5 Essential Items for New Loose Leaf Tea Drinkers | TEA 101

by Tea in Spoons
Overhead view of various tea tools

When learning about anything new, there are many unfamiliar terms and tools, and loose leaf tea is no exception! I remember being so overwhelmed when I first started. So, I thought it would be useful to create a list of five items that will help you jump start your journey!

A few years ago, I was a part of Lu Ann from The Cup of Life’s At The Tea Table series where she conducts interviews with tea drinkers from around the world. In the post, I mentioned some of my essential items. Over time, that list has evolved and changed and I wanted to share that list! This list excludes tea and water, of course:

  • A Reliable Kettle:
    • A kettle that boils water fits the bill if it is stovetop or electric! I have come to rely on electric kettles over the years due to my setup. While I currently use a variable temperature kettle (it lets me choose exactly the temperature the water will boil to), however, it is not mandatory. I didn’t start with one! If you don’t plan on getting a variable temperature kettle, you can let the water cool (depending on the tea) or invest in a thermometer.
  • A Cup:
    • There are many types of brewing vessels from around the world! However, if you are starting off, a simple standard 8 oz cup is perfect. I personally like white or clear glass cups because then you can see the colour of the tea, but definitely not a requirement.
  • A Strainer:
    • I started with the strainer that came with my first mug which opens at the top. This is great because it gives space for the tea leaves to unfurl. Disposable or reusable tea bags also work in a pinch! I personally don’t recommend getting a tea ball, as they have limited space for the tea leaves and affects how your tea brews and taste.
Overhead shot of various tea tools
  • A Measuring Tool:
    • There are two main options: a teaspoon or a scale. In my personal experience, most companies provide steeping recommendations using a teaspoon, but occasionally, brands that tend to focus on unflavoured teas use a scale.
      • Teaspoon: A teaspoon normally does the trick. Nothing fancy!
      • Scale: While a scale can seem intimidating, I have noticed that most brands provide measurements in grams, so a small digital gram scale will work.
  • Storage Area:
    • While keeping your teas in glass jars on a shelf may be tempting, when storing tea, the main four things to remember are keeping the tea away from light, moisture, heat, and strong odours. Therefore, I tend to keep my teas in the packaging it came in, zipped up, away in a cool and dark place and it has worked for me so far!

Overall, I tried to keep this list short and to the point! I made the list I wish I had when I first started. In the future, I’d like to write one for more seasoned tea drinkers. If you are looking to learn more about tea, check out my other TEA 101 posts!

The question of the post: Anything I missed? What would you have included?

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How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Loose Leaf Tea | TEA 101 – Tea in Spoons March 24, 2022 - 9:00 pm

[…] will be a follow up to my post regarding top essential items for new loose leaf tea drinkers, so these suggestions will be for brewing the perfect 8 oz cup of tea with a […]


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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!