How much tea is in each bag?
Our bags of tea are measured in 32g, 50g, or 100g in order to make packing easier for you and for us. Each of our teas has a different size, volume, etc and that makes it difficult to fit the same weight of each type of tea into the same bag. So, in order to keep our costs affordable for you, we carry just one bag size and measure out how much of each tea fits in those bags. Depending on the tea, each bag contains enough to make between 8 and 40 original steepings which translates into 8 - 200 cups of tea. See the next question on how much tea to use per cup...
How much loose tea do I use per cup?
Depending on the type of tea, the ratio of leaves to water can vary widely. However, for most straight teas in the green, white, black, oolong, and pu'erh categories, one level teaspoon of tea leaves will be sufficient for a single cup serving. For more voluminous teas such as most of the herbal teas, tisanes, and mixed teas such as our Honeybell Orange Blossom White tea, we typically suggest using a rounded tablespoon for a single cup serving. However, we encourage all tea drinkers to experiment and find the optimal ratio to fit your taste because, after all, it is YOUR cup of tea.
Feeling nerdy? Here's a chart which recommends serving portions by grams for each tea category.
How many times can I steep my tea?
Again, this is one of those situations where the answer depends on the tea. For all our unflavored teas, you can reasonably expect to be able to steep your tea at least 3 times. In order to steep a second or third time, keep the water temperature the same as the first steeping but increase steeping time by a minute or two each time. We do not recommend multiple steepings of flavored teas or herbals as the flavor yield may be significantly reduced.
Do I need a tea pot to prepare my tea?
Nope. As a matter of fact, we consider tea pots to be luxury items. In our stores we do use tea pots, yes. However, most of our staff members simply steep their leaves directly in a cup or bowl and use a handheld strainer to strain the liquor and separate the leaves. If you want to be hardcore about it, drink it Chinese style by leaving the leaves in the cup while you drink. Note that your tea might become very bitter if you go hardcore. But you're not hardcore unless you live hardcore.
Is the water temperature really that important?
You betcha! If your water is too hot, you can cause certain teas to literally burn and taste like an ashtray. This was confirmed by my cousin Earl who licked an ashtray to verify this statement. If your water is, conversely, too cool, your tea might be weak and flavorless.
Is the quality of water really that important?
If you live in a city like Pearland, TX, YES!!! OMG, YES! Do not steep your tea using the municipal water supply unless you want your tea to taste just plain awful. We have a very complex and multi-staged water filtration system in our store which helps us to keep our teas tasting like tea and not like battery acid. Don't have a $2,000 water filtration system at home? No worries... spring water or filtered water of most varieties should be fine. Think this response sounds super snobby? Yeah, me too... but, I'm going to leave it because we really do think that it makes that much of a difference.
Organic vs Non-Organic Teas
Here's the thing. With produce, the pesticides used in growing fruits and veggies can easily be washed off using some warm water and vinegar or simply by removing the outer peel. With tea, rinsing off pesticides isn't such an easy task. Thus, organic teas are a way to ensure that you're not chugging a cup of toxic chemicals. However, we work really hard to source our non-organic teas from farms who limit their use of pesticides or don't use them at all but who may not qualify for or be able to afford an organic certification. Either way, drink worry-free...