Avoid the Strain of Tea Steeping with the 2-Teapot Method

Teabags. Infusers. Tea balls. Tea filter sacks. Yada yada yada. Skip all the strain of tea steeping with the 2-teapot method. I’d heard people mentioning using this method and thought it was worth a try. It still involves a strainer but not the strain.

While many folks like the convenience of those bagged teas and other folks compromise by steeping their large-leaf loose teas using an infuser basket, a tea ball, or a tea filter sack, some of us know that that isn’t quite sufficient. We want to get a full steep where the leaves float freely in the water and expand fully, releasing their essence. We also want a tea free of added flavor from those fiber teabags and tea filter sacks. Since steeping loose really isn’t that much more complicated than using one of these alternatives, there really is no reason not to steep loose. And the 2-teapot method further simplifies things, although some may not think so at first.

Here’s how it goes:

Step 1 — Have two teapots of equal size clean and ready, with one selected to do the steeping. In this case, the white teapot on the left will be the steeper and the glass one will be the tea keeper.

All prepped. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
All prepped. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Step 2 — Put the dry leaves into the steeper teapot and add in the water (heated to the proper temperature). Here we’re steeping a Ceylon black tea and using water brought to a rolling boil. We steeped for 5 minutes.

Patiently waiting for tea to steep. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Patiently waiting for tea to steep. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Step 3 — When the tea has finished steeping, pour the liquid into the tea keeper teapot, using a strainer to keep out the tea leaves.

Pouring the tea. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Pouring the tea. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Multiple infusions are possible if you use a tea that can be steeped more than once. A nice oolong or pu-erh or even a fine green tea are great options. But even if you don’t want to do multiple infusions and/or want to use a tea that generally is only steeped once, such as a flavored tea (most don’t seem to endure more than one steeping) or a straight black tea, this is a great way to maximize the tea flavor.

Pick a tea and give this 2-teapot method a try. You may never go back to any other way of steeping.

Alternate method: Use a tea-for-one set where the teapot and cup hold about the same amount of liquid, steep the tea loose in the teapot and strain into the cup.

And for those of you who ask “How do I do this in an office?” All I can say is that it’s a topic for another article.

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14 thoughts on “Avoid the Strain of Tea Steeping with the 2-Teapot Method

  1. bebe croteau

    thank you for this great blog!… i use margarets hope darjeeling,and you have inspired me to throw away the infusers and get my strainers out of the drawer .. i think that i will be in for a surprise, and better flavor from my darjeeling leaves …..

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    1. A.C. Cargill

      I certainly see your point, Victoria, it can be tough not having tea, but the Tea Princess in me more often than not just says “No” to bad tea. A cuppa hot water seems preferable. 🙂

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  10. Carole

    I wish restaurants in the US would learn how to make a proper cup of tea. I never order tea when I’m out unless it’s in a British tea room. Being brought a cup of hot water with a bag on the side is the most distasteful thing I’ve come across when it comes to tea in the US.

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