Dessert by Deb Tea Steeping Guide!
Hello tea friends! It's a beautiful, sunny spring day and the last Sunday of May. As tea goodies and packages make their way to loving homes via mail elves (thank you for your opening week orders, keep them coming!), I think it's the perfect time to write up a tea steeping guide for everyone preparing to make themselves a fantastic cuppa! I've obviously steeped and tested all 6 Dessert by Deb dessert teas, and I'll be the first to say that there are certain steeping methods and tools that take some of these teas from "great" to "wowwie!"
Now, everyone has their steeping preferences, be it tools, length of steeping time, and process. This steeping guide is simply that - a guide. You do you and I do me! If you find that another way works for you, go for it! But I know there are many folks out there who appreciate a little direction and advice, so here are my steeping recommendations for the first 6 teas in Dessert by Deb's opening tea collection!
These are the tools that I often use to steep my tea. I find these to be the most effective. I don't prefer using a mesh ball as it doesn't allow the tea leaves to fully expand and in my personal experience, mesh balls just haven't given me the best flavour output.
I go back and forth between kraft paper drawstring filters (goes straight into the organic waste compost green bin afterwards!), an infuser basket, a strainer, and tea directly in my teapot. I typically steep using my strainer over top my teapot, but every so often I will use the other 3 methods depending on the tea blend.
So, let's jump right in!
- Berry Bouquet - recommended steeping method: any of the above! I found that the jasmine green tea was very forgiving and the brew didn't taste bitter with any particular steeping method. Since it is a green tea though, remember not to pour just boiled hot water over the blend. Follow the temperature recommendation on the package, or do as I do for those who use an electric kettle without a temperature reader: rule of thumb for green teas is to wait 20-30 minutes after water has boiled to pour. For Berry Bouquet, 20 minute wait time is sufficient enough. Sweetener optional (I always have my tea with honey!)
- Chocolate, Berries & Cream - recommended steeping method: drawstring filter with a hit of non-dairy milk! Since there is hibiscus in the blend, dairy milk can cause it to curdle, so if you like your sweet chocolate teas kicked up a notch, use a dairy-free milk or creamer. I have coconut milk with mine and my gaaaawd is it ever delicious! If you like your tea straight though, simply steep in a filter for the best flavour. Why not the other methods? Because chocolate has cocoa "dust", I find that steeping in a filter contains everything in a neat little pouch and doesn't allow the particles to either float around or sink to the bottom. In other words, a cleaner, crisper, more delicious mouthfeel. Also, the chocolate and berry flavours marry beautifully in the filter. They come out more muted when using the other methods.
- Coco Goji Island - recommended steeping method: directly in the teapot! In an infuser basket is fine too, but it looks so gorgeous when you steep directly in the teapot, not to mention the flavour is out of this world! For those who like getting the most out of their tea, Coco Goji Island is for you as it can steep 4 times and still taste amazing after every infusion! Much like Berry Bouquet, this blend is very forgiving in water temperature. I would warn against pouring just boiled water over it, but you can definitely manage with a 15 to 20 minute wait for this one. I know because the other day I was so thirsty and wanted to drink my tea so badly that I poured after only waiting 15 minutes and crossed my fingers that it would still taste fine and lo and behold it did! I would still recommend 20, but 15 won't kill you or the tea!
- Coconut Maple Custard - recommended steeping method: any of the above! However, because the maple melts into the tea after the first infusion, you want your first one to be the best one so if I had to steer you in a direction, I'd say either the infuser basket or filter. Because coconut has its own oils, putting it directly in the teapot is still perfectly fine but it might make your cleanup a bit more labourious. This one would be fabulous as a latte! And because there is no citrus or hibiscus in the blend, any milk will do.
- Lemon Coconut Pie - recommended steeping method: in a drawstring filter with a hit of non-dairy milk just like the Chocolate, Berries & Cream! Strongest, most delicious marrying of flavours this way. I would steer clear of leaving the tea leaves in an infuser or directly in the teapot as I find that oversteeped black tea has that tinge of bitter tang, so steeping it strong in a filter gives the best results.
- Orange Ginger Shortbread - recommended steeping method: directly in the teapot! The flavour output from an infuser basket is also just fine but cleaning rooibos out of an infuser basket is a nightmare, and I found the sweet orange flavours just explode when the blend is allowed to get flushed out in a teapot versus a filter. And while Berry Bouquet and Coco Goji Island are definitely forgiving, Orange Ginger Shortbread is EXTRA forgiving. Boiling water and steeping for a loooong time won't hurt this at all. I will recommend using a bit of your favourite sweetener though as it just makes the blend so rounded and smooth. The flavour is gorgeous in this one.
And that's a wrap! I hope this steeping guide is helpful for many of you and I hope you'll all love these teas as much as I do. I am so excited to create more exciting desserts for both you and me, enjoy!