If you’re tired of your gourmet coffee grinds being inhaled into the nose hairs of your roommates, or if you don’t have a coffee grinder on hand but still want to enjoy some caffeine-craving goodness, try a tea grinder instead.
That’s right — tea has become so popular in recent years that now it’s easy to find small tabletop devices that integrate with bagged teas and let you grind your desired amount of leaves. This is a great way to enjoy one of the most relaxing beverages in the world without worrying about shaking loose grounds all over the place with grinder tea.
1. Keep Tea Fresh
Tea is almost always better iced or cold. While you may not have time for iced tea in the morning when it’s 110 degrees outside, you do have time for a cup of tea at night after work or during your commute home. The longer you steep a tea, the more flavor develops. But over-steeping can also lead to bitterness, especially with more robust teas like black and green. So grinding your leaves into smaller pieces ensures that they reach your cup sooner without losing any flavor; it also ensures that there are no large chunks of leaf to clog up the filter of your favorite mug.
For many types of tea, like black and green teas, use a string strainer. These are also great for keeping your leaves out of a brewing device like a coffee press or French press, in which case you’d want to use a fine or extra-fine setting. Stronger teas like pu-erh and oolong can benefit from a medium to coarse grind, even in the strainer.
2. Avoid the Coconutty Taste
Of course, you always want to avoid over-steeping your tea and having it taste bitter; however, some teas are naturally more flavorful than others (and some of us just enjoy the taste of coconut). For example, green tea and white tea contain very little caffeine but just as much (sometimes more) flavor. With green tea, you may want to grind your leaves as fine as you can. With white tea, the opposite is true. It’s not uncommon for even a medium setting with white tea to yield better results. With green and white teas, do yourself a favor and keep the tea leaves extra-fine so that they can still be volatile with the caffeine but you won’t leave the room smelling like a fresh baked cookie.
3. Prevents Eucalyptus Taste
Eucalyptus is a plant that can be found in most tea blends, usually in combination with other plants. Oftentimes you won’t find it listed on the label as an ingredient, but it’s there, lurking in the background. This can be a problem if you drink a cup of tea that tastes like the stuff my daughter keeps on her necklace or stuffed animals; or worse yet, like menthol cough drops. Fortunately this type of flavor is easily removed by grinding your leaves into finer pieces. . . unless you’re going for that eucalyptus taste (if this is the case, feel free to put them through the strainer after brewing).
Although you can’t get a smoking strain from a tea bag, it’s close enough to the real deal if you are interested in a quality product. Though this isn’t the most common, it’s the most popular at number four on our list. Regardless of how you gauge, there is one thing you must remember when using loose leaf tea: start with a teaspoon and go proportional to your tastes.
The taste of smoke around your nose and mouth has increased in popularity among connoisseurs, and aficionados of this blend enjoy that they are able to use a variety of different types as well as infuse it depending on their taste.
5. Instant Flavor
Using a tea infuser or a coffee filter is the best way to infuse flavor into your teas or coffee. The good news is that the same methodology can be used for tea leaves, without the full expanse of brewing required in coffee. You can get instant flavor by using a mesh bag, mesh sheet, and mesh ring (with or without strainer). These are perfect for serving hot tea on the go with no mess!
6. Cold Brew Tastes Better
Cold brewing is also called French Press style brewing; however, it can be done in any type of filter. This is a great way to get flavor without any bitterness. It requires more time than normal brewing would (4 hours versus 2-3 mins) so it’s not for everyone.
7. Cheap & Free
You can purchase a tea grinder for about $20, and it can usually be found in the kitchen section of your local department store (unless you go out of your way to look for it). If you don’t want to buy one, don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to make your own. There are also numerous free methods listed all over the Internet, including on our site if you’d like a more detailed explanation.
If you’ve read this far, then you are literally a tea fanatic! Hopefully you found what you were looking for in this article, or perhaps even discovered a new way of brewing your tea. Enjoy!