You have bought some delicate loose leaf tea that’s fragrant, full of flavour or light and bright. To draw out all its flavours and goodness, these are some of the things NOT to do:
- Use water that’s been standing in the kettle, probably pre-boiled and cooled (a few times?) Use freshly drawn and filtered water.
- Water temperatures that are too hot or too cold for the type of tea.
Black tea 100°C
Green tea 70-85°C (some green teas especially from Japan deserves much lower temperatures)
Oolong/Wulong tea 95°C
White tea 85-95°C
3. Heap the spoon with more than the recommended amount of leaves per person. There is so much flavour in loose leaf so keep to the suggested measurements.
4. Brewing it for too long or too short a time. Brewed too long and you will have bitter tea or if it’s brewed for too short a time, then the taste of it is lacklustre.
5 Not using an appropriate strainer, not all strainers are equal so you want one that has holes large enough for the brew to flow through and to hold the tea leaves back. There are lots of teapots with an infuser and these are large enough for the tea leaves to move and dance around to release their flavours.
6. Store your loose leaf tea in glass or plastic containers. Teas are best stored in a dark, cool and well aerated cupboard.
7. Not checking the expiry date on the packet. Teas do have a reasonably long shelf/cupboard life but it’s worth checking the back of your cupboard for ones you bought more than 2 years ago.