Steeping Your Tea

The amount of time you steep your tea is a very important. Steeping time contributes to the overall taste of your tea. Steeping a tea too long will result in the tannins building up to a level that is undesirable; the result is a bitter tea. The perfect cup of tea has just the right amount of tannins released. The temperature of the water and contact time tea has with water determine the amount of tannins released. Tannins in your mouth translate to astringency, that almost tingly sensation in your mouth. Use the chart below to guide you but remember, some people like their tea weak and some like their tea very strong. It’s up to you to choose what tastes best to you.
Types of Tea Steeping Time Water Temperature Water Appearance Water Appearance (Chinese way*)
White 3 minutes 160-170° F No bubbles, slight steam
Japanese Green 3 minutes 170-180° F No bubbles, gentle slow steam Shrimp Eyes: Tiny bubbles the size of a pin head that resemble shrimp eyes begin to rise to the surface and pop.
Other Green 3 minutes 175-185° F No bubbles, gentle slow steam Crab Eyes: Water that gets hotter will then produce larger growing bubbles about the size of crab eyes. Vertical streams of steam rise up during this stage.
Oolong 4 minutes 170-185° F Little bubbles, fast steam
Black 3 minutes 212° F Large rolling bubbles, full steam, full boil Rope of Pearls: At 195°-205°F, a steady stream of large pearl size bubbles stream to the water’s surface. This temperature is ideal for black, some oolong and pu-erh teas.
Pu’erh 3 minutes 212° F Large rolling bubbles, full steam, full boil
Herbal/Tisane 7 minutes 212° F Large bubbles full boil