buy tea bags that are already filled…I know I do. But the truth is, loose tea is usually fresher and of better quality. I could immediately tell that the tea from More Than Alive  was HIGH-class stuff and very fresh…I almost felt too “country” to brew it. ;-) But the truth is, country people love tea….just put some sugar in there. Ha!

Disclaimer: I don’t like tea. I’ve never liked tea. I have to force myself to drink it. So, Barry did the taste testing for this particular review and he really enjoyed the tea. He said he could tell it was good quality and it was a lot better than the bags I buy.

The first way you can brew loose tea is by using your coffee maker. My mom told me this one and I felt like smacking my forehead. Well duh. To brew, simply but a coffee filter in the brew basket and add your tea. Since the tea won’t sit in the water like in other brewing options, you’ll need to add more leaves – about 1 tablespoon per cup of water. Turn on your coffee pot and VOILA! Genius I tell ya, genius.

NOTE: You should store loose tea in a cool, dry place. Make sure you use an airtight container. Do not refrigerate.

If you simply must have your tea in a bag, you can make your own tea bag! Cut a square of cheesecloth and put your loose tea inside. Tie up the bag, add it to a cup with your hot water and let it brew for several minutes. Make sure to reuse your cheesecloth!

Conventional wisdom says you’ll need 1 teaspoon of loose tea per 8 ounces of water.

If you don’t feel like making your own tea bag, you can actually buy empty tea bags off Amazon. Isn’t that just genius?

This is my favorite way to brew hot tea…in a tea ball. This one is from Ingles and it set me back less than $5. I love it. It makes things SO much easier. You just add your tea in there, put the lid on, add the water and tea ball to the cup and VOILA! It’s a miracle. A tea ball miracle.

How long should you brew? If you brew less than 3 minutes, you’ll get a very light tasting tea. For regular strength you need about 5 minutes of brewing time and if you want it STRONG then you need to brew for about 8 minutes.

Last but easiest of all, you can just put your tea leaves down in your cup. Add one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water and let it steep. When you’re satisfied with the strength, just strain out the leaves using a small strainer. You  might not want to forget that step, or you’ll feel like you’re eating grass. *Cough*

If you prefer cold tea, you can use these same processes and just chill the mixture or add ice. Barry loves hot tea in the winter and cold tea in the summer. I love ice cream – I just wanted to throw that out there. Most people use ½ cup to 1 cup of sweetener per gallon of tea…1 cup+ if you live south of the Mason Dixon line. ;-)

I was also sent an AMAZING ½ pound of fresh coffee (Cane Creek Café Sans Caffeine) to try. Ohhhhh baby! I could tell immediately it was high quality coffee and had only recently been ground – a true treat! (I need to get a coffee grinder.) Barry enjoyed this immensely because I have recently been fixing him instant coffee in order to get it out of the pantry. Sorry honey! I just wanted to keep my head stuck in the bag all day so I could make sure to savor the awesome coffee smell.

I made sure to clean my coffee pot before and after brewing the fresh tea…no one likes tea coffee. I mean, BARRY doesn’t like tea coffee. *Cough*

*This post is linked at Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, at Works For Me Wednesday on We Are That Family, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Day2Day Joys, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable, at Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFGLINS, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, at Cooking Thursday on Diary of a Stay At Home Mom, and at Hearth and Soul Blog Hop on Penniless Parenting.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.

  • Breezie

    We also really love the tea mug strainer. It gets every little bit of loose leaf out of the tea. And we have a glass tea pot with a basket strainer for those teas that just require steeping. :)

    • Stacy

      You should like quite a tea lover!

  • Angie

    I would never have thought about using the coffee maker to brew loose tea – how beautifully simple! Of course I’m most enamored of the tea-ball method – much more Downton Abbey ;)

    • Stacy

      And much less messy! lol

  • Rebekah

    Honestly, I’ve never brewed tea leaves before! I’ve seen the tea balls before. Using coffee filters is a great idea!

    • Stacy

      Most people have a coffee maker, so it’s really the way to to the first time you brew tea. :-)

  • Daphne Christenson

    Thanks for a give away!

