So this past year we have all seen the media focus towards the environment and especially the amount of plastic that we use. This is turn has led people to question/realise the use of plastic in commercial tea bags – we won’t go into the quality of the tea inside them in this blog!
A Canadian team found that steeping a plastic tea bag at a brewing temperature of 95degrees releases around 11.6 billion microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic between 100 nanometres and 5 millimetres in size – into a single cup. More information can be found here DOI:10.1021/acs.est.9b02540
This alone should cause anyone who drinks tea made with this type of tea bag to seriously think about reevaluating their tea drinking habits. Which is where we come in! Loose leaf tea isn’t just plastic free, it really does taste better. Being in a bag stops the leaves from being able to open up and come into contact with as much of the water as possible, thereby halting the flavour. Invariably the quality of leaves found in bags is much lower than those bought loose – which also improves the all important flavour.
Below is a list of the top 5 everyday teas drunk by us at Seibiant 2019, but in loose leaf form! Each one can be easily made with any type of infuser, strainer or teapot (all available on the website)
The archetypal British brew, unheard of in almost every other country in the world, yet an absolute cornerstone of English (British) society and culture. Very difficult to brew incorrectly, especially when taken with milk.
5g of tea to 300ml of water, just off the boil – 95 degrees if you’re being technical. If you take milk, 4 minutes should be long enough, 2 minutes if not.
Another classic, yet this time a little more well known abroad, this bergamot scented black tea is a perfect rainy afternoon tea. Often made from Sri Lankan tea, resulting in a sweeter, lighter, more floral brew, perfect for an afternoon tea.
Brewed in the same way as an English Breakfast Tea.
5g of tea to 300ml of water just off the boil, 2-4 minutes.
Late Harvest Sencha
Green tea is one we get a lot of negative comments about, but almost 100% of the time, the reason people don’t like green tea is because it has been brewed incorrectly. Green tea has been processed in a much gentler, shorter way than black tea, meaning that the leaves are more delicate and sensitive to heat. Green tea has a huge list of health benefits, and is full of antioxidants and nutrients, so well worth a try.
As mentioned earlier, the brewing of green tea differs from black tea. For green tea, we need to control the temperature and there are a few ways to achieve this. In Japanese tea culture, they say that once the water has boiled, each time you pour it into a different container, the temperature drops by 10 degrees. Whilst not entirely accurate, this method does work well enough to not spoil the tea – we would suggest adding just one more change of container for luck.
5g of tea, 200ml of water at 80 degrees. Multiple infusions of this tea are possible, raising the temperature of the water for each infusion.
One of our favourite rooibos tisanes, this caffeine free infusion is flavoured with vanilla, and contains almond slices, and safflower petals. Rooibos only grows in the Cederberg mountains of South Africa and is a herb which has been drunk for years.
5g to 200ml of water just off the boil, brew for 2-4 minutes, ideally taken without milk, and generally sweet enough that you don’t need sugar.
Possibly our best seller, a sleepy blend of oatstraw, calendula, camomile, lavender, rose and valerian root.
A proper bedtime tea! Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its’ properties, and later Galen prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia … turns out he was right.
This tea take half an hour before bed will send you into a proper deep sleep.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, 5g of tea for about 400ml of water just off the boil. Leave the flowers in the water until the water is close to drinking temperature, then pour. Don’t think you need to drink the whole 400ml!