brewing great tea
Great tasting, healthful tea can brewed up simple and fast with just a few concepts in mind. However, it's not just boil, steep and drink! Follow these basic guidelines to brewing and you'll be on your way to sipping the world's best tea in no time!
Enjoy a 1-minute video tutorial on brewing in a cup or tea pot
Use only fresh filtered water for the best tasting tea. Removing strong flavors like chlorine, sulfur or other added or natural compounds will allow for a better tasting infusion all around.
Steeping with the correct water temperature is critical in order to prevent bitterness while bringing out the best flavors of your favorite tea. Pay close attention to recommended steeping temperatures. Refer to the Steeping Guide below for some general tips.
What type of tea are you brewing? Green, white, oolong, black, pu-erh, rooibos, or herbal? These can vary widely in terms of how they handle water temperature. Generally speaking, the lighter the tea, the cooler the water you'll need for a successful steep. For instance, a spring picked Japanese green tea can steep successfully with 160F degree water while a bold, highly oxidized black tea does well at near boiling temperatures.
time is relevant
Over-steeped tea can be bitter or overly tannic. Follow recommended steeping times at first and then try experimenting by adding or subtracting time to suit your individual taste. With some delicate teas, seconds really do matter while for most herbal or rooibos teas, there's much more flexibility.
Now that we have your attention, there's no fooling around that the size of your tea infuser is critical to a successful infusion. Our large, loose-leaf teas do best in an infuser that allows leaves to fully open up and move around. Some of our beautiful teas will expand ten-fold or more during the steeping process. Don't be afraid to wiggle that infuser around during the steeping process to get the most out of the leaves.
how much tea leaf
Ideally, you should measure out your tea by weight for precise taste. Plan to use 2.5 to 3 grams per 8 ounces of water. Tea leaves can vary significantly in size and weight, so relying on a teaspoon is not going to help unless you know the relative weight of the leaves you're planning to steep. For example, a level teaspoon of our #38 Premium Sencha weighs 3.5 grams, while a level teaspoon of our #145 Peppermint Leaf weighs only 1 gram. A handy little kitchen scale will take the guesswork out and help you achieve a great brew.
The following information should be used as a practical guide to steeping various types of teas. However, within each Tea Type are countless variables that may influence optimal brewing methods. Everything from the shape of the dried leaf (e.g., pearl, needle, nugget, twisted leaf, etc.) to the amount of oxidation and even the method used to de-enzyme the fresh leaf (e.g., pan-fired, steamed, etc.), will influence how a tea should be steeped. After all of those aspects have been taken into consideration, at the end of the day, what matters most is what tastes best to you! Feel free to use this guide as a starting point and then adjust based on your personal taste. If ever in doubt, give us a call and we'll be glad to offer additional suggestions.
|TEA TYPE||TEMP (F)||TIME (Min)||RE-STEEPS|
|GREEN (pure leaf, deep steamed)||160||30 sec||2-3|
|GREEN (pure leaf, light steamed)||175||1-2||2-3|
|OOLONG (greener style)||185||2||4+|
|OOLONG (darker style)||185||3||4+|
|BLACK (lighter style)||185||2-3||2-3|
|BLACK (darker style)||205||3-4||2-3|
|PU-ERH (raw/sheng) Pre-rinse suggested||175||1-2||5+|
|PU-ERH (dark/shou) Pre-rinse suggested||205||1-2||5+|
|YERBA MATE (pure)||175||2||3-4|
|YERBA MATE (blend)||185||2-3||2-3|
Tips for Making Iced Tea
Hot Steeping method (24oz cup with ice)
- place infuser into 8 ounce measuring cup
- put 6 grams tea leaf into infuser
- add 8 ounces hot water (using recommended temperature for tea type)
- steep for recommended time based on tea type (generally 1 to 4 minutes)
- fill 24 oz cup with ice
- remove infuser; pour hot tea over ice
- add more ice to top off
- Sit back, relax and refresh yourself with your freshly brewed iced tea!
cold brewing bulk batches (1/2 Gallon Recipe)
There’s a lot to love about cold brewing, for instance . . . cold brewed tea is less astringent than traditional brews and are a lot more flexible regarding steep times. Black teas will not cloud up when chilled while cold brewing can even increase antioxidants in white teas. And, it’s easy to do.
- add 20–24 grams of tea leaf directly into steeping vessel, or use a large stainless steel capsule infuser
- add 64 oz of cool filtered water
- steep for recommended time (see below) in refrigerator, stirring occasionally
- after steeping, pour leaves through fine kitchen strainer into ½ gallon pitcher for serving
Cold Brew Steeping Times
- green: 10–15 minutes
- white: 15–20 minutes
- oolongs: greener styles may be ready in 2–3 hours while darker styles may take up to 8
- black: 8–12 hours
- rooibos & herbals: 12–16 hours
NOTE: For herbal or blended tea infusions, it is recommended that you very briefly “pre-rinse” the blend with hot water (over 175 degrees) to kill off any potential bacteria prior to cold-brewing.