Infusion of the Month: Loose Leaf Tea

Wintertime is here and that means an abundance of cold and flu. By my predictions, (which are solely based upon a need to draw a connection) that also means tea becomes a very popular drink during this time of year. Whether it’s a lemon tea with some honey for a sore throat, a chamomile tea to warm one’s real nerves and calm the figurative ones or a nice orange zest tea as a part of a liquid flu diet. Of course, nothing here is done without a bit of Infusiasm. So what better way to enjoy the (proverbial) healing powers of some herbal tea than to cancel it all out in a tea flavored-infusion.

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Loose Leaf Tea Infusion

Ingredients:
750 mL Spirit of Choice
1 tablespoon loose leaf tea of choice
Sugar, to taste (optional, for sweet tea variants)

Infusion Time:
3 – 24 hours

Directions:
This is a rather simple infusion compared to any of the others explored on this site. Simply place the tea leaves and spirit of choice in a clean, dry mason (or other air-tight) jar. Store in a cool, dark place for anywhere from 3 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the tea flavor within the spirit. Once the infusion is adequate to one’s personal plate, strain the tea leaves and return the infusion to a clean, dry jar for storage.

A quick tip: use of a tea ball or infuser is highly recommended in this infusion. If you don’t have access to either, pack your loose leaf tea in a piece of cheese cloth and tie it into a ball, with a piece of string. This will create a make shift tea bag and make straining your tea as simple as retrieving the tea bag. Or, as I often do, you can simply leave the teabag in the infusion with no worries. Think of it as the worm at the bottom of a bottle of mezcal.

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Loose leaf tea produces a better product in the end than pre-packaged teas, as well as allows for some experimenting with tea flavors. Green and black teas are the clear-cut choices for this infusion, but don’t be afraid to venture outside the box and share your findings with us all in the comments. With the rise of stores like Teavana, I’m sure some very interesting infusions can be made from this simply recipe.

Enjoy.

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