Spaghetti may be the simplest thing to make, therefore, the true testament of an awful cook is someone who has no idea how to make pasta. All you need to do is boil water, throw in the ingredients and then toss it in a strainer. Yet as simple as this process is, people freak out all the time when it comes to making loose tea. The funny thing is, loose tea has pretty much the same steps as making pasta. In the most basic sense, all you need to make loose tea is a pot, the tea leaves and a strainer!
A “tea ball” is a mini strainer
The first thing people look for when trying loose tea is a tea ball. Tea ball’s are those egg shaped gadgets with a bunch of small holes in them. While they can be convenient to have, you can easily replicate the same effect by using a small strainer.
You will need two tea cups and a small strainer
Take out two tea cups (coffee cups work as well). Let’s call these Cup A and Cup B.
- Start by adding a teaspoon of tea to Cup A
- Add hot water to Cup A
- Steep the tea for the recommended time
- Place the strainer on top of Cup B
- Pour the tea (through the strainer) from Cup A to Cup B
- Voila! You have tea!
Another method is to use cheesecloth
If you are in a situation where you are craving tea, but do not have a strainer, another alternative is to use cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is often found in the baking aisle of grocery stores and is perfect to strain soups and other stocks. To use your cheesecloth to make tea:
- Cut a 3 inch by 3 inch section of cheesecloth
- Place a teaspoon of loose tea in the middle
- Wrap the cheesecloth into a ball and tie the end to prevent it from opening. It should look like a mini sack
- IMPORTANT: When folding the cheesecloth, be sure to leave enough room for the tea to expand. There should be a lot of empty space in the “bulb” part
- Steep like a “normal” teabag. The difference is you are now drinking real tea!
These two ways are great for the person who has their hands on some loose tea for the first time, but have no idea how to make it. It is also good for experienced tea drinkers who are travelling but forgot to bring their teaware. Either way, just remember that making tea is just like making spaghetti, all you need is hot water, the ingredients and a strainer.