The world of loose leaf tea can be intimidating—so many choices! And how do you decide how much to buy?
Those pesky grams . . .
It doesn’t make it any easier that bulk tea is often sold in grams or in odd amounts of ounces.
That is because most of the world uses grams, and the U.S. equivalents end up being an odd amount. So a nice round 50 grams of tea ends up being 1.76 ounces in the U.S.
But how much IS 1.76 ounces?
For some comparison, a single-serving Hersey’s chocolate bar is 1.55 ounces while a Snickers bar is 1.86 ounces.
But 1.76 ounces of loose leaf tea gives you roughly 15 to 20 cups of tea.
The range of cup yield is because you will use a different tea leaf to water ratio depending on the type of tea you have.
Some teas need one level teaspoon per 8 ounces of water, whereas others need more—especially for light, bulky teas such as Silver Needle white tea (incidentally, those are more accurately weighed rather than measured by teaspoon, but expediency rules for most of us!).
And making tea an even better bargain—
Unlike coffee beans, which can be brewed only once, tea leaves can often be reused.
Most oolong teas and many green and white teas can—and often should—be rebrewed. The leaves will continue to release flavor, and successive brews may even be more flavorful than the first infusion.
So 1.76 ounces may actually give you anywhere from 30 to 60 cups of tea!
When thinking about the price of high-quality teas, even an expensive tea may not be so costly when you consider the number of brews you can make per teaspoon of tea leaves.
Compare the premium Japan Gyokuro (which can be rebrewed) to a bottle of wine.
For about the same price, you can get fifty grams of tea or a decent bottle of wine. The wine bottle will give you 5 five-ounce servings, but the 50 grams of tea will give you at least 30 to 40 eight-ounce servings!
So how much to buy?
Here is a handy chart (this is assuming an 8-ounce cup and a one-time use of the leaves):
- 50 g = 1.7 oz = 15–20 cups
- 100 g = 3.53 oz = 30–40 cups
- 250 g = 8.82 oz = 75–100 cups
- 500 g = 17.64 oz = 150–200 cups
While tea keeps for months and even years, for optimal flavor you will want to buy only what you will use up in a reasonable amount of time.