free shipping on orders over $40

By Nicole Maddock

Loose Leaf Tea 101

Welcome to tea school - grab a pencil and take some notes. But no worries, the homework is really delicious.

3 things you need to make tea at home:

  1. Hot water

    Our black teas are all heated to 195 F, herbal teas are 212 F, and green teas are 175 F.

    If you want to get your tea exactly right, try an electric kettle where you can change temperature settings OR a thermometer for your pot on the stove.

    Tea is really nice and forgiving though, so any kettle or way you can boil water with is fine! Just make sure you’re using filtered water that you’d enjoy drinking on its own!

  2. A strainer

    You can grab a french press for at home tea making or our small tea infuser balls for on the go tea! Even a thin mesh kitchen strainer can work at home in a pinch, you just need something that will catch all the leaves.

  3. Tea!

    You’ll need some really delicious loose leaf tea to get started on your tea journey. You can browse ours for more in-depth flavor profiles and descriptions. But some easy, bestselling teas to get started with are: fresh air, rainy bookstore, and bouquet bloom

sample size tea from color theory tea co

The Loose Leaf Basics:

Loose leaf tea means tea that’s primarily made up of buds, partially cut, and whole leaves. Teabags are usually made from the opposite – low tea grades, such as dust and fannings. Dust and fannings are smaller pieces of tea, so they have a larger surface area than whole leaves.

A larger surface area means more opportunities for the essential oils (what makes tea flavorful and aromatic) to evaporate, leaving the tea dull and stale. It also makes the tea more subject to over-extraction (causing bitterness and astringency).

Caffeine Content

Herbal tea - no caffeine

White tea - caffeine equal to 25 percent of coffee

Green tea - caffeine equal to 40 percent of coffee

Black tea - equal to 50 percent of coffee

Matcha - equal to 70 percent of coffee

How to make a perfect cup of tea:

Hot Tea (3 grams of tea to 12 ounces of water)

- weigh 3 grams (or roughly half a teaspoon) of loose leaf tea and put in your strainer

- heat 12 oz of water (1 and a half cups) to 195 F for black & herbal teas or 175 F for green teas

- Starting a timer for five minutes, pour water into brewer with leaves.

- Let steep for 5 minutes.

- Immediately after brewing, strain tea into cup.

- Boom! It’s delicious!!!

adding milk? we recommend 1/4 milk to 3/4 tea ratio.

Iced Tea (3 grams of tea to 6 ounces of water)

- weigh 3 grams (or roughly a teaspoon) of loose leaf tea and put in your strainer

- Starting timer, pour 6 ounces of water into brewer (a bit less than a cup) to 195 F for black & herbal teas or 175 F for green teas

-Let steep for 5 minutes.

- After brewing, pour strained tea over ice. For best results - put into a shaker and shake!

Tea trouble-shooting

If your tea tastes watery - you probably aren’t using enough leaves for your liking. Try adding more leaves to your strainer, increasing the brew ratio.

If your tea tastes astringent - try letting it steep for less than five minutes, or use a lower water temperature

bubblegum green tea

Color Theory Teas

We work with importers to source the best the world has to offer. Ensuring something special, we mix some blends ourselves for a custom flavor profile. Not everyone is a "tea person." We don't want our customers to ever feel like they can't ask questions. This tea is for everyone!

Tea holds importance for several cultures along with past and present civilizations. Color Theory Tea creates a space for sharing experiences to create a healthy community full of sunshine. We provide a whimsical experience that awakens simple hope.

Tea Recommendations:

Something Non-caffeinated:

- Mint Chip

- Bouquet Bloom

- Golden Hour

- Sweet Dreams

"I just like sweet/unsweet tea"

- Sunshine

- Cloudy Day (unsweet)

- Garden Party (unsweet)

Something fruity/floral:

- Bouquet Bloom

- Bubblegum

- Sunshine

Not sure, but likes coffee:

- Rainy Bookstore

- Cloudy Day

- Chai

Something iced/refreshing:

- Fresh Air

- Seafoam

- Mint Chip

Something hot/cozy:

- Terrazzo

- Chai

- Rainy Bookstore

Something that feels healthy:

- Garden Party

- Golden Hour

"I have no idea"

- Rainy Bookstore

- Seafoam

- Terrazzo

- Mint Chip

- A Seasonal Blend!


- Terrazzo

- Sweet Dreams

Happy Brewing :)


Leave a comment