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How to Steep Tea

How complicated could it be? Add a Tea Bag to hot water and let the tea steep.. not complicated at all.  Well, not so fast.  A properly steeped cup of tea does have nuances.

Tea’s base is water.  If you start with water that tastes bad your tea will taste bad.  If possible use filtered water, bottled water, or other pure water.  This will ensure a refreshing base for your tea.

Begin with cold water- cold water picks up less minerals when traveling through pipes so this is particularly important if using tap water.  Heat in a kettle until the water is at rolling boil for Black Tea, Oolong Tea, or Herbal Tea.  For White Tea or Green Tea- turn off the heat before the water begins to boil.  The leaves in Green Tea and White Tea are too delicate to be boiled. 

A real cup of Tea is about 6 ounces.  This is considerably less than can be found in the coffee mugs found in most kitchens.  Bear this in mind when deciding how much Tea to add.  For a six ounce serving plan on about a teaspoon of tea or herbs, if there is a question, refer the specific directions on the tea’s packaging, but a teaspoon is a good place to start.  This roughly equates to one tea bag per 6 ounces of water. 

For Loose Tea place the tea leaves in the Infuser or Tea Pot then cover with the heated water and allow it to steep.  Different people prefer different steeping times and different teas need to steep for different lengths of time.

Usually people will find the ideal time for White Tea to be steeped properly is between 2-3 minutes for loose tea and 30 seconds to a minute for tea bags.  Green Tea follows roughly the same time guidelines, but some prefer it slightly longer.  Black Tea takes a bit longer at 3-5 minutes.  Loose Tea is typically on the longer end of the spectrum and Tea Bags on the shorter end.  Oolong Tea takes a little longer yet, expect to wait for 3-5 minutes for a tea bag and 5-7 minutes for loose tea to properly steep.  Herbal Tea also takes longer, usually in the neighborhood of 5-7 minutes. 

Be careful to not over steep your tea- especially delicate White or Green Tea, as they turn bitter of over steeped.


Miss Ellie's Tea RoomLoose Leaf Tea