There’s something incredibly comforting about the perfect cup of tea. There are few occasions that aren’t improved with a warm mug of something rich and soothing, whether that’s your favorite black, green, or herbal tea mix.
Serving tea at brunch or a large party, however, can be daunting so you might be wondering if there’s a way to make this process easier.
Luckily, you can try making something called concentrated tea right in the comfort of your own home with whatever tea you have on hand.
So, what is concentrated tea? Simply put, this is a tea that is brewed at a stronger strength than regular tea (at least twice as strong, but you can make it 4 times as strong if you like) and then diluted with boiling water when you’re ready to serve it.
Read on to learn what concentrated tea is, step by step instructions on how to make it, and the best types of tea to use to make your concentrated tea.
What Is Concentrated Tea?
Concentrated tea is a great trick you can use if you need to serve large batches of tea to a group or if you just want to batch boil your tea for the week.
This type of tea is typically at least double the strength of your regular brew, though you could make it even more concentrated.
If you don’t have a lot of storage space, but want to make tea in advance for a large group, making a concentrated tea is a great trick.
Depending on how much tea you’re making and how much space you have you can make it 2-4 times stronger than your regular batch.
Once you’ve made your concentrated tea you can store it in the fridge and all you need to do is add boiling water before you serve, so you don’t need to measure or flavor anything on the day of.
It’s a great way to serve a lot of tea to a large group.
Or as I mentioned, if you’re a big tea drinker but don’t always have the time to make a fresh cup each morning, you can brew a large batch of concentrated tea on the weekend and store it in the fridge.
Then, depending on how concentrated it is, you just boil up some water and add it to the concentrate and you’re ready to sip away in one simple step.
How Do You Make Concentrated Tea?
The process for making concentrated tea is incredibly simple. You can play with how concentrated you want your tea to be by adjusting the amount of tea bags or tea leaves you use to make your brew.
Follow these steps to make a batch of your favorite tea concentrate:
- Measure out the tea:
- You will want to figure out how concentrated you want your tea base. If you want it to be twice as strong, you would measure out double the amount of tea leaves. If you want it 3 times as strong, you’ll measure out 3 times as much, and so on.
- If you use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for 1 cup of tea, you would use 4 teaspoons of tea leaves per cup of water to make it 4 times as strong. If you want it doubly strong you can measure out 2 teaspoons of tea leaves per cup.
- Follow the same method if you use tea bags. Depending on how many bags you generally use per cup or quart and then multiply it by how concentrated you want your tea to be.
- Steep the tea:
- Once you have figured out your tea to water ratio, you will let it steep for your regular amount of time.
- Steeping time varies depending on type of tea and your preferred strength.
- Green tea is best steeped for 3 minutes or less to prevent it from becoming bitter, while black tea can be steeped for 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you like it.
- Strain the tea:
- After you have let your tea steep for the proper length of time, you can strain out the tea leaves or remove the tea bags.
- Cool the tea:
- Before you store your tea concentrate, you will want to let it cool to room temperature.
- Store the tea:
- Once it has cooled, you can move your tea to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for a few days.
- If you’re serving it to a party I wouldn’t suggest making it more than two days in advance.
- When I’m making it for myself I’ll save it for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- If you want to store it for longer than 5 days, I would suggest freezing it. Once the tea is cooled, place the tea in a glass jar and leave about 1/2 an inch of space at the top for expansion. Store in the freezer for 3-6 months.
- Dilute and serve the tea:
- When you’re ready to serve your tea, you will dilute it with boiling water. The exact amount will depend on how concentrated you made your tea.
- If you made your concentrated tea twice as strong you will use an equal ratio of tea concentrate to boiling water. If you used more than that, you will adjust your ratios accordingly.
As you can see, it is simple as can be to make concentrated tea at home.
You can use this trick if you want to serve tea to a large group of guests or if you want to batch brew your week’s worth of morning tea so you don’t have to wait for it to steep.
What Are The Best Types Of Tea To Use To Make Concentrated Tea?
If you want to make concentrated tea you might be wondering what the best teas to use are. The answer is: whatever tea you most enjoy! You can use this method to make a concentrated batch of pretty much any type of tea.
Some of my favorite types of teas to use to make concentrated tea include:
- Black tea: You can use any type of black tea from an Assam, to an English Breakfast, to an Earl Grey or Lady Grey. All of these teas hold up well to a concentrated steeping and dilution.
- Oolong tea: This tea is a little more finicky than some others on this list, but it has an amazing flavor that tea lovers are obsessed with. You can also get more than one steep out of your leaves. Steeping oolong tea requires a few steps for the perfect flavor:
- Pour a little boiling water over the leaves and steep for 5 seconds. Discard this water. This initial steeping wakes the leaves up and starts to unfurl them.
- Place your tea back in the container, pour boiling water over the tea, and steep for 45 seconds. Remove the tea leaves and store this liquid.
- You can then do a second steep and let it sit for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove the tea leaves and store this liquid.
- Green tea: I love the delicate flavor of caffeinated green tea. It’s also a super easy tea to use to make concentrated tea since it requires such a short amount of steeping time. You don’t want to steep green tea for longer than 3 minutes or it can become bitter.
- You can also steep loose leaf green tea leaves twice, which gives you great value for your money.
- White tea: Another delicious and delicate caffeinated tea, white tea makes a great choice for a concentrated tea base. You want to steep this tea for about 4-5 minutes if it is a fluffy loose leaf tea.
- If you’re using white tea buds, then add another minute or two to allow the flavors to fully develop.
- Rooibos tea: I love this red bush tea. It has a lovely sweet flavor and it tastes great chilled and combine with lemon, honey, and other flavors. It’s a beautiful color and is a great non-caffeinated choice. You’ll want to steep it for about 5 minutes.
- Herbal teas (tisanes): If you’re a fan of herbal teas, you can use any variety of herbal tea to make a concentrated tea. Some of my favorites include:
- Lemon Balm
- Flavored teas: Many companies sell a variety of delicious flavored teas that you can use to make a unique concentrated tea. Just follow the brewing instructions (remembering to double, triple, or quadruple your tea leaves) for the specific kind you choose.
Making concentrated tea at home to serve to guests or have ready for your morning cup is as easy as:
- Choosing your tea
- Measuring out the right ratio for how concentrated you want it to be
- Letting it steep
- Cooling it down and storing it in the fridge
- Diluting it with hot water
Choose your favorite tea and get started today!