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 shout 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|
For cold-brewing information, see our Iced Tea page.
Steeping Tightly Wound Tea Leaves
When steeping tightly wound tea leaves such as a Ti Kwan Yin or Four Seasons Oolong, the initial infusions will be soft and light. We call the first steep or two "wake up" infusions as the leaf becomes rehydrated and starts to unfurl. It will take a couple of infusions (steeps) to fully reveal the full array of flavors contained within the leaf.
We encourage you to start small, steeping only the amount needed for one small serving. Then, enjoy successive infusions of the leaf to find the perfect cup for you, noting the changes in flavor over the repeated infusions.