Beginner Guide to loose leaf tea

Traditional tea refers to the beverage which comes from the leaves of a plant known as Camellia Sinensis.

The way the plant is grown, fermented, brewed, and picked, all influence the final outcome of the tea.  In this way, one plant can produce all the household tea varieties we know. In another a tea can be described as a brewed beverage; made by adding water to roots, flower, herbs and more. We specialise in creating in-fusions which are blends of the more traditional tea leaves with added punchy ingredients to make great bespoke & well liked flavours combinations.

So how do you go from knowing nothing to picking out a new kitchen cupboard tea shelfie worthy line up? Well let's look at it step by step shall we.

1. Select your flavour

This is actually the first things our staff ask in shops, not what tea do you like but what flavours do you prefer? Sweet, nutty, rich, light; because most people have tastes they prefer which is a great place to start, then you can experiment outside your comfort zone as your confidence grows.

Here's a quick fire challenge to give you an idea what you might like.
Sweet and Fruity - herbal and fruit blends 
Strong and Savory - black tea (also good substitute if you like coffee)
Mellow and Grassy - green tea and white tea
Earthy and Vegetal - oolong
Smooth and Nutty - rooibos (red tea)
Now flavour is our main focus but we are also keen observers & sharers of the healthy benefits of the natural ingredients that make up our plant based teas. 
Both the Health benefits and caffeine levels are listed on each of our products too so you know exactly what each tea can do.

2. Get the right tools

Now this is not just get a mug and a spoon; loose leaf tea can be a little more complicated to make unless you have the right tools. Strainers or infusers are essential to most if not all loose leaf tea brewing. Unless you have a cup or teapost with one built in. Infusers are tidier as they are not open and can be popped in the sink to deal with later. Strainers are better for larges leaf teas which might can stuck in smaller infusers. So use your head; or just make sure you have a few things on hand before you brew. Feel free to message us on Facebook or Instagram with any of your brewing questions.

3. Know how to brew

Now we all know a person that has the magic touch when it comes to making tea but here is a few essentials to making a good brew if you are less magically minded. Using the correct amount of tea, right temperature of water and for the right length of time are the key factors in making the best loose leaf tea. Here is a simple chart that shows depending on the type of tea your brew will have different needs.

TOP TIP

Now there are other reasons to brew longer, like a stronger taste but this isn't recommended because it over does the tea releasing the wrong part of the tea giving bitter tastes. If you like a strong cup of tea use more leaves! 

AND THAT'S IT! Enjoy your Tea.

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A couple of final words on loose leaf tea that we get asked sometimes.

Reasons we are Loose Leaf Tea specialists?

Paper tea bags can contain pesticides whilst others use chlorine to bleach their tea bags. Ultimately cheap bags change the taste of the tea and hide away the leaves in a brew so you can't see the quality of the blend.

How long does Loose Leaf Tea last after I have opened it?

Most of our teas are sold in resealable pouches that allow you to dip in and out of different teas without a worry of it loosing taste for years! Either that or keep it inside a sealed dry tin, glass bottle etc for up to a year. Tea never goes off per say they can just loose potency but if ever in down come down to Camden Tea and well get you some new leaves. 

Can I re-use Tea Leaves?

The official health and safety stance is yes up to about 3 hours after the first brewing. After the leaves are wet and 3 hours pass bacteria can grow so we can't recommend it, however that being said there isn't anything wrong with it taste wise especially if you take your tea weaker.