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.