While a French press is usually used to make coffee, it can also be used to brew loose leaf tea. It is especially useful for making large quantities of tea as most tea-balls will not hold a sufficient amount of loose leaves to make an entire pot of tea. A French press is also helpful when making medicinal teas that require a larger than usual quantity of tea leaves to create a concentrated brew.
Things You'll Need
Wash all parts of the French press thoroughly if it has been previously used to brew coffee. Any coffee residue left in the French press will affect the taste of your tea.
Add loose leaf tea to the French press. Use 1 tsp. of loose leaf tea per 6 oz. plus 1 tsp. of water.
Heat your water to the appropriate temperature for your type of tea. Brew black tea at 190 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, at which temperature the water will be steaming, large bubbles will appear and small bubbles will be threading along the surface, but the water will not be at a full boil. Brew green tea at a cooler 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 170 degrees Fahrenheit at which point columns of steam just begin to rise from the water. Brew red tea at a hot 190 degrees Fahrenheit to 210 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just under a full boil. Herbal tea is brewed at 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, at approximately the same boiling point as that for black tea.
Pour your hot water into the French press and put the lid on to help retain heat, but do not press the plunger. Brew your tea in the French press for the appropriate length of time for your type of tea. Brew black or red tea for three to four minutes, green tea for 2.5 to 3.5 minutes and herbal tea for 5 to 15 minutes. Cover with a French press cozy to keep the tea hot while brewing. When your tea has finished brewing, press the plunger of the French press.
Pour the tea into cups immediately to prevent further brewing. Add milk or sweetener, if desired and enjoy.
If you plan to make more than one infusion from your tea leaves, do not press the plunger all the way to the bottom of the French press. This can damage the leaves and add bitterness to subsequent infusions (See Reference 1).
References and ResourcesIn Pursuit of Tea: Brewing Tea in a French Press
Agape Tea: How to Brew Loose Leaf Teas