The Black Prism guide to brewing craft tea

The Black Prism guide to brewing craft tea

‘Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone, ‘so I can’t take more.’
‘You mean you can’t take less,’ said the Hatter: ‘it’s very easy to take more than nothing.’
‘Nobody asked your opinion,’ said Alice.

Brewing loose leaf tea takes a little more effort than working with tea bags, but we think it is worth it. You probably stopped making instant coffee ages ago, so why are you still settling for low quality, environment-wrecking teabags?

The good news is, it really isn't that difficult to make the switch. In this guide, we'll take you through each step, from measuring the perfect amount of loose leaf tea to enjoying a well-brewed cup.

Select your weapons of choice

You'll need two things to hand to get started. First, a top-quality Black Prism tea. The grade of your tea is crucially important and it really is worth paying the extra to avoid low-end teas. Even the newest tea drinkers will easily tell the difference.

Second, you'll require some sort of brewing device. A good and cheap starter method is simply a small tea strainer, which we sell for a few quid. If you're looking to make the jump to loose-leaf tea long term, then it's worth investing in a decent teapot with a strainer built in. There's a million different products on the market (look out for a future guide), but it's hard to beat the convenience of a stump teapot with a built-in infuser.

Decide on your ratios

All our teas come with a handy brewing guide to make this simple. But if you can't be bothered with measuring exact amounts of water and grams of tea, fear not – you can just cheat. We tend to start with a teaspoon of tea per cup, and if it was too strong, dial down the rations next time around (and vice-versa).

The one thing you can't afford to get wrong is water temperature. Many of our teas can simply be brewed with boiling water, but others require a more delicate touch. Again, cheating will work just fine – if you don't have a temperature controlled kettle, just add a splash of cold water or two to boiling water to avoid damaging the quality of these teas.

Brew time

Place your measured (or roughly measured) tea into your infuser or the strainer within your teapot. Pour the hot water over the leaves and let them steep for the recommended time. These can be found on the label of all Black Prism teas.

Avoid oversteeping, as it can result in a bitter taste. Set a timer if you want to ensure precision, but tastes vary so you may want to adjust our brew times to your own preference.

Milk? Sugar? Honey? Lemon?

Most of our teas can be enjoyed in their pure, unadulterated form. But others, for example black teas like Saxon Dawn, may benefit from a splash of milk. Feel free to experiment with other combinations, for example Curse of Bengali can withstand a few drops of lemon juice, but if you start putting sugar in your Monkey's Paw then please don't tell us about it. 

Rinse and repeat

Savor the last sips of your meticulously brewed tea, and when the pot is empty, don't forget to rinse it promptly. This ensures that no residue accumulates, preserving the purity of the next brew. Use warm water and let the teapot air dry.

And that is really all you need to know, for now. Tea experts will take issue with much of the above, because that's the sort of people tea experts are, and everyone comes to develop their own sworn-by brewing methods in time. But for now, stick the kettle on, and get stuck in.

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