TEA'na is Tea by Two's resident tea expert. Send your questions by filling out the form below.

If your question is published, you will receive a free 2oz package of your favorite Tea by Two tea.





Dear TEAna,

I love my hot tea, but when the weather turns warm I can only think of iced tea! How do you brew a batch of iced tea using loose leaf tea and how do you keep it from getting cloudy?


Dear Marsha,

You can make your iced tea as you would make your hot with a few minor alterations:

  1. Bring a kettle of freshly drawn water to a boil 205 – 212 degrees.
  2. Measure 1 teaspoon* of loose leaf tea per 8 oz of water.
  3. Place loose tea in an infuser or Tsac and place in a pitcher.
  4. Pour the boiled water over the infuser.
  5. Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove the infuser and allow the brew to cool.*
  7. Once cooled, add ice- Enjoy.

*This is a basic recipe for brewing iced tea. But here are some things to note:

Measuring 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea is suggested for most medium leaf teas. Some white teas, oolongs or larger leaf teas may require 1 Tablespoon per 8 oz. Denser teas, such as Gunpowder or pure fruit blends, may require ½ teaspoon per 8 oz.

Cloudy iced tea often occurs when the ice is added to the hot tea too early. Allowing the tea to cool naturally and adding the ice when the tea is at room temperature will help avoid a cloudy brew. Cloudy tea will taste the same, just isn’t as attractive, especially if serving to guests.

Remember too, if you are using a flavored loose leaf tea with essential oils, some cloudiness may occur naturally.

As always, experiment and find your own tea joy! A 2 oz package of our Ceylon Kenilworth tea is on its way to you – happy brewing!


Dear TEAna,

I have always used tea bags when drinking tea but want to start using tea leaves. I am not sure how much of the leaves to use when making a small pot of tea which is about 3-4 cups. Can you advise?

Mary O.

Dear Mary,

As tea is a personal preference, I will give you some guidelines to start your journey. As a rule, use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per 8 oz of water. A four cup pot (32oz) would use 4 teaspoons of most teas. Depending on your taste preference and the type of tea you use, you may wish to add more or less tea to the pot.

Experiment with each type or flavor of tea that you choose. Thank you for your letter and I am sending you a 2 oz package of our best selling tea – Tibetan Tiger – a black tea with caramel and almond – Enjoy.


Dear TEAna:

I use sugar and milk in my tea often earning the ire of my table mates. Ordering it this way from an English waiter, I was told "Ahh, the Irish way..." My Irish grandmother also drank it this way. Is there validity in the waiter's statement??

Stacey R.
Abingdon, MD

Dear Stacey,

I had actually never heard this distinction given to an “Irish Way” of drinking tea. So I did some research, and it seems that sugar and milk in your tea is generally referred to as the “Irish Way”. The Irish prefer a very strong tea that often needs a little milky sweetness. In England, it is often customary to drink your tea “white, no sugar” – which means milk only! Although I am sure in both countries there are exceptions. I too, drink mostly strong black teas the “Irish Way” and I prefer to put the milk and sugar in first before pouring my tea. The milk tends to emulsify differently when the tea is poured over it and the result is a very creamy cuppa!

Thanks for your letter! A 2 oz package of our delicious Irish Breakfast tea is on the way!


Dear TEAna:

I went to tea for the first time yesterday and had my first scone. It was delicious. There was lemon curd and cream to put on the scone, but I was a little apprehensive. How exactly do you eat a scone? Do you use a knife and fork? Your hands?

Doris Doowright

Dear Doris,

This question is often asked and my answer is always the same – eat a scone anyway you like it! The days of “proper” scone eating are long gone. Plus, if you went to England and asked 10 people how to eat a scone, you would get 10 different answers. But to ease your mind, here are a few of the ways people like to eat scones:

  • Break off pieces with your fingers and slather with curd and cream
  • Break scone in half, and slather with curd and cream prior to each bite.
  • Slice the scone in half, spread one side with lemon curd and one side with cream and sandwich them together.
  • Then use a knife and fork.
  • Slice the scone in half, spread curd on one half, then spread cream on top of the curd and eat open face.
  • Repeat with other half of scone.

My personal preference is to break off pieces of the tender delicious scone and slather each piece with curd and cream before each bite.

Thanks for writing! A 2oz bag of Spiced Pear is on its way.


Dear TEA’na:

I am very sensitive to caffeine, so I can't have it at night. Sadly, some of my favorite teas aren’t decaffeinated. I've heard decaf teas are just teas that have been steeped twice. Is that true? Is this a reliable way I can decaffeinate my favorite blends?

Daisy Decaf

Dear Daisy:

Your caffeine sensitivity is not uncommon. The information available on decaffeinated teas is wide and varying. Many websites and books tout the do-it-yourself decaf process of steeping your tea for 30 seconds, disposing of that infusion and re-infusing the tea. Other sites show evidence that this method is a myth. Scientifically the 30 second steeping method of decaffeinating tea has not been proven.

First let me say that a "decaffeinated" tea is a tea (camellia-sinensis) that originally contained caffeine and has had most of the caffeine removed via a specific process. Herbals and tisane, which are not blended with tea leaves (camellia-sinensis), are caffeine free. Having said this, infusing a tea multiple times will reduce the amount of caffeine with each infusion. This is achieved best with a green or oolong tea. Other than that, I suggest you stick with herbals or decaf teas in the evening.

Thanks for your letter and a 2 oz package of Enchanted April - our most popular herbal blend - is on its way!


Dear TEAna:

I noticed that you serve your Afternoon Tea from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. My mother-in-law was born in Surrey, England. She tells me that Afternoon Tea is a light meal served at 4:00 p.m. Do people actually order Afternoon Tea at 9:00 a.m.?

Puzzled in Perry Hall

Dear Puzzled,

Our philosophy at Tea by Two is "It's 4 o'clock somewhere"! Perhaps your only opportunity to enjoy a moment of pause is early in the morning. Should we restrict your choices to only scones and tea? We think not - so enjoy Afternoon Tea any time of day.


Dear TEAna:

Please help me settle a bet. My wife says that "decaffeinated" teas are the same as caffeine-free teas. I say they are not. Which one of us is correct?

Vegas Bob

Dear Vegas:

You are correct! Since the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) contains caffeine, any tea that has been "decaffeinated" via a chemical process may still have very small traces of caffeine. Herbal teas, which are not derived from the camellia sinensis plant, contain only herbs, fruits and spices and are 100% caffeine-free. I certainly hope your prize is an afternoon at Tea by Two where you will have plenty of caffeine-free choices.



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