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How have you tried to brew / steep your loose leaves?

I took assessment of all the ways I could remember I have tried to make loose leaf tea, and documented them in my blog. http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/02/ways-to-steep-loose-leaf-tea.html what ways have you tried?

-automated machines (tea drop, zarafina)
-Tea straw
-Tea Strainer, infuser basket, strainer basket (open)
-Tea Pot with built in holes
-Tea strainer spoon / egg (topped)
-Make your own teabag / filter bag

38 Replies
Cofftea said

Reverse french press (IngenuiTEA)
teapot w/ the infuser in the top
basket infuser
tea ball
paper filter bag

I have also had tea made using the triniTEA from Adagio although I didn’t make it myself

i’ve always loved the little ingenuiTEA and similar items…but I can’t see where they fit for me personally – at work i have no sink and only have a hot water spigot (hence paper filter bags), and at home i love my filter basket – how do you think the IngenuiTea compares to the filter basket?

Cofftea said

AmazonV- it doesn’t! The ingenuiTEA gives the leaves so much room to float around and you can make more too for that reason. It also makes resteeping a lot less messy. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it isn’t glass. I’d suggest not letting your hot water spigot affect your steeping method, but rather what tea you steep as a proper water temp is much more important than what steeping equipment you use.

Heyes said

Could you explain the reverse french press? I think I get it, but never the less…

Cofftea said

It’s a plastic vessle (16 or 32oz), w/ a filter on the bottom. When done steeping, place it directly on top of your mug and the spring loaded bottom decants your tea for you. Making 2 cups? When you lift the ingenuiTEA off, the bottom goes back into the off position and stops the flow of decantation. Freakin awesome… if only it wasn’t plastic.

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denisend said

I have 2 automated machines: the triniTEA and the Zarafina
I have a gravity pot from Teavana (Easy Tea Steeper)
I have a ton of basket filters of varying sizes and shapes
I have several tea balls (various sizes)
I’ve just left the leaves in (especially blooming teas in a glass teapot, or cold brewed iced herbals in the fridge)

So far my favorite is the Zarafina. No fuss!

I love using my mom’s Zarafina – too bad she’s notice very fast if it walked off ;)
amazing how the baskets multiply over time isn’t it?

LENA said

I love my Zarafina. Of course it has different pros and cons…but for a quick cup and the fact that it looks cool on my counter, it gets big points in my book.

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Gander said

I’m waiting to try the Adagio filters, which are on their way. I’m a lazy student, so I hope it works well for me.

the paper filters?

Cofftea said

They’re amazing. Now I just need a Roo mug so I have somewhere convenient to put it between steeping. Unfortunately I enjoy tea most in a clear glass vessle and they do not have a clear Roo mug:(

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Cofftea said

that cloth sock thing looks nice for those who hate particles

I tried out the first one in a teahouse and like it a lot! That was the first time I saw something like this and I thought, what a smart idea! In this way the teahouse only needs to provide customer a mug and saves costs on teapots. I think it works perfectly for black tea and makes it easy to control infusion time. It may work better for larger cups than smaller cups.

Actually now that i think of it, the teahouse near me usees #1 ! duh how did I forget.

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Recipe for “sunshine tea”:

1. Get a clean gallon wine jug, half fill with cold water.
2. Fill a light, fabric bag of some sort with loose leaf tea.
3. Tie the bag closed and suspend it with string so that it hangs well into the water inside the jug (make sure not to let go of the string and tie off OUTside the jug!).
4. Place the jug in sunlight on a hot summer afternoon for several hours.
5. After it has well steeped, remove tea from jug and pour over ice for your guests.
6. Voila: sunshine tea.

Now that is a marvelous recipe! I have also use a large metal cage(tea ball) that I purchased at World Market.

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And of course, there’s always the chinese method of gong fu cha.

cha: tea
gong fu: seeking perfection, knowing only god is perfect, but seeking perfection none-the-less
gong fu cha: seeking to pour and enjoy the perfect cup of tea.

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Tapiridae said

- Making it in a carafe, straining when pouring into teapot.
- English way, straining when pouring into the cup
- Cotton tea filter
- Teapot with infuser
- Teaball or teaspoon
- Mug with infuser
- Kyusu with built-in mesh strainer
- Plastic or metal filters
- Leaving the leaves in the cup
- Boiling it on the stove (masala chai)

I tend to make most of my teas in the kyusu.

I seldom drink Japanese green tea but always love Japanese porcelain and ceramic ware. I use a small kyusu for oolong and love it. Kyusu is always very handy!

I had to google “Kyusu” – so the handle is hallow? but it doesn’t act as a second spout or anything right?

Yeah it has a horizontal handle, and only one spout. Japanese also call the small kettle (used for brewing not for water boiling) kyusu. But most of the time when people talk about kyusu, it’s the side handle teapot.

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Heyes said

(notes in parenthesis are my opinions about my experience, your mileage may vary)

- Teaball (waste of time)
- Mesh baskets (some good most not)
- Right in the cup/mug/vessel (Better with green teas IME)
- Drip Coffee Maker (Fun, but pointless)
- Tea pot (fine)
- French Press (my preferred)

do you find the french press hard to clean? I use one to make coffee and the grounds get stuck between the coil and mesh and drive me nuts

I will admit to trying to use an auto drip coffee pot and an espresso machine with loose leaf…neither worked out well

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Dan said

I use various teaballs (round, pyramid, etc.), IngenuiTEA, and my Beehouse teapot.

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Nobody mentioned gaiwan (lidded tea bowl) yet? :D

I often use:
-gaiwan+cup
-small teapot+cup
-mug or a cup

I have a teaball and mainly use it for tiny leaves tea (such as CTC style)

In office I use a kamjove gong fu mug

In summer I sometimes use a “travel buddy” for cold brew:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Tjz7-dt8PhM/SqsJygGHwOI/AAAAAAAAAoQ/RFSfpPgfQJs/s320/travel+buddy+a4.JPG

Last year I got another cold brew bottle and like it better than “travel buddy”:
http://www.teahometw.com/teahome/coldpot.jpg

i think i would make quite a mess with the gaiwan … did it take you much time to learn to decant with the lid and not make a mess?

Actually pouring water without spilling is not as hard as it seems. To me a bigger problem is sometimes fingers hurt from the hot rim of the cup. I try to minimize that problem by using smaller gaiwan with thin porcelain.

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