Teaspoon per cup, 6 or 8 oz?
I’ve seen suggestions of 1 tsp per cup where a cup is either 6 or 8 oz. What do most of you consider a cup? Also, the loose tea itself can sap anywhere from 1 to 2 oz of water when removing it from my cup. It would make sense to press it, but that usually releases the tannins. Is this 1 to 2 oz ever considered at all?
I have two “perfect teaspoons” from Tealish (that actually hold about a teaspoon and a quarter), and I tend to use one of those per mug, be it a 12 oz or a 8 oz. I’m not too picky, a “cup” is whatever fills my mug of choice at the time.
I too have pondered this question. For me it depends on the mug…if it is 8 oz I measure and add a little more….I am intersted in the responses to this question!
I consider a cup whatever my mug hold. I have an 8oz mug a 10 oz mug and a 12 oz travel mug. I brew 1/2 tsp at 5 minutes for any of these.
My brother likes to use 1 ysp per 6 oz and to fill his travel mug he will do 1 tsp for 6 oz for whatever bre time then rebrew the same leaves straight away for the second 6 oz
I don’t brew tea according to instructions. I do have a “perfect” teaspoon, which is 1 1/4 teaspoons, which is usually what I use per cup (but my cups range from 10 to 14 oz in general). If using my gaiwan, I use 1/2 or 3/4 tsp and what I guess is a 6 oz cup. Some teas need a little more tea, some need a little more time. It’s all guesswork, and then experience (for me, at least).
I know it’s not an exact science, it’s just that it’s hard to know the proper steep time, temp, and amount of tea to use to get the most out of your tea. I just started enjoying my own loose tea so I’m relatively new to this. I guess there are several factors that can be tweaked and with time I’m sure it gets easier to figure out which that is.
Hah, I just noticed that you said “I know it’s not an exact science…” in this reply, and then I basically replied that I’m a scientist and I treat it like it is. Objectively, there’s no exactly correct tea:water ratio, in large part it’s up to your tastes. But I definitely understand the desire to get everything exactly right in your tastings so you know you’re getting what the tea has to offer.
I’m an engineer so I know your pain. It’s like I’m running an experiment every time I try a new tea!
With tea, you need to experiment, though… what works for one person will not always produce the perfect cup of tea for you… you need to find what works for you. You needn’t over-think it. Tea is to be simple. That’s part of the joy of it. :)
For most blacks and small leaf teas (i.e., not anything long and spindly), I always take instructions for a “cup” to mean a traditional tea cup, which is 6oz. Thus I do 1tsp for 6oz, 1.5tsp (or my “perfect teaspoon”) for 8oz, and 2tsp for 12oz. I always understood that the “perfect teaspoons” that are out there are designed for a North American standard mug (like the ones commonly sold as souvenires, etc, though I feel like I see them less and less), which is 8oz.
When I was first starting out with loose leaf I actually used two “perfect teaspoons” for my 12oz mug because I assumed it was actually a teaspoon, and that was too much tea to water for my tastes. You can try differing amounts of tea with fixed other parameters to find out what’s best for you. Clearly everyone likes their tea at different strengths! I’m a scientist so I like to keep as many factors controlled as possible when tasting teas, so I keep a pretty precise tea:water ratio throughout all my tastings. At this point I don’t follow many tea instructions unless it is a special tea that can’t really be measured with a teaspoon or clearly needs other care.
This is exactly how I make my tea, measurements and everything. I pretty much avoid re-steeping as it’s near impossible to figure out how to do it properly based on how I prepare my tea (same way as yourself).
I too interpret 6 oz. as a cup. However, I never realized that my “perfect teaspoon” was actually 1.5 teaspoons; I assumed it was the same amount as a measuring teaspoon. Although that explains why two “perfect teaspoons” seems just the right amount for my 16 oz. Chatsford teapot.
Thank you for the educational post!
No problem! I remember when I realized that my perfect teaspoon was actually not a teaspoon… it all made so much more sense! :D I actually measured it in comparison to a regular teaspoon so I could be sure what the amount was.
If it says one cup of water, I would assume 8oz since 8oz=1 cup, just like it does when cooking. I would think if they want you to use 6oz of water they would say so. On my packages, I clear that up by specifically saying how many oz of water. Its all a mater of personal preference anyways.
1tsp for 8oz works for many teas. I would try 8oz and work from there to your preference. For most green, oolongs, and black teas I start with 1 teaspoon for 8oz if brewing western style. White teas usually need about 1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon. It also really depends on time too.
Does anyone actually use a traditional teaspoon instead of the spherical “perfect” teaspoons? I find that it’s way to hard to get an exact measure with the traditional as it’s pretty difficult to get a level tsp of a non liquid product.
At work I have a traditional (albeit differently shaped) teaspoon which I use. I think the key is to pick one measuring device and stick with it. I know exactly how much to put on my work teaspoon to create the strength of tea I want, because I don’t have to muck about with a number of differently sized or shaped spoons.
if the tea comes with steeping instructions, then use it as a starting point and then alter the parameters according to your tastes.
The volume of tea depends on the tea and the size of leaves. For FF Darjeelings, I usually use 1 tablespoon per 400cc of water, 3 minutes, 90C. If the leaves are larger, like the FF Namring, I will use 1 heaping tablespoon and the same parameters above.
Try measuring the weight of the tea. Depending on the size of the leaves, the weight differe greatly. The steeping instructions that come with the teas I order are usually measured with the amount of tea in grams and not volume.