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Jan in CA
02-03-2006, 06:42 PM
I'm embarrased to say that I don't know how to make loose tea...I've always used the bags. Now my white tea from Adagio came and I don't know what to do!! :oops:

Cristy
02-03-2006, 06:51 PM
you need some way to strain it--usually you use an infuser basket that is made into the teapot or in spoon form. Most grocery stores even carry them in the form of a little ball with holes in it, you put the tea inside and drop it in your cup. It works just like a tea bag! Hope this helps!

Jan in CA
02-03-2006, 06:54 PM
Oh okay! I'll head to the store or find something here I can strain it with. Thanks!

Cristy
02-03-2006, 06:55 PM
no problem--look in the regular tea isle...good luck!

carollovesyarn
02-03-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi!

I love loose tea. I guess you didn't get a ball or other holder? That's ok. Does the tea have a label with recommended steeping time? Some vary, I'd say anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes. Do you have a (impecably clean) strainer of some sort?

Bring fresh water to the boiling point - don't over boil, or you boil the oxygen out. Pour over tea in a teapot or a measuring cup with pour spout. Generally, you'll use a rounded teaspoon of tea per cup, plus a good pinch. When making a full pot, you want one tsp per cup plus one for the pot.

Let steep for recommended time. Pour through strainer into cup. Most of the tea should settle, so if you don't have a strainer, you can pour the liquid off the top. Some people like to let the water sit on the leaves in the cup or pot, but it depends on how strong and astringent you like your tea. White tea might be ok if you steep it in your cup and leave it. I've not tried white tea. Also, some people think if you add milk to your tea, it stops the brewing action - but I don't know if milk goes with white tea.

There are different opinions on strainers too. I've used the little perforated houses and tea pot shaped strainers - I don't care for these because they don't hold enough tea for me. I'm fine with the spoon shaped spring action strainer or my small stainless mesh ball. I just got another bamboo strainer which I really like - make sure to clean first with boiling water - gets some of the woodsy taste out. They do let a few tea fragments slip thru tho. And then there are reusable fabric tea bags, which I've never bothered trying. I even have one of those Bodum tea pots that have the plunge strainer - after steeping, you push the plunger and all the tea goes into the bottom of the strainer and can't brew further.

LM Needle Fanatic
02-03-2006, 07:05 PM
I :heart: loose tea...no tea bags for me (and I have to order it online). Below is from Good Eats on the Food Network. I have never had white tea, but I never let any tea steep for more than 3.5 minutes (from the different searches I've done it can all get very complicated!).

Place loose tea leaves into a warmed tea kettle. Pour heated water over loose tea leaves. Let steep. Strain tea and serve.
*Note: For Oolong and Green tea, water should simmer at 200 degrees F. and 180 degrees F.
*For Irish and English tea bring water to a full boil.
*Black tea should soak for 3 to 5 minutes. Oolong tea should soak for 4 to 7 minutes. Green Tea should soak for 2 to 3 minutes.

Good drinking :D

Jenelle
02-03-2006, 07:08 PM
Below is from Good Eats on the Food Network.

What an awesome show eh? ;)

I remember that episode too. :P

Jan in CA
02-03-2006, 07:17 PM
Wow..thanks everyone! I can't wait to try it!

I've had white tea, but never brewed it myself. I loved it!

LM Needle Fanatic
02-03-2006, 07:23 PM
Jenelle, yes! I catch it every night at 6 central. Pick up a lot of interesting stuff and see lots of tools I want to have. If I remember the episode right Alton is totally against tea balls and infusers, said they don't let the leaves expand enough.

Beth

carollovesyarn
02-03-2006, 08:13 PM
Jenelle, yes! I catch it every night at 6 central. Pick up a lot of interesting stuff and see lots of tools I want to have. If I remember the episode right Alton is totally against tea balls and infusers, said they don't let the leaves expand enough.

Beth
I only fill the balls half way to allow room for expansion, which is why I don't use the little houses and teapot shaped ones - they're too teeny. The spoon-shaped infuser is really a little small too. The bamboo basket allows plenty of room.

Love Alton - I totally forgot about that episode. I guess I just brew tea as strong as I like it.

ItsBecca
02-03-2006, 08:17 PM
Try Scent by Spirit. (http://www.scentbyspirit.com) Just click on Gourmet Teas and it'll take you to a list of teas and tea accessories, like teapots and such, she has a pretty wide variety! :thumbsup:

Jan in CA
02-03-2006, 08:38 PM
Well RATS! I went to the store..had to hit two before I found stuff...anyhoo I got a tea ball, BUT it won't open!! I tried using a rubber pot holder and jar opener on it and I still can't open it! I'm sure DH could do it, but he's in Tucson this weekend. Waaahhh! :(

Sara
02-04-2006, 12:29 AM
Does it have a handle kinda like a safety pin? If so, did you squeeze it? If not, post a picture, we can help.

carollovesyarn
02-04-2006, 04:55 AM
Sorry Jan! I always try them out in the store. Maybe the latch was pinched too tightly? Try sticking a slot head screwdriver between the latch and the frame of the ball. Or is the hinge frozen? How frustrating.

