The Earl Grey Mystery
Spaghetti may be the simplest thing to make, therefore, the true testament of an awful cook is someone who has no idea how to make pasta. All you need to do is boil water, throw in the ingredients and then toss it in a strainer. Yet, as simple as this process is, people freak out all the time when it comes to making loose tea. The funny thing is, loose tea has pretty much the same steps as making pasta. In the most basic sense, all you need to make loose tea is a pot, the tea leaves and a strainer!
A “tea ball” is a mini strainer
The first thing people look for when trying loose tea is a tea ball. Tea ball’s are those egg shaped gadgets with a bunch of small holes in them. While they can be convenient to have, you can easily replicate the same effect by using a small kitchen strainer.
You will need two tea cups and a small strainer
Take out two tea cups (coffee cups work as well). Let's call these Cup A and Cup B.
Start by adding a teaspoon of tea to Cup A
Add hot water to Cup A
Steep the tea for the recommended time
Place the strainer on top of Cup B
Pour the tea (through the strainer) from Cup A to Cup B
Voila! You have tea!
Another method is to use cheesecloth
If you are in a situation where you are craving tea, but do not have a strainer, another alternative is to use cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is often found in the baking aisle of grocery stores and is perfect to strain soups and other stocks. To use your cheesecloth to make tea:
Cut a 3 inch by 3 inch section of cheesecloth
Place a teaspoon of loose tea in the middle
Wrap the cheesecloth into a ball and tie the end to prevent it from opening. It should look like a mini sack
IMPORTANT: When folding the cheesecloth, be sure to leave enough room for the tea to expand. There should be a lot of empty space in the “bulb” part
Steep like a “normal” teabag. The difference is you are now drinking real tea!
Or use no strainer at all
Many Chinese brew tea in a cup and drink from it without straining. What happens is the tea floats to the bottom of the cup so all you need to do is sip slowly from the top. Just be careful to use a steady hand otherwise the tea leaves may float to the top.
And now the easiest method
If all that sounds like too much work try our Tea Infusers. Factory filled with premium loose leaf tea these disposable tea infusers are elegantly modern alternative to loose leaf tea and that ugly tea bag. Amazingly convenient to use, Tea Infusers let you brew whole leaf teas directly in a cup, without tea pots, strainers or stirrers. Placed in a cup just pour hot water directly over the Tea Infuser and your world class tea is ready to sip. The Tea Infuser works as a strainer and a stirrer. Imagine the convenience of brewing your favorite premium leaf tea, in a cup on your office desk. Unlike tea bags Tea Infusers do not collapse and compress when steeped in water, allowing tea leaves the desired space to uncurl and release delicate flavors and aromas.
Tea Infusers not only make top quality Hot Tea, but also make excellent natural Ice teas and infuse directly in spirits to give exotic tea infused Cocktail & Martinis.
These steeping ways are great for the person who has their hands on some loose tea for the first time, but have no idea how to make it. It is also good for experienced tea drinkers who are travelling but forgot to bring their teaware. Either way, just remember that making tea is just like making spaghetti, all you need is hot water, the ingredients and a strainer.
This morning I went to my local Mega-Mart looking for some fish oil supplements. On the same shelf, I noticed that I could buy a giant bottle for $10 or a tiny bottle for $30. Common sense told me that the giant bottle for $10 was a no brainer, but then I started to actually research it. It ends up that the expensive fish oil contains more than 10x the nutrients as the cheap one. To get my recommended dose of the cheap stuff I would need to take 10 pills, when I could just take 1 pill (of the same size) for the expensive one. This made my decision easy, I bought the tiny bottle.
This same concept applies to Green Tea. Some teas have a lot of the healthy compound EGCG, some do not. A new study by consumerlabs.com puts real numbers behind this and I think the results will surprise you.
A quick reminder on EGCG
EGCG is a compound unique to tea (and some wild mushrooms) that has shown to be one of the healthiest things you can consume. It lowers your risk of heart disease, reduces cholesterol, reduces your risk of a stroke, reduces your risk of cancer, helps you lose weight and helps prevent diabetes. This compound is the reason why everyone (rightfully so) thinks that Green Tea is so healthy for you.
Four ways you can drink Green Tea
There are four main ways that you can drink Green Tea: pre-bottled beverages (like Snapple), teabags, K-Cups and loose tea. Consumerlab.com studied all four of these and came up with the following averages:
- Bottled Green Tea - 20.72 mg EGCG per 8 oz.
- Teabags of Green Tea - 19.42 mg EGCG per 8 oz.
- K-Cups - 39.2 mg EGCG per 8 oz.
- Loose Tea - 85.8 mg EGCG per 8 oz.
What this means
There is a pretty big difference in the EGCG levels of the Green Tea varieties listed above. Both bottled and bagged are similar with roughly 20mg per 8oz serving. Surprisingly, K-Cups have a decent amount with about 40mg per 8oz, which is surprising because I find the taste pretty, um… bad. Loose tea came in at a whopping 85 mg per 8oz, which just reinforces my belief that loose teas are better in every way.
Just like fish oil, there is a huge difference in how healthy some forms of Green Tea are compared to others. Sure, you could drink 5 teabags of bagged Green Tea to get the same health benefits as 1 cup of loose tea, but the point is that the quality of the loose tea is higher. In addition, if you used teabags you would miss out on the wonderful aroma, flavor and experience loose tea provides and who wants to do that?
This is precisely what we had in mind when we designed our Tea Infusers and Pyramid sachets. Both contain premium loose leaf teas with much much higher EGCG levels than the average national brand tea bags at your local grocery store. To take this experience even further we launched our premium lose leaf teas last week.
Here is the link to our world class loose leaf teas in tins:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!