|How to Measure Loose Tea For Brewing
|More and more people are switching from tea bags and trying loose-leaf tea for
the first time. If you are one of them, congratulations, you've taken the leap
and a whole new world of fresh, healthy, flavorful tea is waiting for you.
|But along with using loose tea
likely comes a million questions,
many you probably never even
considered when drinking bagged tea. One of the
most frequent questions asked by new loose tea
drinkers is about measuring and how much tea to
use to brew a cup or pot of tea.
That's a really good question, because the amount
of tea you use is one of the most important aspects
of brewing a good tasting cup of tea. Unfortunately
there is no one answer, but rather several different
things to consider when brewing loose leaf tea.
Many times the directions say to use one teaspoon
of loose tea for every six ounces of water. And this
is okay-sometimes. But
today with all the differ-
|ent types and styles of tea to choose from, there is no one size fits all
Another thing to consider along with the type, style, and size of your
tea, is the cup size. The one teaspoon per six ounces of water, was
based on your grandma's dainty china cups. Today most of us use
mugs or travel mugs that hold anywhere from eight to 24 ounces or
So you can see where the "1 tsp. per cup" measure flies out the win-
dow, and isn't always relevant. But there's an easy way to figure out
the correct amount of loose tea no matter the type-style, or size mug
The easiest way to get an accurate measure for how much loose tea to
use is by weighing it. Get an inexpensive kitchen scale that is calibrated in grams. For most
teas the ideal ratio is 2 to 3 grams of tea for every 6 ounces of water.
So for, say, an 18 ounce travel mug you would use between 6 to 9 grams of loose tea. The next
question is, how much does 6 to 9 grams of tea equal? Let's do some comparisons to find out.
|For more information or to learn more about tea, visit our other pages:
How much tea should I use to make
a gallon of iced tea? Quick, easy tips!
Is each type of tea brewed differently?
How long should tea be steeped?
The history behind iced tea and recipe
for Sun Tea, a summertime classic.
Which teas come from India?
Tips and ideas on how to make
your own blended teas.
No time to brew? Grab a glass or
bottle of ready to drink (RTD) tea.
What are the similarities between South
Africa's honeybush and rooibos teas?
What is a "gong fu tea ceremony?"
|Copyright 2011 www.theteadetective.com All rights reserved.
No reproductions of any kind allowed without permission.
|For a great selection of quality teas, gifts, and
The Tea Detective's Gift of Tea Store
|Comparing Volume to Weight
|One of the most important things to consider is the volume of tea to weight measurement.
Simply put - not all teas are the same size and weigh the same amount.
For example, take a standard black tea bag, open it up and measure the
amount of tea inside. It should be about one teaspoon. Okay, now
weigh it; it should be about two and a half to three grams.
Now you need to do the same with your loose tea. I'll use a white tea
as an example, Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) because it has the
largest difference in volume compared with the CTC tea bag black tea.
It takes a volume of about one and a half
tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) of Silver
Needle to equal two to three grams in
weight. So if you were to use the stand-
ard measure of one teaspoon loose tea
per six ounces of water - well, it would taste
like you were drinking water, instead of tea.
So my best advice is to weigh any new loose
tea you are trying for the first time. Once
you are familiar with the leaf and know the
right volume to use, you can remember for
the next time and just measure out the num-
ber of teaspoons or tablespoons, depending
on the type of leaf.
Finally lets look at brewing tea in different
sizes of stoneware or travel mugs that many of us use today. You need 2-3 grams of tea for
every 6 ounces of water. So let's use the black CTC tea bag tea and the Silver Needle again as
If you are using an eight ounce stoneware mug,
for example, you would need three and a half to
four grams of CTC black tea by weight, or one and
a third teaspoon by volume. For a 12 ounce travel mug you'd need 4 to 6 grams by weight, or
2 to 3 teaspoons by volume.
Since I already know the weight to volume ratio of Silver Needle
is one and a half tablespoons to 2 to 3 grams, I know that for
the 8 ounce mug I would need about 2 tablespoons ( or 6 tsp.)
loose tea by volume, and for the 24 ounce travel mug I'd need
three tablespoons (or 9 tsp.) of loose tea by volume.
As always, feel free to experiment with different amounts. You
may like your tea a little stronger or less assertive, so you can adjust the amount of loose tea,
adding more or using less, to taste, until it truly is "your cup of tea." For more information on
measuring, yield, and the breakdown of cost per cup, visit our Measure and Yield page, Enjoy.