    • Stacy

      You’re welcome!

  • Kelli

    I have a tea ball but always forget to buy loose tea. I entered the giveaway but already sign up for your emails.

    • Stacy

      You can still check that box….thanks for subscribing!

  • Courtney

    I like tea anyway that someone else brews it for me :D

    • Stacy

      LOL I like people that tell it like it is.

  • Daryl

    I normally use a tea ball, or a little muslin bag that I got at the health food store (same concept, just not as easy to clean). When I am feeling lazy I might put the leaves in a strainer, sit that on the top of my cup, pour in the hot water, let it steep, then remove the strainer. If I am really lazy I just put the tea leaves in the bottom of the cup, let it steep, then drink, being careful not to disturb the leaves when I get near the bottom of the cup. :)

    • Stacy

      I’m not that graceful. LOL

  • Ann

    I get your emails!

    Thank you so much.

    Ann P

    • Stacy

      Thanks Ann!

  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife

    I had never thought of all those different ways to brew tea – very interesting post!

    • Stacy

      Thanks April! :-)

  • wendy

    hey stacy, i’m sure enjoying your site :) i love using a tea ball for loose tea. we’re HUGE tea fans here, i think we use like a gallon of honey a money on it… congrat’s on the upcoming baby and new house. how exciting!

    • wendy

      i mean a gallon of honey a month. my brain got stuck in rap mode or something – honey money ok…. g’nite!

      • Stacy

        Well, that just makes me feel better…because I know I’m not the only one who does that. And I don’t even have to be tired. LOL

    • Stacy

      Thanks Wendy! :-) We’re really excited!

  • Ann P.

    Hello! I’ve been a tea drinker since early grade school! Usually it is just black tea with milk. It’s healthy, delicious,
    and cheap.

    • Stacy

      I wish I could say the same…I’m still working on being able to drink it without yaking. LOL

  • Julie N.

    I have a Japanese tea cup that has its own special glass strainer. The strainer fits right on top of the cup and I just lift it out when I’m finished steeping my leaves! It’s easy to wash and use =)

    • Stacy

      Wow! That sounds awesome…and I bet it’s pretty too. :-)

  • sally rawlings

    I have a tea pot with a removable filter in the middle for loose tea it works great love tea and love your Blog congrats!! sally rawlings

    • Stacy

      I love those kind of filters!

  • Ann P.

    I have always wanted to try making sun tea, and have never tried. It’s going to happen this summer!
    Thanks for the tips!

    • Stacy

      :-) Sun Tea is Barry’s favorite!

  • sally rawlings

    I got very excited to place an order from this company but unfortunately they charge very very high shipping rates to alaska( by mail for pete’s sake) apparently they arent a very ethical company making a profit off the shipping charges…it was more than half the amount of the order23.00 plus to mail 3.5 pounds ( it would fit an a flat rate box less than half the cost) so buyer beware !!! you can bet I will tell all my friends sally rawlings

    • Stacy

      Sally, this was the response from More Than Alive. :-) I hope it clears things up for you:
      “I am very sorry to hear this. I looked into this and it seems we had a misunderstanding with this lady and she has taken offense. We are not exactly sure why she is offended, but in order to let her know we care, we are shipping her order out for free. We hope this will appease her and take away whatever offense was caused.”

  • Kelli

    My package came in the mail today. It smells so good and I can’t wait to try it later! Thank you!

    • Stacy

      Yay!!! :)

  • Raymond

    I can relate with you , Stacey. I didn’t liked tea either. But as I kept drinking it, I developed the tast for it.

    I brew mine using a coffee maker and tast well.

    • Stacy

      Whew – that gives me faith. I’m doing my best to keep downing Raspberry Leaf tea. :-)

  • Deana

    Tea never stop giving good benefits in the body. It promote clearer thinking and enhance normal flow of the blood. It helps to lose weight and lower blood pressure.

  • Shannan

    LOL I have a tea ball that I have never used for tea. I use it for the loose spices when I am cooking/canning for easy removal. Love that little thing!

    • Stacy

      Well now I’m going to have to use mine for that too! :-)