I’ve always been a tea drinker, and I like it hot or cold (and sweetened). Tea is good for you, and each kind of tea (black, green, white, etc) has its own health perks, from improving metabolism to helping with digestion. I try to drink a cup each night to reap in the benefits. And it helps me sleep.
Recently, I branched into brewing my own loose-leaf tea, thanks to a visit to my local Teavanna store. I never thought I’d start brewing loose-leaf because buying and brewing from bags was just easier. But the extra steps (and admittedly cost) of loose-leaf is worth it. And plus, there’s also some benefit to loose-leaf over bagged teas, because apparently bags trap in some of the oils and antioxidants from the leaves. Don’t have to worry about that with loose-leaf, so you really are getting more from it.
For starters, Teavanna has a huge selection of teas to choose from: blacks, greens, whites, herbals, you name it, they’ve got it. Personally, I love green teas, so that’s usually my first choice. The “nicer” premium teas are more expensive, naturally, but my favorite jasmine-infused green tea “pearls” are $6.98 per ounce. It works. The “Wild Orange Blossom” and “Youthberry” teas are also wonderful, especially when blended together. They usually have it out for samples.
Oh, also, Teavanna is owned by Starbucks, so if you’re a Starbucks Rewards member (like I am), you can get points for Teavanna purchases, too. Isn’t that lovely?
Anyway, when you’re ready to brew a cup, gather all your materials: cup, tea(s), and wire brewing cup. I got my brewing cup at Teavanna, but you can find them anywhere that sells kitchenware.
Loose-leaf tea looks kind of funny, I’ll admit. It’s a blend of tea leaves, dried fruit, and anything else that goes in it. The jasmine green that I like is actually a “pearl” tea; the “leaves” are little round balls that open up when brewed. My other tea is a white peach herbal, which smells amazing and is delicious with a pinch of sugar.
The first step is to heat your water. You can do this on the stove with a kettle, or just fill the cup and heat it in the microwave. I usually do the latter, and 1:45 in the microwave does it just fine. While the water is heating, fill your brewing cup with tea leaves. I never fill mine all the way; in fact, I never fill it more than halfway because the leaves always expand and open up.
Once the water is hot, place your brewing cup right into your mug and let the leaves steep. The amount of time you let the tea steep depends on how strong you want your tea to be. The longer you steep, the stronger it’ll be. I keep mine around 2-4 minutes and that’s perfect for my tastes.
When your tea is finished steeping, remove the brewing cup and press out any remaining tea from the leaves by squishing them down with a spoon. You can either toss the leaves or save them, as most leaves can be re-steeped at least once. Finally, you can add any milk or sugar if you desire. Sometimes I add a little honey or Splenda, but it isn’t necessary. I think the fruity teas taste just fine as they are.
I was hooked after my first cup. Were you? Share your thoughts, experiences, and favorite flavors and brews below!