How to make tea in a pot using loose leaf tea

23 August 2021

“No matter what is happening in your life you always offer tea”

If you are new to tea drinking you may be asking how to make tea in a pot using loose leaf tea? Many tea drinkers prefer to make their tea in a pot using loose leaves rather than using tea bags. This is because it makes it easier for the tea leaves to unfurl and steep therefore ensuring you gain the full flavour. However tea bags are convenient and if good quality brands are found you will also enjoy your drink.

Brewing the perfect tea in a pot

Making a good cup of tea comes down to knowing how to get the best out of the particular tea you have chosen. Bearing in mind your personal preferences and tastes experiment with types of tea and vary the making procedures so that you achieve a fully satisfying result. You need only the bare tea essentials which are tea, kettle, water and tea pot

Tea

There is no absolute rule for the quantity of tea to use in everyday use. It is generally accepted one teaspoon per cup will make a good brew. However, there may be some variance doing it this way. If tea leaves are small and broken there will be more on the spoon. If the leaves are big and bulky there will be less. So use your eye and taste experience to determine the amount you like per cup. Like food, we like our tea in different ways. Enjoy figuring out how you like it most.

As a guide for beginners at making tea in a tea pot- most black teas will only need a small teaspoon per cup while some of the leafier greens may need a full teaspoon.

You can read more about how to measure tea leaves here

Kettle

A stove top kettle or electric jug will get you started. The water temperature is key to drawing the flavour out of the leaves so an instant read temperature gauge is a must. Not many teas are made with water at boiling point. If you do not have a kettle or jug with temperature gauge and not sure about the importance of it – start with a hand held food thermometer so you can have water at the recommended heat.

Water

Tea reacts to various factors and most importantly to the water used, what temperature it is and how long the tea is left to infuse.

Always use fresh water from the tap rather than reboiling water already in the kettle or jug. Water loses its oxygen content when it boils. Leaving water in the jug and boiling it over and over again will make the tea taste “flat”.

Heat the water to correct temperature

It can not be stressed enough how much difference the water temperature can make to the tea. An excessively high temperature risks “burning” the tea leaves making it more bitter and sour. On the other hand too low temperature prevents some teas from completely unfurling which means tea which is not balanced. Teas with tightly rolled leaves such as Oolongs, require temperatures just below boiling to allow it to soften gradually.

Below is a table of recommended water temperature and steeping times.

Water Temperature and Steeping Times
Tea ClassWater TemperatureSteeping Time
Most black except Darjeeling95-100C/204-212F
3-5 minutes
Darjeeling90-95C/195-204F2-4 minutes
Japanese Green70-75C/160-170F1-2 minutes
Green70-85C/160-185F2-3 minutes
White80-90C/175-195F3-5 mminutes
Yellow70-80C/160-175F1-2 minutes
Oolong80-95C/175-204F3-5 minutes
Herbals or Tisanes100C/212F5-10 minutes

Teapots

I like to use different tea pots for each type of tea or tisane. No particular reason – just some look good in glass tea pots while others seem to taste different in ceramic or china teapots. The mood can call for a specific teapot also. Therefore it can get a bit crowded on the kitchen bench at times when I am drinking a few different teas each day.

A selection of teapots to choose from depending on your mood or the type of tea
The kitchen bench gets crowded sometimes with the seletction of teapots in use

The teapot is used on its own or with an infuser inside it. An infuser is removed from the teapot after the desired steeping time, especially if drinking alone, so that the 2nd and 3rd cup of tea taste the same as the first. This is especially handy when drinking green teas. Read How to Make Green Tea Taste better

Simple process, step by step, on how to make tea in a pot

Step 1

Fill your kettle with fresh cold water and bring to the boil.

Step 2

Choose a tea pot to suit the tea and number of people making it for

Step 3

Add your tea leaves – one teaspoon per person. Pour the water, at appropriate temperature, onto the tea.

Step 4

Allow to steep (as per times above). Pour into favourite cups and drink.

Additives

To enjoy the full range of flavours in your cup tea is best without the addition of sugar, honey, milk or lemon.

If you would like to sweeten your tea, however, choose a sugar rather than honey as honey may overpower the delicate flavour of tea.

Milk can be added to some black teas.

Some people like a slice of lemon added and it is worth trying.

Now you have these tips on how to make tea in a pot using loose leaf tea I know you will enjoy your next pot of tea.

To return to all things about tea

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