It can be a little difficult transitioning from bagged tea to loose leaf tea. Bagged teas can make things convenient for tea drinkers because they have already separated the tea for you (although in many cases, manufacturers rarely give you enough, forcing you to double or even triple your bags).
Even though bagged tea can be convenient, it can be really exciting when you purchase loose leaf tea for the first time. Whether browsing online or shopping in a store, it looks more eye-appealing, smells more fragrant, and even tastes more satisfying. But what do you do with it once you have your tea at home?
Some people mistakenly assume that there’s an “easy” way to do this, recommending that you use two teaspoons, one tablespoon, or even a “perfect” tea spoon. It would be nice if there were a one-size-fits-all approach, but the last thing you want to do is waste any of your tea by accidentally using too much or too little.
One of the most important variables in making that perfect cup of tea is finding the right tea to water ratio. A good starting guideline for western style tea, therefore, is to use approximately 2 grams of tea for every 100 mL (or 3 to 3.5 ounces). Because we want you to get the most of your tea, we do not recommend that you try to guess or eyeball your tea.
In order to ensure that you are separating the right amount of loose leaf tea, we strongly recommend purchasing a good digital scale that displays weight in measurements of 0.1 grams (also less commonly known as “decigrams”). Some digital kitchen scales determine weight in 0.5 gram increments, but if possible, avoid these in favor of 0.1 gram increments. This helps guarantee maximum accuracy in your measurements.
When you get more familiar and comfortable with weighing your tea, the next step is to make small adjustments based on taste. Although 2 grams of tea for every 100 mL of water is a good starting guideline, you might find that your tea tastes too weak or too strong.
If after weighing your tea you find that it is too weak, then feel free to experiment a little and increase the amount of tea you use by 0.5 gram increments until you find a cup that is just right. Conversely, if your tea is too strong, then decrease the amount of tea by 0.5 gram increments. With this advice in mind, you should be brewing your perfect cup of tea in no time!