How many times to reuse loose leaf tea in tea bag

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bklyncookin
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Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:53 pm

Hi everyone! I'm just starting to get into loose leaf teas. I was wondering, how many uses do you get out of a bag of loose leaf tea?
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pedant
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Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:47 pm

hi @bklyncookin, welcome to the forum :mrgreen:

first, do you mean a storage bag or a brewing bag (the common tea bag)? if it's in brewing bags, i would personally say it's not loose leaf ;)

the number of steeps you can get depends on the leaf to water ratio used. short steeps with a lot of leaf in a small teapot (perhaps 5g of tea in a 100mL teapot) could give you 3, 5, 10, or even more steeps. many refer to this as gongfu brewing.

a smaller ratio may extract everything in just one steeping (sometimes called western brewing).

really, people generally just keep re-using the leaves until it doesn't taste good or they get bored and want to do something else.

these threads may interest you:

Longevity of Tea Leaves: Sustaining Multiple Steeps
Time between steeps?
How long do already-steeped leaves remain usable for more brews?
faj
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Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:09 pm

pedant wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:47 pm
really, people generally just keep re-using the leaves until it doesn't taste good or they get bored and want to do something else.
I think this is good advice, and, ultimately common sense.

I would say that, personally, I do not consider the number of infusions as a goal, but rather a result of trial and error. It is probably best to explore a few general techniques (e.g. "gong fu" vs. "western style" as mentioned by @pedant), then play around to adjust the results to your liking, and once you have done that you will quickly find out how many infusions you consider worthwhile based on your preferences. There is no "right" or "wrong" number of infusions.

The potential for multiple infusions varies depending on tea type, and to a lesser extent between different teas inside a given type.
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