Ever make tea in a french press? Try putting the tea leaves on top of the strainer instead of below.
It works great for teas you want to infuse for a limited time (that is, most types of true tea.)
If you put the tea below the strainer (as you would with coffee grounds) you have to pour out all the tea when your infusion time is up. That’s kind of annoying if you’re making a pot of tea for one.
By putting the tea on top of the strainer, you can simply lift the tea leaves out of the water when it’s infused to your liking. You don’t have to pour all the tea out of the french press to avoid over-infusing your tea.
Allow me to illustrate:
Start with a clean french press.
Insert the strainer attachment and put the appropriate amount of loose tea on top.
Push the plunger down almost as far as it goes, then add the hot water of your desired temperature. Make sure you leave some space at the top of the press. Either lift the lid of the press with one hand and pour the water with the other, or, if you have room, you can just pour the water in the spout of the french press without lifting the lid.
The nice thing about using a french press is you can watch your tea as it infuses. Here’s a gratuitous tea shot.
After your infusion has finished (about 2 minutes in my case), simply raise the plunger to lift the tea out of the hot water and halt the infusion process.
When you pour the tea you have a couple of options. You can lift out the whole strainer, transfer the leaves to another vessel, then replace it and drink the tea at your leisure. Personally, I’m lazy and don’t mind the odd stray leaf in my tea, so I just leave the strainer in place at the top of the press and carefully pour the tea through the tea leaves. Very few leaves pour into the cup.
Because the leaves are lifted out of the tea, the only thing you have to worry about in terms of how fast you finish the pot of tea is temperature. When you’re ready for a second infusion, just lower the plunger again and add more water.
That’s it! It’s pretty straightforward, but I see people making tea in a french press pretty regularly and I haven’t seen anyone else do it this way. If you try this method out, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!