Does anyone else drink their loose leaf unfiltered?

Usually when I have an inexpensive tea, usually something like Lapsang Souchong or a cheap Oolong, as well as a number of herbals, I’ll save myself the effort of preparing and cleaning teaware by just dropping the leaves in a mug, adding the water, and filtering through my teeth.
While I’m aware I could buy disposable filters, it feels like a waste of money. I spend enough on teaware, why spend more for when I DON’T use it, ya know? Also, I’ve become somewhat accustomed to drinking it that way… starting to sip when the tea is a bit understeeped, and finishing when it’s too strong.

Anyone else do this?

17 Replies
Cofftea said

I personally don’t, but a friends’ boss is a chinese man and he drinks his green tea leaves an all.

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Rijje said

I wonder if you get more vitamins that way…
I have a pot with a removable filter/top. Instead of putting the tea in the filter (which I dread everytime because it’s hard work to clean) I put the leaves in the pot itself and then put on the filter. No leaves in the cup, and no dreadfull filter cleaning.
They actually recommend this themself.

Here’s a link (…yearh, it’s long)
http://www.amazon.com/Eva-Solo-Liter-Tea-Maker/dp/B000IAZ5FM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1265917371&sr=8-6

Cofftea said

The answer to your question is yes. Matcha has much more of the health benefits of steeped and decanted tea. I believe there’s a link to that info somewhere in one of the matcha threads. But I wonder if that’s partly because the leaves are ground and there’d be less that would absorb into the body in an intact tea leaf? hmmm…

I can see why you don’t put the leaves in the filter – those things are hell to clean. I have a shorter one for a tetsubin-style teapress that I only use for blacks, and it’s just unpleasant when I clean afterward. If I don’t use it, though, it’s still a trouble cleaning the leaves out from the teapot itself – it’s a lose-lose. The best strainers are really just the mesh baskets, in my opinion.

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Angrboda said

I always brew with my leaves loose in the pot. Sometimes I pour through a strainer into the cup but most of the time I don’t bother. I’m not afraid of the odd leaf making it into the cup. They sink to the bottom anyway so they don’t bother me while drinking.
I have one pot with an inbuilt strainer that you can take out after steeping. A sort of basket that sits inside, and I use it mainly for very small leaf tea, but otherwise I don’t bother with it.

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Nope, never have, closest I have gotten is a tea straw

Cofftea said

What’s a tea straw?

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SoccerMom said

I always use my tea strainers. I was mad the other day at one of the tea shops I like to go to I ordered a nice oolong and she poured the tea leaves directly into the teapot (about a 6 cup teapot) and by the time I got half way finished (I was the only one drinking tea keep in mind) the oolong started to taste oversteeped and bitter I had to drink really fast as I didn’t want to waste my fave oolong! I am laughing at your teeth straining method though must be real fun with black tea!!

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I usually use my infuser or disposable infusers when out. However, when I use my Yixing teapots, I put the leaves in the pot and steep that way. This is because they are small, single serve pots and meant to be used in this manner.

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I often drink my green tea in a glass mug unfiltered. The tea leaves are supposed to sink to the bottom and stay put so that drinker doesn’t have to tooth-filter them :P
In Chinese green tea, watching “tea dance” is a big part of tea drinking :D

Some black teas do have smaller leaves and make it slightly harder. But I sometimes use glass mug for them too, depending on how obedient they are.

Cofftea said

Doesn’t the continous steepiage make the cuppa bitter? I love watching leaves steep, but unless I’m drinking a powdered sencha or matcha I like to control the steeping time.

In Chinese green tea tradition, the tea leaves are soaked for long time. Whether a teapot, bowl or gaiwan is used, the vessel will be refilled when it’s about 2/3 empty (with 1/3 water left). The tea varietals we have nowadays have been adapted to such tradition and tolerant of “hot bath”. If a Chinese green tea is bitter and if it has whole leaves, usually it’s due to large leaf amount or long time steaming (in hot water and vessel is covered to accumulate hot steam inside). Although traditional gaiwan has a lid, the lid is constantly off or held in a hand by the user. For some teas, lower water temperature is used (but not as low as for many Japanese green teas) to allow extensive soaking of leaves.

Also like Jade Teapot said, some people have heavier taste and would prefer some bitter flavor. Besides, modern people’s taste is generally heavier (compared to older generations with simpler diets). So if some people like stronger taste but not bitterness, then larger amount of leaves, shorter infusion and not letting tea soaked in hot water may work better for them.

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I try not to filter my tea at all. Yes someteas you do get bitter but that is part of the fun. I am brining in a new tea that is great for this. I have not had a problem with bitter tea (my experiance) I hope to have it in next month.

Cofftea said

I may try that specific tea as an experience, but my tongue says “bitter tea is not part of the fun”. If it doesn’t get bitter, I’m definitely interested in giving it a shot though.

I will let you know when I get it in and send you a wicked cool sample

Cofftea said

Awww! Thank you!

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