Guide to Tea Measurements

how to measure loose leaf tea

Add one teaspoon of tea leaves into your teapot, pour one cup of boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes. If these simple brewing suggestions still raise many questions, you are not alone. The good news is, for making a perfect cup of hot tea you don’t need strict rules and precise measurements. However, knowing them will help you master the basics. So, how much does a teaspoon of loose leaf tea weigh?

How to measure loose leaf tea?

To make a perfect cup it’s best to follow brewing recommendations. But that’s where brewing loose leaf tea may become really complicated. Loose leaf tea comes in different shapes and sizes, and sometimes it’s not even possible to measure it by the spoons.

There are several ways we can measure loose leaf tea:

  • Using a kitchen scale
  • Using teaspoon/tablespoon
  • Using a teapot

Each of these techniques will have some advantages and disadvantages.

1. Measuring loose leaf tea using a kitchen scale

If you want to be super precise in how much loose leaf tea you will be using, buying a kitchen scale will be the best solution. Small, more precise scales may give very precise measurements, even less than a gram. The biggest disadvantage of using a kitchen scale is the amount of time it will take to always measure your tea leaves. However, it will be a great starting point if you want to master the basics.

2. Measuring loose leaf tea using spoons

Using a spoon to measure loose leaf tea is the cheapest option. However, one teaspoon of CTC tea leaves will weigh much more than one teaspoon of Pai Mu Tan white tea. Unlike sugar or flour, it’s not always possible to have one levelled, rounded or heaped teaspoon of tea leaves. In general, one teaspoon will usually be about 2 grams, but it may be more or less.

3. Measuring loose leaf tea using a teapot

Using a teapot to measure tea leaves is the fastest way of measuring, but it will take some time for you to master it. It’s the best method for Chinese and Japanese teapots. For example, if you are using ball-shaped oolong tea, always cover the bottom of your teapot with tea leaves. If you are making a cup of twisted leaf oolong, your teapot should be at least 1/3 full. But this technique is not suitable for example, herbal teas such as rooibos, or even Assam tea.

Do you need a special measuring spoon?

Have you been tempted to buy special stainless steel tea measuring spoons? While they may be a lovely addition to your tea utensils collection, they have the same disadvantage as a regular teaspoon. A precise kitchen scale may be the best investment for a tea beginner.

So how much tea is one teaspoon?

Let’s look at the most popular types of tea – very small broken loose leaf tea such as Simple Chai, regular Organic Assam, semi ball-shaped Ti Kwan Yin oolong, twisted leaf Formosa Oolong oolong, Mao Feng green tea, and a few other teas.

1 teaspoon will be about:

For comparison, tea bags usually contain 1.5-2.5 grams of tea dust or fannings.

When measuring tea leaves using a teaspoon, pay attention to:

1. The size of tea leaves

Use less tea leaves if they are broken or small. Most black teas will have smaller leaves. Many white teas will have bigger leaves. Generally, 1 heaped teaspoon of regular black tea will be enough for making one cup of tea (standard 8 oz cup). 1 teaspoon of rooibos tea will be enough for making a cup of tea too, but use 2 teaspoons of Pai Mu Tan or chamomile tea when making a cuppa.

2. The type of tea

If you are brewing fruity tea, always use more tea leaves. Fruity herbal teas such as Aloha Herbal are mostly blended with larger and heavier pieces of fruit, but not necessarily enough for making the best cup. Therefore, using 2 teaspoons may give a better taste. However, for teas blended with spices, even if they contain larger ingredients such as Turmeric Comfort, one teaspoon will be enough.

3. Scoop as much tea leaves as possible

When measuring tea leaves, it’s not easy to define levelled, rounded or heaped teaspoon. You will never be able to have a heaped teaspoon of rooibos tea, or levelled teaspoon of Pai Mu Tan. Therefore, scooping out as much as it fits one teaspoon may be the best solution.

4. The size of the pouch

Size of the pouch or the amount of tea leaves in a pouch is a good indicator of how much tea you should be using. Let’s assume we have the same 1 oz pouches filled with different teas. If one of them is completely full and other only half filled, that means that the first type of tea has lighter leaves.

How to measure water?

Water is much easier to measure than tea leaves. For making a regular western-style cup of tea, we usually need 1 cup of hot water. 1 cup of water equals 8oz. Therefore, one teaspoon of tea leaves will be enough for making 8 oz of tea. Of course, you will never fill the cup to the brim.

Do you need to be precise?

Yes, and no. Although it’s important to pay attention to how much tea you are using, you may still use more or less, depending on your preferences. It’s a good idea to start with one teaspoon, regardless of the tea you are making (except lighter herbal teas such as Chamomile) and adjust the quantity if you find it too weak or too strong. If you prefer stronger brew, you may use double the amount of tea leaves, or even more, depending on the type. If you are making iced tea, always use at least double the amount of tea leaves.

 

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