What is the Piper Process?
The Piper Process is Piper & Leaf’s signature method of tea brewing in which we brew a Concentrated Tea and use it to create all of our drinks. Essentially, Concentrated Tea is just tea that’s been brewed extra, extra, extra strong – about eight times stronger than a normal cup! The basics of making Concentrated Tea is to use a LOT more loose leaf in way less water. Once it’s been prepared, you simply mix a little bit of Concentrated Tea with water (and sugar if you like) and you’ll have a ready-to-drink cup of tea in under a minute!
The Piper Process is a fantastic and flexible system because you can mix your Concentrated Tea with hot water to get hot tea, mix with iced water for iced tea, and easily make each cup of tea different based on your tea preferences. Make your tea as sweet (or unsweet) as you like. Add a little more Concentrated Tea if you prefer your drinks extra strong. Add milk, creamer, or whipped cream to your tea to make your tea extra rich. Mix two different blends of Concentrated Teas into the same drink to create a fun combination of flavors.
There are so many ways to make a cup of tea – experiment, taste-test, and find YOUR way!
How to Brew Concentrated Tea
1. Place your Tea Dripper onto the metal drip stand and place a clean, empty quart jar beneath it. A drip stand is the most stable way to brew, but the Dripper will fit directly onto the top of a jar.
2. Check the blend’s brewing instructions* for its water temperature and steeping time! Prepare a timer for the correct brewing length.
*Brewing instructions are on the back of every Essential Bag of loose leaf!
3. Start heating up 3.5 cups (28 ounces) of hot water to the correct temperature for the blend! While your water is heating, prep the tea.
4. Pour a full Essential Bag of loose leaf (1 bag = 35 grams) into the base of the Tea Dripper.
5. Carefully pour the 28oz of hot water over the loose leaf. The water level should be right at the neck of your Dripper!
6. Start your timer and stir well so that all the loose leaf is immersed in the water. For best results, continue to stir every 30-60 seconds as the tea steeps! You’ll get a better flavor extraction and you can never stir too much. 🙂
7. When the timer goes off, slowly depress the lever on your Tea Dripper and watch the Concentrated Tea flow into the jar below. Hold down the lever until all the Concentrated Tea has drained into the quart jar!
8. Once the jar of Concentrated Tea has cooled off a bit, remove the jar from under your Tea Dripper. Seal the jar with a solid gold lid and it will be ready to store!*
*Concentrated Tea will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks if properly stored! Be sure to keep it sealed when not in use.
Important Note: Concentrated Tea will often change color or become cloudy once it has cooled, especially blends that contain black tea. This is just fine! The tannins in the tea are what cause this change. It is also fine if the Concentrated Tea begins to settle or separate – simply shake or stir well before using it.
General Guide for Using Concentrated Tea:
1oz Concentrated Tea + 7oz of Water = 8oz of Piper & Leaf Tea
Recipes Using Concentrated Tea
Hot & Iced Tea
Each of the recipes below is exactly how we make them at Piper & Leaf shops, markets, and events! For those that like sweet tea, we recommend using Simple Syrup as your sweetner, just like we do. We use a double strength Simple Syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water) because it’s easy to store, great for measuring, and mixes easily whether the tea is hot or cold!
These recipes match our default of “Southern style sweet” (because that’s just how we do it in Alabama), but it’s easy to make your own cup whatever sweetness you like! Simply reduce the amount of Simple Syrup to your liking and make your tea unsweet, half sweet, or anywhere in-between!
Hot Mug of Tea (12oz)
- 1.5 oz Concentrated Tea in a mug
- 1 oz Simple Syrup
- 9.5 oz of hot water
- Stir it all together and enjoy!
Iced Pint Jar of Tea (16oz)
- Fill the jar all the way to the neck with ice!*
- 1 oz Concentrated Tea
- 1 oz Simple Syrup
- 8 oz of cold water (i.e. fill the jar to the neck with water)
- Stir, shake, or swirl the jar until all the sugar and Concentrated Tea are mixed. Enjoy!
*If you want to make an iced tea with less ice than in this recipe, we recommend you add a little extra Concentrated Tea & Simple Syrup to ensure the tea is strong enough (since there will be much more water in the final drink). The best ratio is 1oz of Concentrated Tea for every 7oz of water!
Iced Quart Jar of Tea (32oz)
To make a quart of tea, simply double the amount of each ingredient in the Pint Jar recipe above!