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How to Steep the Perfect Cup of Tea

Pouring black tea

To get the full tea experience the grower intended, the importance of proper steeping techniques can not be over emphasized.  Correct water temperature and steeping time will bring out a tea's style, whether subtle or bold.  It will perfect a tea’s flavor and enable you to discern the unique nuances and notes of your favorite tea.  

Water

Fresh water should always be used to steep tea, meaning if you boil your water for tea in a kettle, rinse it out and start with a fresh kettle of water each time you steep tea. Tea’s flavor will be influenced by the quality of water.  If your tap water has an aroma or taste other than ‘water’, use bottled water or a filter for your faucet.

Temperature and Steeping Time

Water temperature and steeping time are the most important elements to correctly steeping a cup of tea. Each type of tea requires a different temperature and steeping time to get the maximum intended flavor.

Generally, black teas should be steeped at boiling temperature or 212 degrees F.  and green teas should be steeped at approximately 175 degrees F.  There are, of course, many types of tea that fall between these parameters so it is best to follow the individual steeping temperature and time recommended below, (this information is also available at the bottom of our product pages).  These are general guides to optimizing a tea's full potential, but personal preference is the final test. 

For stronger tea, use more tea instead of steeping longer.  Remember to get the most out of your tea, you can re-steep one or two times.

Types of Tea             Steeping time            Water Temp
White teas                    3 minutes                     160-170 F
Japanese Green           3 minutes                     170-180 F
Other Green Teas         3-4 minutes                  175-185 F 
Black teas                    3 minutes                      212 F
Oolongs                       4 minutes                      170-185
Pu-Erh Teas                 3 minutes                      212 F

 Loose leaf tea to water ratio

General rule of thumb is 1 heaping teaspoon loose leaf tea to ¾ or 1 cup of water.  As teas differ greatly in leaf size, so should the measurement of more or less than a heaping teaspoon.