How to Properly Steep Tea

Are you steeping your tea properly? Preparing your tea for tasting is just as important as picking the right one. We are all guilty of leaving our tea to steep, getting distracted, and returning to a room temperature brew with a bitter taste and a feeling of disappointment. Pay attention to your tea and avoid this common steeping misdemeanor.

Turns out this isn’t the only steeping mishap. People everywhere are mis-measuring, mis-timing, and mis-using teaware. Find out more about how to prep the perfect cup, which teas should be steeped the longest, and even the different steeping methods between a hot cup and an intentional cold cup of iced tea.

1. Prepare your tea supplies.

This is the fun part. Pick your favourite tea or whichever one just feels right at this moment. For the crisp, burnt orange, pumpkin spice, chunky sweater, and scattered leaves theme of the season, try out our Apple SpicePumpkin Spice, and Apple Pie Rooibos.

2. Choose a tea accessory for filtration.

Filtering your tea depends on how much tea you want to make, which kind of tea you’re making, and where you’re enjoying your tea. If you’re making an individual cup of tea, opt for a small meshball or 1.75” mesh pincer. For larger pots of tea use a large meshball or a large Micro Mesh Filter. To enjoy tea on-the-go grab a travel tea thermos to steep wherever you are. 

3. Measure your tea.

If you’re making one cup of loose-leaf tea use one teaspoon. When steeping a pot of tea, use a teaspoon for every 200 ml of water you boil. The outcome of your measurement will also determine how strong the tea leaves are.

Sometimes different teas require a little experimentation to discover how naturally strong certain loose leaves are over others. A handy tea gadget is the Perfect Matcha Spoon. This spoon was designed for measuring matcha but can be used for any loose leaf selection. 

4. Boil water.

Use filtered water with fine tea and boil to approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit/ 70 degrees Celsius (for green tea) to as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit (for black, oolong, or herbal tea).

5. Steep tea.

It’s steeping time! It only takes a few minutes to steep fine tea leaves. The different blends can influence how quickly the tea steeps. Don’t forget that the amount of steeping time contributes to the strength of the flavours.

Black tea should be steeped for 3 to 5 minutes.
Green tea should be steeped for 2 to 3 minutes. 
You can steep some green teas for as little as 1 minute. 
White tea should be steeped for for 2 to 3 minutes.
Oolong tea should be steeped for for 2 to 3 minutes.
Herbal teas should be steeped for 5 to 7 minutes.

6. Remove tea leaves.

Take the tea leaves contained in their filter out of your cup or pot and discard of them in the compost or green bin.

7. Enjoy your tea!

I know we said picking your tea was the best part but what’s better than enjoying it? Once you’ve successfully steeped your tea of choice, sit back and soak up the flavours.

Bonus: How to Make Iced Tea

Iced tea is made and steeped differently than your traditional cup of hot tea. To create the ideal glass of refreshing iced tea you have to start with concentrated tea. Double your dose of tea leaves and add double the amount of leaves per serving. This means two teaspoons for every cup. Steep herbal tea for about 10-15 minutes, or black tea for 4-5 minutes, and then pour directly on ice to chill. Keep this concoction in the fridge overnight and serve with ice. Tisanes are delicious and fruity for this cold beverage. We even carry a sampler specific to our iced tea top picks.

Iced Tea Sampler

Green Tea Sampler