How to Brew a Sustainable Cup of Tea

How to Brew a Sustainable Cup of Tea

I love tea. I don't remember exactly when I "discovered" the joy of loose leaf tea, but I remember visiting tea shops with my mom and spending ages sniffing and sampling, before buying the perfect blend. We still stop into the Spice and Tea Store where they invite you (or did, pre-COVID) to sniff the teas. 

When I travel, I try to bring home teas. I've got a mountain of ceylon and ginger teas, gifted from a friend I visited in Sri Lanka. It's lovely. One of my favorites ever is a coconut oolong (heavenly!). I just picked up some divine blends from Calabash Tea & Tonic, which is owned by an amazing woman- a 5th generation herbalist and naturopath. 

As a kid, I thought tea was limited to southern style sweet-tea, herbal tea bags that came in a box with a cute bear on it, or bitter and barely flavored. Plus, tea bags, although great in a pinch, make extra waste, contain microplastics, are often bleached, and contain the lowest-quality tea. 

Once I learned there's a whole world of tea out there, I was hooked. And I've got the pantry to prove it. I love making tea, and the perfect cup is all about steeping. 

Grab your mug (may I recommend the black mini mug?).

Put some water on to boil, or use an electric kettle. You can use a microwave to boil some water if you're in a rush. 

While you're doing that, measure out a teaspoon and a half of your ethically-sourced loose-leaf tea into a tea infuser and drop it in your mug. 

Pour your boiling water into the mug, cover it with a cloth, and let it steep. According to Jee, a Tea Sommelier, the appropriate steeping times are: 

"Follow the steep time recommendations on the tea package, but roughly it is: black tea for 4-5 minutes, green and oolong for 3 minutes, and white tea for 4 minutes."

Remove your tea infuser- this is important! leaving the tea in the water will make it bitter- and add in your...tea fixings (milk, honey). 


If you want to make a second cup, you can use the same infuser and leaves, steep for an additional minute. 

Compost your tea leaves for extra sustainability. 


I'm loving this picture from Pat, who bought the black mini mug and leaf plate for her tea. Perfect brews, perfect views!