How Much Loose Leaf Tea Per Cup?

The kettle’s boiled. The biscuits are out. Your lovely Two Chimps loose leaf tea is ready.

But wait, what’s the right amount of loose leaf tea per cup?


Bag of Two Chimpd loose leaf tea with infuser, teapot and white teacup and saucer with shortbread



How much loose leaf tea per cup is a common question in the communi-tea (see what we did there?). The tea in fresh, healthy loose leaf tea isn’t like that in tea bags. It’s not all pre-portioned (well, imprisoned) in plastic tea bag shells.

But this doesn’t mean it’s hard to know the amount of loose leaf tea to use per cup! Far from it, loose leaf tea measuring is easy-peasy…

Because this is a tea break, right? Not a maths lesson.


Bag of loose leaf Darjeeling tea with white cup and saucer and infuser




What is Loose Leaf Tea?

Proper tasty tea – that’s what!

That’s what the dictionary really wants to write. But it can’t; something a little more technical is in order. So here we go…

Loose leaf tea describes large tea leaves you brew loose rather than packed up in a tea bag. They contain whole or broken leaves (the quality stuff) as opposed to the dusty ‘fannings’ (not the quality stuff) that end up in most tea bags.

As well as being way better for the planet, loose leaf tea gives you tea that’s fresher, healthier and a million times tastier! Maybe a billion.

Loose leaf black tea leaves on a wooden table


Much of that vibrant tea flavour you get with loose leaf tea comes from the fact that they are, well, loose. The quality leaves aren’t crammed into a small bag, meaning they can move freely and expand as they should. Your hot water can flow over the leaves, extracting all that delicious aroma and taste.

Tea bags are also more likely to give you stale tea. Why? It’s because fannings are itsy-bitsy small, so have a large surface area. This larger surface area increases how fast the essential oils evaporate from the tea. So, as they sit packed up on supermarket shelves, much of the tea’s flavour and aroma are evaporating away… Sad face.


loose leaf green tea beside Two Chimps label and tea infuser




How Much Loose Leaf Tea Per Cup?

You’ve got your loose leaf tea (we guess you’re smiling now!). Now you need to know how much loose leaf tea per cup.

Read on, friend.

You want to use one teaspoon of loose leaf tea per cup as a general rule.


Like numbers and want to know the grams of tea per cup? It’s about 2-3g per 200ml-ish of water. If you fancy a tea-to-water ratio, too, it’s 1:100.

And that’s all you need to know to get cracking!


Loose leaf tea measurements chart



What if I Have a Bigger Cup?

No two mugs are the same. Gran’s use-with-extreme-caution China teacups are small and dainty and hold around 200ml of liquid. Then you’ve got your staple curl-up-on-the-sofa mug. They hold much more – probably between 250 and 350ml. But mega mugs holding 550ml are certainly a thing!

Tailoring your loose leaf tea measurements is easy. For a little teacup, stick with the one teaspoon starter. For a larger mug, you might want a smidgen more.

Got a mug that looks more like a soup bowl? Try using two teaspoons, or even a little more.


Bag of loose leaf green tea on a table with blue and pink mugs and a cut lemon




How to Make Loose Leaf Tea Stronger

Do you like your tea STRONG? Can’t abide brews that look shortbread-beige? Then you need to know how to make loose leaf tea stronger.

No stress. For stronger tea, simply increase the amount of tea leaves you use. Try a heaped teaspoon, then two, and keep tasting until you find the strength you love.

We’d always recommend using more tea than infusing for longer. Over-infusing leads to bitter tea because it releases too many tannins into your brew. Tannins are a plant compound, and too many of them can create a sharp, astringent taste.


Sample bags of tea from Two Chimps




How Much Loose Leaf Black Tea Per Cup?

For a tip-top mug of Black tea (such as English Breakfast or Earl Grey), you want to use the 2-3 grams of tea per cup mentioned above.

You only need to tweak the golden teaspoon-per-person rule for three types of tea:

  • White
  • Herbal
  • Oolong

These teas are all less dense, meaning you need a little more. We’d recommend trying two teaspoons per cup rather than one.Loose Leaf Tea Leaves on a wooden table


How to Make Loose Leaf Tea

  1. To begin, we need to boil the kettle. Then, add the required amount of loose leaf tea to the infuser and place it in your favourite cup
  2. Leave the kettle to cool for 2-3 minutes
  3. Pour a little cool water into the cup before topping it up with the hot water. This step prevents you from scalding your tea
  4. Give it a little stir
  5. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on the strength of tea required. Maybe dance around the kitchen while you wait?
  6. Remove the infuser from the cup and grab some cake – it’s tea time!


Loose leaf tea method



Super. Now you know how much loose leaf tea per cup! Just remember: one teaspoon per person, with a few tweaks here and there.




Keep reading to find out more about English Breakfast – everyone’s favourite morning tea!

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