Tea Brewing Methods
There are a variety of ways to enjoy tea. Most readily available to us here in the U.S. are ready-made tea bags, which are economical and convenient. However, if you would like to sample different flavors of tea, or want the flexibility of customizing your tea to your personal taste, try loose leaves prepared by any of these methods:
Teapot: The most flavorful tea is obtained when water is allowed to circulate fully through the tea leaves, which is only possible when you use loose leaves brewed in a teapot. Be aware that stronger teas can season their pots over time, which can affect the flavor if you then prepare a lighter kind, like green tea, in the same pot. Also consider the size of your teapot—if you are the only tea drinker in your household (we hope not!), it may be best to use a small teapot so you do not waste leaves, or dilute the flavor of the leaves you use.
Single-serve infusers and strainers: These small metal infusers look a lot like tiny colanders and are great because you can create your own blend of fresh tea leaves, place them in the infuser, and pour hot water into your cup. Cleanup involves simply washing the infuser. Tea socks involve the same concept, and are often made of organic, unbleached cloth.
Coffee Pots: Some people use coffee brewing machines to brew tea as well, but the results aren’t ideal, as the constant high temperature of the machine greatly alters the taste of the tea.
French Press: Like a teapot, a press allows the tea leaves to circulate freely as they steep in hot water, but then removes them from the liquid so there are no leaves in your cup. A press is a bit more work, as the water’s proper steeping temperature needs to be reached before it is poured into the press.
Tea Cup Cover: Used to cover a single serve cup/mug when using a tea bag. Convenient and clean up is minimal.