Jenelle
02-04-2006, 09:18 AM
Jenelle, yes! I catch it every night at 6 central. Pick up a lot of interesting stuff and see lots of tools I want to have. If I remember the episode right Alton is totally against tea balls and infusers, said they don't let the leaves expand enough.

Beth

I catch it at 7pm EST. I can say that I am a food network junky :rofling:

kemp
02-04-2006, 12:34 PM
Bummer! You can always improvise though. Just put your tea leaves in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Then if you have a kitchen strainer, just pour into another bowl and let the strainer catch the leaves. White leaves are pretty big once wet so unless your strainer has HUGE holes you should be ok.

Jan in CA
02-04-2006, 01:55 PM
I ended up using a coffee filter and it worked pretty well. Just put it on the cup of hot water and put in the tea leaves. When done take the whole thing out. Necessity is the mother of invention. :roflhard: :roflhard:

Jenelle
02-04-2006, 09:54 PM
I never would have thought about using a coffee filter...

How creative and thoughtful! ;)

carollovesyarn
02-04-2006, 10:47 PM
I ended up using a coffee filter and it worked pretty well. Just put it on the cup of hot water and put in the tea leaves. When done take the whole thing out. Necessity is the mother of invention. :roflhard: :roflhard:
Brilliant!

Oh and how was the tea??? You have to tell us after all of this!

Cristy
02-04-2006, 11:53 PM
yes yes, do tell!!!

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 12:04 AM
It was good! I don't have a lot to compare to though. The one I tried last night was Snowbud. ;) I'll try another one later.

amy
02-05-2006, 01:22 AM
I'm a loose-tea lover too. :thumbsup:

Jan, some tea balls need to be rotated to open: turn the top half against the bottom half, until the opening area appears. Perhaps you have that kind?

FYI, if you brew in a pot, you'll want to use a large tea ball (size of a small apple) which are harder to find; the egg-sized small balls are for individual cups or tiny tea pots. Tea expands twice as much or more, so only fill the ball half way. You'll need about 1 teaspoon dry tea per cup of water.

Or, for pots, you can brew it loose and strain it; the only problem with this method is if you don't drink it fast, the tea gets bitter from over-steeping. With the ball, you can just remove the leaves and take your time with finishing the pot, and it won't over-steep. ;)

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 02:43 AM
Thanks Amy. Yes, my ball is egg shaped and is the screw type. No matter what I do it won't come apart. I have a rubber jar opener and a silicone pot holder and I tried one on each side and still couldn't get it. I think it was screwed on crooked originally. My DH may be able to open it when he gets home, but I'm not going to worry too much as it was only a couple dollars. I think I'll go to Linen's and Things to see what they have tomorrow. Thanks for the tips!

Oh question for those like loose tea... how the heck do you measure it? It really doesn't want to fit in a teaspoon. LOL

kemp
02-05-2006, 10:47 AM
It is hard to measure. Depending on how big a pot you're making a 1/8 cup or 1/4 measure can be helpful.

andshewas
02-05-2006, 01:05 PM
i'm in love with these things:

http://www.devotea.com/?cPath=146_103&&ref=GG7

they're one time use loose tea holders.

I normally use my teapot, but these are great when i want to take my tea to go in the morning.

ItsBecca
02-05-2006, 01:44 PM
Jan, you can just use a regular table teaspoon to measure your tea.

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the tips and link! I think what I need to get eventually is a teapot thing...like that ingenutea or whatever it's called.

knitncook
02-05-2006, 03:24 PM
This is my favorite tea strainer (http://www.jollygoodtea.com/ProdImages/teacup-strainer.jpg) I put it over my teacup or mug and then pour the hot water over it. When it's done steeping, I just lift it and go. If you want something a little more elegant that comes with its own drip catch this same company has this one Empress Strainer (http://www.jollygoodtea.com/ProdImages/empresstea-strainer.jpg)

Although my favorite tea strainer is the one that I got from Disney a few years ago. It is a basic round tea ball, but it has Mickey Mouse ears and a Mickey Mouse samped drip catch! Here's a pic of one (http://laughingplacestore.com/Product-2965.asp) But I know I didn't pay that much for mine. Maybe only $5 or $6.

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 05:00 PM
Ohhhh thanks, Michelle! I like all those strainers!