Resteeping Teas: How & Why

I talk a lot about resteeping tea here on One More Steep. To me, it’s one of the signs of a good quality tea: being able to resteep the same leaves and get more drinkable tea out of it with a good amount of flavour.

My basic steps to resteeping any tea is to heat up water to the recommended steeping temperature for the tea (if your tea doesn’t come with that sort of information, I’ve got a handy temperature guide!) and then pour the water over the leaves again. Whatever the recommended steeping time is, you add 30 seconds for each subsequent steep.

Example: You want to steep a black tea where you steep with 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes.

Initial steep: 100°C water for 5 minutes
1st resteep: 100°C water for 5 minutes 30 seconds
2nd resteep: 100°C water for 6 minutes
3rd resteep: 100°C water for 6 minutes 30 seconds
4th resteep: 100°C water for 7 minutes

Resteeping leaves allows you to further the tea drinking experience with the same leaves. This works best with straight/traditional teas (e.g. teas that have no added flavourings, fruit ingredients), not tisanes. Tisanes often don’t do well when being resteeped.

After I steep the leaves, I will remove my infuser from the tea pot and rest it in a bowl or on a plate to allow the leaves to drain (so they do not continue to steep!). The leaves don’t fully dry out between steeps, so when I’m ready for the next steep, I just insert the infuser back into the tea pot and pour in more water.

Please note, if you opt to resteep leaves, you should be doing it all in the same day. If you leave out the leaves overnight or longer, you run the risk of mold growing on the leaves – the leaves are damp and provide a moist growing environment for mold spores. I only resteep my tea leaves during the same day as the initial steep.

Making a Splash: Up Your Iced Tea Game

The weather is still warm, at least where I am, and there’s no better time than to up your iced tea game. I’ll be talking about how I prepare iced tea (and iced tisanes), and then how you can amplify the flavour by adding some simple ingredients to make it even better than it was before.

For me, iced tea/tisanes start quite simply. I scoop the dry leaf into the infuser portion of my pitcher (I use the Perfect Pitcher from DavidsTea) and I use basically about one-and-a-half times more dry leaf for iced tea than I would if I was making it as a hot tea. So if you normally use 1 teaspoon of dry leaf for a cup, use 1 and ½ teaspoon. It’s not an exact measurement, but it does make it a little bit stronger flavour wise before you start adding ice or other ingredients to it.

When making the tea base, this is the best time to add the sweetener. If you are cold steeping (or cold brewing), you can’t use regular sugar. Sugar will not dissolve in cold water – but other sweetener options do. Agave syrup and honey both do pretty well when dissolved into cold water. If you’re using heated water, sugar will dissolve. Basically, you’ll need to turn your sugar into a simple syrup at minimum if you want to use it in cold water.

Basic Simple Syrup: Heat equal parts granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan until it’s fully dissolved and simmers. You don’t want your simple syrup to boil or burn.

I tend to put a bit of ice into each cup, and fill it with the iced tea/tisane until it’s about ⅔ full. There’s a lot of things that you can top your iced tea with. You’ll need your favourite matcha (blended or traditional; I opted for a straight/traditional matcha), a lemon (or lemon juice from a bottle), and some sparkling water or pop (soda).

And here are the beautiful drinks – and each of them just add a little something to the glass of iced tea and really changing the flavour profile by making it a little bit more interesting.

First we’ve got iced tea with lemonade. I’ve used lemonade before in drinks such as the Arnold Palmer and Matcha Lemonade. In the middle, I added a ‘shot’ of matcha into my iced tea – a matcha shot is a small amount of matcha whisked up. It really adds that vibrant matcha flavour that I enjoy, and in turn the iced tea adds a nice level of sweetness to the matcha. At the end, I’ve got a lovely layered drink! This iced tea was topped off with unsweetened sparkling water. You can also do this with soda water or seltzer, but if it has sugar, it may not layer as nicely.

Fun Fact! The more sweet a liquid is, the more it’ll sink. So when trying to layer a drink, put the sweetest liquid in the glass first to help maintain some well-defined layers.

Have you tried any of these methods of upping your iced tea game before? Let me know in the comments below or tag me (@onemoresteep) in your iced tea photos on Instagram.

Afternoon Tea vs High Tea

Did you know that afternoon tea and high tea are not the same thing?

Often used interchangeably today, the terms describe different meals. The one that is most often used for tea parties, baby & bridal showers, and hosted with all the fun cakes is afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea is a lighter meal, often served to the upper class and was at one point referred to as ‘low tea’ because of the lower table (think coffee table height). This meal consists of tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and sweets. Afternoon tea is, of course, served in the afternoon (approximately 3:30-5pm) as a way to tide you over between lunch and dinner.

Popularized by Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford in the 1840s, she wanted the tea and cakes to fill her up until the very late supper time that was usually 7-8pm in the evening. Afternoon tea was also used as a social gathering, as it is today as well with the showers and parties. This is the one to dress up for with your dresses and fancy hats.

High tea is, you guessed it, served on a higher table and often a post-work meal for the working class. Because it’s a meal for people who often laboured away at work, the food served at high tea is often a lot heartier and heavier to provide the sustenance for those who’ve worked long hours  – think meat and potatoes. While still deliciously savoury, a high tea meal is not for those who are just looking to keep those hunger pains away until dinner.

Regardless of what you call it, the fancy tea parties in the afternoon are still a lot of fun! And as a lot of us are spending more time at home these days, it’s a fun away to bring your family together for a nice little sit-down meal and enjoy each others company.

There are a lot of recipes out there that could easily fill up your tiered cake stand and your delicate tea cups. Some fun recipes to round out your menu could include some Lemon & Cranberry Scones topped with Easy Chia Seed Jam, to be served next to your London Fog with Lavender Simple Syrup, of course.