Loose Leaf Tea brewing FAQ
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Check the Tea Sip package for how many tablespoons of tea you need per cup, but if you want to nerd out like we do, weigh out 4 grams of tea per 8 ounces of water.
Don't steep your tea longer, this will only make it bitter. Add more tea leaves for a stronger flavor and steep for the same time. Flavor too strong? Do the opposite - use less tea leaves and the same steep time!
Don’t have a variable temperature kettle? Add a bit of cool filtered water to your boiling water before you begin steeping your tea. For 205 ͦF+, use the water boiling straight out of your kettle, it will cool slightly when hitting your room temperature brewing vessel. To get approximately 195 ͦF, use 4 parts boiling water to 1 part cool water. To get approximately 185 ͦF, use 3 parts boiling water to 1 part cool water.
Some astringency is part of the tea experience, however if your tea is bitter it is likely due to steeping it in water that is too hot or steeping the tea leaves for too long.
Easiest way to think of it is you are replacing steeping water with ice. To make a 16 oz cup of iced tea, use the amount of tea leaves you would need for making a 16 oz hot cup of tea, but use half the hot water you would typically use to steep the tea leaves. This makes a tea concentrate, and when the steeping time is up, pour your concentrate over ice in your 16 oz cup. Voila! Iced tea.
Generally, most teas can be cold brewed. Use the same amount of tea you would for a hot brew but add cool filtered water. Keep the cold brew in the fridge during and after brewing and use within 24 hours. Cold brew times vary from tea to tea, but a good starting point is however many minutes for hot brewing, turn into hours. For example, cold brew green teas 2-3 hours (although naked Sencha we highly recommend at a brisk 30 minutes).
Keep it in the package it arrived in, press out all the air, and keep your tea away from sunlight, heat, moisture, and strong-smelling foods (hello coffee!). If you are trying to make your tea last more than a year, an airtight container (right sized so you don't have a lot of space for air) can be a good idea.
This method works better for some teas than others, but if you want to give it a go, add an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute to the steep time for each successive steep.