Using tea bags at work is not an uncommon practice, but drinking loose leaf tea may not be as straightforward. If you want to replace the regular office tea bags with something more pleasurable and fun, choosing loose leaf tea is a way to go. However, loose leaf tea is more difficult to brew than just popping a tea bag into a mug with boiling water. Is it possible to brew a perfect cup of tea at work at all?

How to brew tea at the office

Yes, it’s possible to make an excellent cup of loose leaf tea at work too. As it may be very difficult to bring all your tea utensils, strainers and teapots to your office, investing in only one proper tea brewing item will allow you to brew many teas. Another important factor is the type of tea you choose.

So, let’s start.

You don’t need to get your own kettle, but it may help

Many offices will have a kettle or some kind of a coffee maker that you can use to heat up the water. They will mostly use filtered water, which can be a good choice for brewing tea. Fill the cup or a tea pot with water and let it cool down if needed. If you don’t have access to a kettle or brewing machine, invest in a simple, inexpensive electric kettle. Microwave is not a good choice for heating water for tea and avoid it if you are brewing more delicate types.

Buy an office friendly tea utensils

Most offices have mugs, but teapots and strainers are not a usual office equipment. Investing in a proper brewing pot or mug will make drinking tea easier than ever. You may not be able to bring your whole fine china tea set, one or two essential pieces will be more than enough.

Best options?

  • Tea infuser mug with a fine-mesh stainless steel strainer that allows you to brew teas with even the smallest particles
  • Small glass teapot with removable fine-mesh filter makes brewing tea fun and easy.
  • Linen tea bags are light, easy to use and carry and can be easily emptied and washed.
  • Small travel gong fu tea set for advanced drinkers is a good investment for those that like to drink their tea using multiple steep technique only.

Bring your tea measuring spoon so you always know how much tea leaves to use. Alternatively, fill the small linen filters with your favorite loose leaf tea at home and take them to work. To avoid adding too much or not enough tea leaves, learn how to properly measure them.

And don’t share them

Sharing might be caring, but with teaware, that may not be the case. If you are really into tea, you may feel very serious about your teaware too. Now, imagine others using it for brewing coffee, leaving scents and flavors of the teas you don’t enjoy, leaving different residues, or in the worst case–using your teaware exactly when you plan on using it. If you really want to brew delicious loose leaf tea at work, your teaware should be for your use only. However, offering a cup of freshly brewed tea is another story where sharing really is caring.

Find the best brewing-friendly teas

Some teas may be a better option for the office brewing. Choose those that don’t require a lot of effort, won’t get excessively bitter if you accidentally forget about them, and can be made fast. For example, green tea can get very bitter if you don’t pay attention to steeping times. Brewed green tea will change both the color and the flavor as it cools down, so it may not always be the most enjoyable type. Some teas may be more suitable than the others. Here are our top picks:

Green and oolong teas

  • Genmaicha is a wonderful green tea for the office. It’s easy to brew, light, and can be left in the teapot and re-steeped after several hours. It will taste delicious even cold, and won’t have too much bitterness if you over-brew it.
  • Dragon Well can be brewed in a simple glass. Just add hot, but not boiling, and top up when you finish drinking. That makes both the brewing and drinking very easy and enjoyable.
  • Ti Kwan Yin, a green oolong tea is one of rare oolongs suitable for mug brewing. Add about 3 grams of Ti Kwan Yin into your mug and add hot water. Drink straight with leaves still in the mug.

Black teas

  • Flavored black teas are some of the best office friendly teas in the world. They rarely taste bitter, are very easy to brew and make any working day as fun as possible. The top choice? Earl Grey and Blue Lady Grey blends with bergamot. They go great with cookies too!
  • Strong Assam tea is the best replacement for a morning coffee when you need an energy boost. You can brew them using boiling water and add milk and sugar if needed. They can tolerate lower quality water and over-brewing.
  • Indian Chai can be brewed using a teapot too. Choose blends with broken and crushed leaves and spices and steep them for 5-10 minutes. Chai is a great choice for cold working spaces and warming you up first thing in the morning.

Herbal teas

  • Rooibos is the best herbal office tea in the world. It will never become bitter and you only need boiling water to make a delicious cup. Use it with a fine-mesh strainer or tea filters.
  • Peppermint tea may give a much-needed refreshment when you start feeling a bit drowsy and tired. It’s easy to brew, can sometimes be re-steeped and may even enhance the mood.
  • Keep an “anti-stress blend” with adaptogens and stress-relieving ingredients in your office tea assortment for extra stressful busy days.

And stock up on them

It’s always a good idea to have your own tea container at work. Stock up on teas that you may use regularly – an energy boosting morning tea, pick-me up tea for the afternoon and a calming and relaxing blend for stressful moments. Add some cold and cough calming teas in there too!

Find the best office mug

Drinking tea from a nice mug is a must. Find the mug you enjoy drinking tea from and you will never even go back to an empty desk. Bigger mugs may be the best choice, so you can slowly sip on your tea while working, with no need to constantly get up and make another infusion.

Develop a habit of keeping a mug on the table

Seriously, if it’s not against your office rules, dedicate a corner on your table to tea only. Decorate it, put a nice tea tray, add a plant or some flowers and line up your tea assortment. Looking at tea all day long will cheer up even the most tired tea drinkers.

Want to learn more? Find out what are the best water temperature and steeping times for different types of tea: green, oolong, black and herbal.

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