So, you’re stranded on a deserted island, left with nothing — no tools, no appliances, no comforts of home, and, perhaps worst of all, no way to brew tea. How can you possibly create a cup of tea without a stove, a teapot, or tea bags? Luckily, loose leaf tea is easy to find in natural settings, and brewing tea doesn’t have to be complicated.
Although the chances that you’ll end up on a deserted island are slim, sometimes simplicity is best when brewing tea. Loose leaf tea is tea in its purest form, so why not brew it in a manner that celebrates its natural wonder? Here’s everything you need to know about brewing a cup of loose leaf tea, whether you’re stuck on an island or standing by the stovetop.
First, grab your loose leaf tea. Loose leaf varieties release fewer tannins than tea bags, which makes for a softer, less bitter taste, and they expand when brewed and steeped. So, while brewing, the goal is to allow the leaves to release their flavors and aromas as much as possible. Measure out approximately one teaspoon of loose leaf tea — for a typical eight-ounce cup, this is a good amount to keep in mind. If you choose to use a fluffier leaf, like that of white or chamomile teas, you may need to increase this a bit; if you prefer a dense tea blend like Gunpowder, you may want to use a tiny bit less than one teaspoon.
Once your tea leaves are measured, drop them into a teabag or infuser. Place this inside the mug you’ll be sipping from. Based on the tea blend you’ve chosen, it’s now time to determine just how hot your water needs to be and get boiling. Here’s a handy temperature guide:
- Black: 212 degrees
- Oolong: 195 degrees
- Green or White: 180 degrees
- Herbal: 212 degrees
Once your water is boiled and perfectly heated, pour it over your tea leaves resting in your mug. Make sure to cover the infuser or bag entirely with water — then, let those leaves steep. If you’re unsure of how long to steep your leaves, check the box! But if you found those leaves while stranded on an island, you won’t have a box for them… and you’ll have to dry them in the sun… so just wing it. Experiment, you’ll have plenty time on your hands!
That’s it — once your tea leaves are steeped, remove them and get drinking. Of course, if you’re stuck on a deserted island, the process will take a bit more time and effort — building a fire, finding a vessel to drink from, and sourcing tea would all have to be done by hand. But, you can incorporate the simplicity of that setting into your daily brew, and take the time to create a cup of excellent tea at home with this process.