The perfect cup or pot of tea is affected by the following factors:

  • Type of tea
  • Amount of tea leaves
  • Water quality
  • Water temperature
  • Steep time

Type of Tea
The amount of tea leaves, water temperature and steep time depend on the type of tea to be infused - black tea, green tea, oolong, white tea, or tisane. 

Amount of Tea Leaves
Using a teaspoon in your utensil drawer may result in tea that is too weak or too strong, since these teaspoons are not necessarily a standard teaspoon measure. Be sure to use a standard measure to measure your tea leaves, such as a measured teaspoon or our Tea Measure Spoon, which can be found in the Accessories category. When making tea you have not tried before, start by following the package directions and adjust the amount of tea leaves to taste the next time you make it. A rule of thumb is that fluffy teas, such as white teas, will require more of the leaves for making your infusion. A better way to measure your tea is by weight using a gram scale – the recommended amount is 2.2g per 8-oz. cup for teas, 3-4g per 8-oz. cup for tisanes.

Water Quality
Always be sure to use fresh water that is either filtered from the tap or bottled. Do not use distilled water, as it will result in a flat-tasting tea.

Water Temperature
Black teas, Pu-er, and tisanes are strong enough to stand up to boiling water. Oolongs, green, white and yellow teas will be scalded if boiling water is used, which results in an infusion that is bitter and un-drinkable. Refer to our chart below to find out the recommended water temperature to use for each type of tea.

Steep Time
Black teas, Pu-er, and tisanes require a longer time to infuse properly and develop their full flavor. Oolongs, green, white and yellow teas are more delicate and will get bitter if steeped too long. Here is a general steeping instructions chart based on an 8 oz. cup, but feel free to experiment using different amounts of tea leaves and steeping times to find the strength you like best.

Tea Type

Amount of Tea

Water Temp

Steep Time

(in minutes)

Black & Pu-er

1 tsp

208

3 - 5

Darjeeling & Himalayan Black

1 tsp

180

2 - 4

Oolong

1-2 tsp*

180 – 205**

2 - 3

China Green, Flavored Green

1-2 tsp*

175

1 - 2

Japanese Green

1 tsp

160

.5 - 1

Genmaicha & Hojicha Japanese

1 tsp

190 – 205

.5 - 2

White & Yellow

2 tbsp

175

2 - 4

Tisanes (herbals, rooibos, honeybush, tulsi, roasted maté, fruit blends)

1-3 tsp*

208

7-10

Green Maté (Yerba Maté)

1 tsp

160

7-10

*Use the smaller amount for compact, small leaf or tightly rolled teas; use the larger amount for large leaf or fluffy teas.

**The standard water temperature for oolongs is 195⁰. You may use the cooler water temperature for lightly-oxidized oolongs and the hotter water temperature for higher-oxidized oolongs. Experiment with different water temperatures to discover how they affect the characteristics of the infused tea.

 

Steps for Preparing Hot Tea

  • Heat enough fresh water to the proper temperature for the type of tea you are preparing.
  • When water is heated, pour a small amount into your cup or pot. Swirl it around to warm the cup or pot and then pour out. This will ensure that the tea infuses at the proper water temperature.
  • Measure out enough tea leaves for the cup or pot and place them into an infuser or directly into the pot.
  • Pour hot water over the tea leaves and allow them to steep for the proper time.
  • After the proper steeping time has elapsed, remove the infuser or pour the tea into cups using a strainer to catch the leaves.
  • Add a sweetener, lemon, or milk, if desired.
  • Relax and enjoy your tea!

 

Steps for Preparing Iced Tea

Use loose tea to make your own healthy and delicious iced tea. It is easy and almost any tea can be used to make it. Try experimenting with Nilgiri or Ceylon black teas, oolongs, jasmine teas, fruit-flavored teas, fruit blends, and herbals. Drink plain or add a splash of fruit juice for a hint of sweetness. Refreshing, delicious, and healthy iced tea is never far away!

  • Prepare hot tea according to steps 1 through 5 in the instructions above.*
  • Let the tea cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
  • Pour the tea over ice, if desired.*
  • Garnish, as desired, with slices of citrus or other fruit, berries, or mint sprigs.
  • Enjoy!

* If adding ice to your tea, make it double or triple strength so that it does not become diluted.

Note: Cover and refrigerate any leftover iced tea and consume it within 2-3 days.

Steps for the Cold-Brew Method

This is a great way to make iced tea with green, oolong or white teas because it is more gentle and reduces the bitterness. Black teas and herbals work well also, but they may require a longer steep time.

  • Measure out the appropriate amount of tea leaves for the teapot or pitcher and place them in an infuser or directly into the teapot/pitcher.
  • Fill teapot/pitcher with fresh cold water and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Steep the tea leaves for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove tea leaves and garnish as desired.
  • Enjoy!

 

Sun Tea Safety

Most of us have prepared sun tea at least once and for many it is a tradition that is synonymous with summer. It is important, however, to be aware of the potential risks that may be associated with consuming this favorite summertime beverage. As the sun heats the water, it reaches a temperature that is ideal for bacteria present in the water or on the tea leaves to rapidly multiply - it never gets hot enough to kill off any bacteria that may be present. To minimize any risks, it is important to follow these steps:

  • Use a very clean container.
  • Use fresh cold water.
  • Steep the sun tea for no more than three to four hours.
  • Consume the sun tea the same day. If any tea remains, refrigerate it and consume the next day. Discard any tea that remains after the second day.