How Long You Should Steep Tea Leaves In Your French Press

Person pouring tea from a French press
Person pouring tea from a French press - ABDULHAMID SEVIM/Shutterstock

Artisanal loose-leaf tea tends to be higher quality than its pre-bagged, grocery store counterpart. To get the most flavor out of your high-quality loose-leaf tea, break out the French press. It's a highly efficient, versatile tool, and it isn't just for making coffee.

To brew a flavorful pot of tea in your French press, use the leaves just as you would handle coffee grounds. Remove the lid and plunger, add the tea leaves to the bottom of the pot, top 'em with boiled water, stir it up, then replace the lid and plunger on (un-plunged), and allow the tea to steep for three to five minutes. Once your tea has finished steeping, submerge the plunger and pour your finished, flavorful tea into cups or mugs to serve.

The golden ratio is 1 cup of water per teaspoon (8 ounces) of loose-leaf tea, steeped for three to five minutes. Feel free to add more leaves into the mix if you prefer a stronger brew. Just keep in mind that the ideal steeping time changes depending on what type of tea you're brewing. As a general rule, black teas perform best when steeped for three to five minutes, white and green teas prefer one to three minutes, and oolong teas like five to seven minutes, and herbal teas can be brewed as strongly as you like without becoming bitter but should steep for a minimum of five minutes.

Read more: 26 Coffee Hacks You Need To Know For A Better Cup

Do Your Brew A Favor And Set A Timer For 3-5 Minutes

French press full of herbal tea
French press full of herbal tea - Kseniya Ovchinnikova/Getty Images

Brewing tea in a French press is an eco-friendly way to avoid all those single-use, commercially-packaged throwaway tea bags that end up in your trash can after you've finished sipping one cup. It's also a time-efficient way to brew a larger pot of tea yielding multiple cups compared to using refillable metal tea infuser balls, which take longer to steep. Although, word to the wise: If you're using ultra-fine tea leaves like chamomile or calendula, some of that teeny-tiny plant matter might sneak through the French press filter and into your cup. Bits of tea sediment can't hurt you, but might be a tad unpleasant for the overall mouthfeel. If it bothers you, to catch all the smallest particles, you can line your teacup with a paper coffee filter, pour the tea from the French press to the brim of the cup, then carefully remove the filter.

For an ultra-toasty brew, preheat your French press by filling it with boiling water from the kettle, allowing it to sit for 30 seconds, then dumping it out before adding your tea leaves. Preheating is especially helpful for brewing tea in a French press, as the consistent temperature will help extract the nuanced, delicate flavors from your leaves more completely and evenly. Not in the mood for a steaming hot cuppa? You can also brew iced tea using loose-leaf tea in a French press.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.