Personalize

How to Properly Steep Tea

How to Properly Steep Tea

A hand dropping a TeaDrop into Warm water for steeping.

Whether you are trying to dispel your morning blues or planning to get some shut-eye, a delicious cup of tea can fulfill all of your needs. By exploring various types of tea and their respective benefits, you can easily find your perfect match of tea leaves and blends alike.


But no matter if you prefer a teabag, loose leaf tea, or herbal tea to make your ideal brew, you need to learn how to steep tea to get the most out of every cup. This not only lets you enjoy the incredible taste of your tea with each sip but also enables you to reap the many benefits of tea with each serving.


To help you enjoy your daily concoction of health, comfort, and clarity, here is how you can brew tea to perfection.


What is steeping?

Steeping is the process of brewing tea by infusing a tea bag, loose leaf tea, or herbal tea in hot water. When heated, the water interacts with the tea leaves or blends, it extracts the taste and healthy compounds of tea to create a hearty brew.


But as straightforward as it might sound, steeping does not happen instantly. While the overall process of steeping tea is quite simple, overlooking any of the associated steps can result in a lackluster cup.


What makes the process a little tricky is the amount of time that each distinct type of tea requires to steep. Where a green tea with dried leaves may take 3-4 minutes to brew in hot water, herbal tea with fresh ingredients can easily take around 15-30 minutes to steep to full potency.


If you have little to no experience in making tea, you may find it challenging to determine how much steeping your preferred type of tea requires in the first place. Fortunately, learning how to steep tea is not too difficult. Regardless of whether you are making green tea, white tea, or herbal tea, you can easily know more about the steeping times and practices for each of these types of tea.


Learn the Difference Between Popular Types of Tea

While learning how long to steep tea, the first step is to know what actually makes the average steeping times so different. Once you have a firm grasp of this distinction, learning the rest of the process becomes much easier.


Green Tea is Not Herbal Tea

As much as their associated color profiles and names might trick you, green tea and herbal tea are not the same thing. In fact, they can be considered as far apart as hot tea and iced tea.


Remember that green tea is a “true tea,” which is a way to refer to teas that are scientifically classified as such. These types of tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant1. Other true teas include oolong tea, black tea, and white tea. Consuming this kind of tea is linked to different health advantages2.


Conversely, herbal tea is not made from this classified plant of tea. Instead, it is derived from the parts of different herbs that could come from any plant. Some of the most popular herbal teas include chamomile, peppermint, and ginger. Herbal teas also hold a variety of healthy perks3 within them.


Both popular categories of tea are linked to health benefits and delectable taste alike. But due to their difference in classification, green tea and other true teas take less time to steep as compared to herbal tea.


Dried Ingredients Take Less Time to Brew

As you learn more about how to steep tea, it may also become clear to you that true teas come in a dried form. With that being said, their presentation may differ in terms of a tea bag or loose leaf tea.


In contrast, herbal tea blends are available in both dried and fresh forms. If you want to consume the latter, you can add significantly more minutes to the overall steeping times for your brew. This is an important step to remember if you want to enjoy the so-called alchemy of mixing different ingredients such as fresh lemon and ginger root for your tea.


Tea Bag or Loose Leaf Tea Does Not Make a Difference

While true teas are available in both tea bag and loose leaf tea forms, the way they are packaged does not make much difference in their steeping times. What actually influences their brewing is the type of tea that you are making.


This means that while making the delicate green tea, you need to be mindful of not over brewing it to the point of significantly affecting its taste. But when it comes to stronger teas such as oolong tea, you can steep them a little longer than usual to get the taste according to your liking.


By keeping these distinctions in mind, you can find the right tea for you that fits your requirements for taste and convenience alike. This makes sure that your plan to experience serenity through a cup of tea is not marred by the difficulties of the brewing process.


Best way to brew tea

After learning what is steeping all about, you must be ready to understand the process of brewing different types of tea to your taste. From the right water temperature to the perfect steeping times, the following information guides you through all aspects of making your perfect serving of tea.


How Much Time Does Each Tea Take to Steep?

