Loose leaf teas are also referred to as herbal teas and are made from dried herbs, spices, flowers, fruit, seeds, roots, or leaves of other plants. These ingredients are rich in polyphenols, or antioxidants, that may help protect against certain diseases. However, those antioxidant properties may be diminished during processing of tea powders or those found in bags or bottles. Herbal teas tend to retain their health properties because the herbs undergo minimal to no processing.
If you are new to loose leaf teas, you may have a few of the below questions.
How do I make my tea without a tea bag?
There are a few ways but the top two are either:
By putting the desired amount of tea into a tea infuser, pour warmed over the infuser and then let steep
You can put the desired amount of tea directly into a cup, pour warmed water over it, and seep. Once done put a strainer on top of another cup and pour your tea mixture in. The herbs should remain in the strainer.
How much tea should I put into my infuser or cup?
The great thing about loose leaf tea is that you can control how little or how much you want. For instance one tablespoon per 6-8 ounces of water will allow you to taste the flavor however for stronger flavor, which I like, I typically use up to 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces of water.
How long should I steep my tea?
The longer tea steeps, the stronger the flavor. Typically a steep time of 3-6 minutes will allow you to taste the flavors but steeping up to 15 minutes can provide bolder flavors. Remember that different herbs will develop differently so it will be trial and error.
How do I store my tea?
The teas should be stored in original packaging or airtight container to avoid light, heat, moisture, odor, and air. Placing your teas in a dark pantry or cupboard at room temperature will help sustain the product. Freezing and refrigerating is not recommended.
Harvard School of Public Health (n.d.) Tea
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Gordon, B. (2020) The Health Benefits of Tea.