A frequent question when brewing tea is how much tea to use for the specific amount of water that is being brewed. People who brew their tea in batches will have more trouble answering this question as most tea products are designed for single cup brewing. In this article, we will explore how much tea should be used for a quantity of water and how to calculate it for any quantity of water, and we will answer the title of the article of how many tea bags for 2 quarts of water specifically.
Strength of Flavor
An important aspect of brewing tea is how strong you want the tea to taste. If you use too many tea bags or too many tea leaves your tea will end up tasting very bitter and too strong. Drinking a very strong tea can even feel dehydrating instead of refreshing! Since we are going to be brewing our tea in batches it’s even more important to get the calculations right. Otherwise, we end up wasting a lot of time and tea. There’s nothing worse than waiting 12 hours for your tea to finish brewing only to find out it tastes bad.
Another way to tackle this question is from the amount of time you let the tea steep in the water. We will go over the calculations for how much tea to use shortly, but it is important to note that if you are using a smaller amount of tea, you may be able to compensate for that by letting it brew for a longer time.
The longer tea leaves steep in water the more flavors end up being extracted, although the process becomes less efficient over time. Hot water is more effective at extracting flavor so that is also another strategy that can be used, but the tea will end up tasting slightly different than if only cold brewing was used.
The Temperature of the Water
Another factor to consider is how the tea is going to be made. There are 3 main methods for brewing tea in sizes of 2 quarts or more. There’s the conventional method of boiling water and steeping the tea for a short amount of time, which is the fastest way to make your tea in bulk.
Please note: if you are going to boil the water make sure the water is not too hot as otherwise it will burn the tea and it will taste bitter. Making sun tea, where the water and the tea are left outside and the sun heats the water, is also very popular. More recently, cold brewing has become the coolest method of extraction (pun intended).
How Much Tea for Hot Brewing
Alright, let’s finally talk about the amounts we’re going to use and let’s answer the question that drew you here: how many tea bags for 2 quarts of water? When brewing hot tea we typically use one tea bag for 8 ounces of water. There’s around 1g of tea in a tea bag or half a tablespoon by volume.
Please note that this amount can actually vary based on the brand of tea you are buying. Based on that ratio, and our volume of water of 2 quarts or 8 cups, we should use 6 to 8 tea bags of tea at near boiling water (for black tea). We should only steep the tea for 4-6 minutes, depending on your flavor preference, as using hot water is very effective at extracting the flavors and caffeine from the tea leaves.
How Much Tea for Room Temperature Brewing
Most people that brew tea in batches don’t brew it using the hot extraction method. They actually prefer to put the tea in the water and come back hours later when it’s finished brewing.
The most typical method of room temperature brewing is when making Sun Tea, where you let the tea sit outside in the sun to finish brewing. Make Sun Tea by using around 4-6 tea bags for 2 quarts of water and let it rest in the sun for at least 5 hours. If you are instead just leaving the tea inside just double that time to around 10 hours.
How Much Tea for Cold Brewing
Cold Brewing is a very popular method for brewing tea and coffee right now. It’s soaring in popularity in the coffee world and it’s also taken off with tea brewing as well. Cold Brewing results in a milder flavor of tea similar to brewing sun tea, but there are even more subtleties of flavor. When Cold Brewing tea use around 8-10 tea bags for 2 quarts of water and let it steep for around 8-12 hours or more depending on your preference.
We need to use the most amount for cold brewing as the extraction of the flavors from the tea leaves is the least efficient. The method being the least effective at extracting is actually its main appeal as it won’t extract some of the more bitter tannins and flavor molecules that hot brewing extracts. This is what gives cold brewing such a unique flavor profile.
How many tea bags for 2 quarts of water can actually vary in the amount a bit based on how strong you like your tea and the brewing method you use. It may take some experimentation to find the ideal amount of tea, the type of brewing method, and the net brewing time. Remember the rough ratios for each of the three methods are 1 tea bag per 10 ounces of water for hot brewing, 1 tea bag per 12 ounces of water for room temperature brewing, and 1 tea bag per 6 ounces of water for cold brewing.
Please keep in mind that these are rough ratios and through your own experimentation you will find the amount that’s perfect for you. The main points to keep in mind are to use less tea when hot brewing as it’s easier to use too much and there’s less room for error. While making Sun Tea and cold brewing are more forgiving methods. You can also taste test sun tea and cold brew tea to see how strong it is while it is brewing.