While wondering how to tell when tea is done steeping, you can simply refer to the average amount of time and water temperature required for different teas to steep.

  • Green Tea. 3-4 minutes. 175°F (79°C)
  • Black Tea. 3-4 minutes. 195°F (91°C)
  • Oolong Tea. 3-5 minutes. 195°F (91°C)
  • White Tea . 4-5 minutes. 175°F (79°C)
  • Dried Herbal Tea. Around 15 minutes. 212°F (100°C)
  • Delicate Fresh Herbal Tea. 5-15 minutes. 212°F (100°C)
  • Strong Fresh Herbal Tea. 15-30 minutes. 212°F (100°C)

More often than not, you can find these suggested steeping times on the packaging of your tea.


How to Steep Tea Using Simple Steps

Before you get ready for a serving of your favorite tea, you need to ensure you have all other equipment and ingredients in place.

This includes the following items.

  • Tea kettle
  • Tea cup or mug
  • Tea bag/loose leaf tea
  • Tea infuser (required with loose leaf tea)
  • Water

While you can use additional ingredients such as honey, sugar, or milk, you can use them after you have steeped the tea properly.


The process of steeping the tea involves the following steps.


Steeping a Tea Bag

  • Bring your water to boil.
  • Place your tea bag in your cup.
  • Pour water into your cup.
  • Let the tea steep for the outlined amount of time.
  • Take out the tea bag and discard it.
  • Add your required sweetener or flavorings.

Steeping Loose Leaf Tea with an Infuser

  • Bring your water to boil.
  • Place your tea infuser in your cup.
  • Add the suggested amount of tea as outlined by its packaging.
  • Pour water into your cup.
  • Let the tea steep in for the required amount of time.
  • Take the infuser out and discard the used tea leaves.
  • Mix in your favorite sweeteners or flavorings.

How to Steep Compressed Tea

If you don’t want to go through excessive steps or wait for a lengthy amount of time to make your cup of tea, you can turn to Tea Drops.


Tea Drops are compressed and ground leaf teas that are ready to be used one drop per cup. Unlike tea bags, you don’t need to wait for them to steep. In contrast to loose leaf tea, you also don’t have to use an infuser to keep dregs and leaves out.


You can make your tea using this innovative method by following these steps.


  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Put a Tea Drop in your cup.
  • Pour hot water over the Tea Drop.
  • Stir and see the tea melt like a bath bomb.
  • Consume your tea instantly.

Hot vs cold steeping

If you want to learn how to steep tea with cold water, you can easily do so. The process requires more wait time than steeping with hot water. But it is still simple to execute and gives you a luscious cup of iced tea that has less bitterness and more aroma to it.


You can follow the steps outlined below to brew your tea in cold water.


  • Pour cold water 40°F (4°C) into a cup or pitcher.
  • Add the same amount of tea as you would for hot brewing.
  • Wait for at least 12 hours before you consume it.

Once again, the usage of Tea Drops can make cold tea brewing quite easy. Instead of having to wait for half a day, you can use the following steps to make your icy cold cup of tea right away.


  • Boil half a cup of water.
  • Put your Tea Drop in a cup.
  • Pour the hot water over the Tea Drop.
  • Stir and melt the Tea Drop.
  • Add cold water or chilled milk to fill your cup.
  • Enjoy your cup of tea right away.

How to tell when tea is done steeping


You can tell once your tea is ready by following the suggested steeping times for the type of tea that you are brewing. As long as you follow the outlined duration and water temperature for your respective kind of tea, you can get a perfect cup every time.


Since everyone likes their tea with a certain intensity and kick, you can try consuming your tea with different steeping times. After the first few instances, you may find the perfect combination of factors that make an exemplary brew for your tastes.


Why choose tea drops


Steeping your tea can be a time-consuming and often frustrating process, which can affect the overall sense of bliss that you want to get from your perfect cup of tea. With Tea Drops, you can enjoy an instant yet flavorful brew that is also packed with plenty of benefits for your health.


With a wide range of flavors, blends, and experiences, our market-leading collection can help you find your ideal cup of tea. Explore our complete selection of Tea Drops to discover your perfect match today!