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Getting Started with Loose Leaf Tea: Basic Equipment

Affordable electric kettles
Affordable electric kettles

Loose leaf tea is a different world from teabags. It’s also a lot of fun, as loose teas can be much more tasty and interesting than bagged teas. To make the most of your tea adventure, stock up on a few basic supplies that can help you consistently brew up delicious cups of tea:

  • Teapot: Teapots come in all shapes and sizes. For convenience sake, you might like a teapot with a infuser built in, though it isn’t necessary.
  • Electric Kettle: Stovetop kettles are fine, but they typically take eons to heat up. Electric kettles heat your water quickly and some of the better models allow you to set the temperature of your water, which is very important if you are a green or white tea lover.
  • Kitchen Thermometer: If your electric kettle does not offer temperature control, get a kitchen thermometer so you can better control
  • Strainer and Holder: Unless your teapot has a built-in infuser, you’ll want a tea strainer to keep tea leaves from floating into your cup.
  • Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups and Gram Scale: Preparing good tea requires properly measuring both tea leaf and water. If your electric kettle doesn’t have a measurement guide on its side, use a measuring cup to monitor the amount of water you use to prepare each pot of tea. Measuring spoons work well for gauging the amount of most types of tea leaf, though large leaf teas can be tricky to measure with spoons. A gram scale is the most precise measuring tool for tea, and many tea people of my acquaintance own one.
  • Tea Storage: Tea gets stale quickly and absorbs outside odors and flavors like a sponge. Buy some opaque, air tight containers for storing your tea.
  • Cups and Mugs: Your choice of mug or cup is largely a matter of personal preference. If observing the color of your infused tea is important to you, choose a cup or mug with a white interior or one made from clear glass. Thin porcelain teacups, particularly those that are fairly shallow will cause your tea to cool rapidly. While this can be a bonus for both health and flavor reasons, if you want to keep your tea hot, the better choice is a thick, tall ceramic mug with straight sides.
  • Timer: It’s easy to ruin a pot or mug of tea by letting it steep too long. Get a noisy timer to let you know when it’s time to decant. If you get one with a clip on it, you can attach it to a belt loop so you don’t have to worry about not hearing its alarm.

See also:
Those Wonderful Amsterdam Teapots
Electric Kettles
Tea Travel & Infuser Mugs 
Time to Time Your Tea
Ins and Outs of Tea Storage Containers
Tea Storage Thoughts
Getting the Temperature Right with Tea Thermometers
Are Loose Teas Straining Your Love for Tea?

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

6 responses to “Getting Started with Loose Leaf Tea: Basic Equipment”

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