A Guide to Steeping Tea

Steeping tea is not rocket science, but there are a few things to know. Use the info on this page as a guide to steeping a good cup.

Remember, if you like the results you're getting, you're not doing anything wrong. However, with these tips you may get better results. 


PLEASE NOTE:  Unless stated on the pouch, we do not recommend adding milk, sugar, honey, or anything else to our teas. 

Use good water.

Tea can only ever be as good as the water you use. If your tap water tastes great, the chances are it will make great tea. We come from an area known for having some of the best tap water in the world but we still filter our water because to us the teas taste better that way.

Also, don't use water that has been sitting in your kettle for days. Always use fresh water.

Measure the tea.

The general recommendation is 1 rounded teaspoon per 8 oz of water, but keep in mind the kind of tea leaves you're steeping. For very fine particle tea a level teaspoon will be enough, but for bulky leafy tea you should use a big pinch.

After making a cup or two you'll get the hang of it!

Time the steep.

The steep time is important. High quality teas can be delicate. If oversteeped, they will taste bitter, especially green teas. It's important to set a timer and stop the steep by completely removing the leaves from the water. Follow the directions on each packet of tea.

If you prefer stronger tea, use more leaves rather than steeping it longer.

Allow for leaf expansion.

Many of these fine loose leaf teas will expand up to 5 times their size when steeped. Although this isn't critical, it's best to use a steeping method that allows the leaves to expand.

We recommend and sell these tea pots from our shop. 

Keep Steeping.

Many fine loose leaf teas can be steeped more than once. Not only do you get more bang for your buck, but second and third steeps can bring out new and exciting flavors from the tea. While most of these fine teas will continue to taste great on 2nd or 3rd steep, some of them - such as pu-erhs and oolongs - can be steeped more than 10 times. It all comes down to your preference.  Simply add 15-30 seconds for each additional steep.

Temperature Guide

For black, pu-erh, oolong, and herbal, bring the water to a full boil and let it sit for about a minute before using it. You generally want it just under boiling temperature.

Green, yellow, and white teas are more delicate and you will "burn" them if you use water that's too hot. When the water is steaming, it's ready. If the water has already come to a rolling boil, just let it sit for 2-3 minutes before steeping the tea.

You can use a water temp thermometer if you want to get serious, but it's not necessary.


Type of Tea Water Temperature Visual Cues


200 °F / 93 °C Full rolling boil
 Pu-erh, oolong 190-200 °F / 87-93°C Steaming rapidly, light bubbles
 White, Green, Yellow 160-180 °F / 71-82°C Gentle steam, no bubbles
 Herbal 212 °F Full rolling boil
 Rooibos 212 °F Full rolling boil