Loose Leaf Tea

Loose Leaf Tea

Unlike coffee, there are no hard-and-fast rules to brewing tea. Most of it is based on personal preference. Still, there are a few basic guidelines that will help you brew your best cup.

white coffee cup

1. Pre-heat your mug.

If you pour hot water into a cold porcelain or glass mug, the water temperature will immediately drop, which is not ideal for steeping.

To maintain the temperature of your water when pouring your tea, gently warm your mug with hot water while waiting for the water to boil.

pouring hot water over loose leaf tea

2. Use fresh, cold water.

The foundation of a great cup of tea is water, so it’s important that you use the best water available to you.

If you’re going to use water from the tap, make sure it’s cold. Cold water will have more oxygen and help release the flavors of the tea. Beyond that, be careful about the temperature of your water, even if you’re gauging the temperature by sight.

Bringing water to a rolling boil will release oxygen and leave you with a less flavorful cup.

putting loose leaf tea into kettle

3. Measure your tea and water.

The strength of your tea is up to you, but a good rule to start with is 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf tea per 6 oz of water. If your loose-leaf tea is especially coarse, like our Iced Mango Flip tea blend or Chamomile, start with 1 tablespoon. Especially fine teas like Gunpowder may require less than 1 teaspoon to start. Experiment to find your perfect ratio!

brewing tea with green

4. Avoid over-extraction.

How long you steep your tea is largely based on preference, but here are guidelines we like to follow for a variety of tea types.

White and Japanese Green teas typically require only 2-3 minutes to fully steep.Chinese Green and Darjeeling teas should steep for around 3 minutes.Oolong, Pu-erh, and other Black teas need a full 4-5 minutes to completely develop.Herbal infusions and tisanes can be steeped for 5-7 minutes depending on your preference.

pouring fresh brewed tea

5. Use the correct water temperature.

We always recommend using a thermometer to measure your water temperature. If you don’t have one on hand, we can help you measure the temperature by sight.

White teas should be brewed at temperatures of around 160°F.

By Sight: Look for very small bubbles forming at the bottom of the pot.

Green teas should be brewed at 175-185°F.

By Sight: Look for medium-sized bubbles forming in the pot, although the surface of the water should be still.

Oolong, Pu-erh, and Darjeeling teas taste best when brewed at 185-200°F.

By Sight: Look for larger bubbles rising quickly to the surface of the water. This water is near boiling.

Tisanes, herbal infusions, and black teas should be brewed at 212°F.

By Sight: Look for a full rolling boil at this temperature.