How To Properly Brew Tea

Brewing tea might seem like an easy enough task but there are subtle nuances, which if ignored, can produce a mediocre cup of tea full of tanins and other bitter tasting compounds. Such variances might include differences such as the amount of material, temperature of the water, or even the steep time.

Below we are going to discuss the most common forms of tea and how to brew them properly:

White Tea

White tea is the least processed tea variety and has minimal processing.

Often it is simply picked from the plant and dried.

White tea has minimal caffeine.

Quantity: 1 - 2 Teaspoons

Brew Time: 3 to 4 Minutes

Water Temperature: 170 to 180 Fahrenheit

Green Tea

Green tea is most popular in Japan but has grown to prevalence in recent history.

Purported to have immense health benefits and anti-aging properties.

Popular varieties include strains such as sencha, longjing, genmaicha, and matcha.

Green tea contains caffeine, but less then some other varieties such as black or oolong.

Quantity: 1 - 2 Teaspoons

Brew Time: 1 to 3 Minutes

Water Temperature: 170 to 180 Fahrenheit

Black Tea

The most common tea variety in the western world would be black tea.

Noted for it's rich and bold flavor, it pairs well with cream and sugar.

Black tea typically has a high caffeine content.

Quantity: 1 - 2 Teaspoons

Brew Time: 3 to 5 Minutes

Water Temperature: 190 to 210 Fahrenheit

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is also sometimes called 'wu long'.

This varietal of tea often holds a depth unparalleled by others.

Oolong tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine.

Quantity: 1 - 2 Teaspoons

Brew Time: 3 to 5 Minutes

Water Temperature: 170 to 180 Fahrenheit

Pu'erh Tea

Quantity: 1 - 2 Teaspoons

Brew Time: 3 to 5 Minutes

Water Temperature: 190 to 210 Fahrenheit

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea typically consists of herbs, fruits, roots, and flowers.

An example of common ingredients could include things such as rose, licorice, lemon, or ginger.

Most herbal tea has no caffeine, outside of a few plants such as yerba mate.

Quantity: 1 - 2 Teaspoons

Brew Time: 3 to 5 Minutes

Water Temperature: 190 to 210 Fahrenheit

Tips:

  • Many loose-leaf teas are good for a second or third brewing if you would like another cup.
  • When brewing loose-leaf tea it is best to let it diffuse in a container where the leaves can unfurl.
  • As a rule of thumb, 2 grams of tea leaf per cup of tea is usually suitable.
  • Using clean, fresh water is always recommended.
  • For iced tea, double the amount of leaf used for a bolder flavor.