How Long To Steep Tea (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 To 4 Minutes

The time duration to steep the tea generally has no hard and fast rule. Some people enjoy their tea to be strong and flavorful. Whereas on the other hand, some people might enjoy their tea to be mild and not very strong in taste.

Steeping time is the most crucial part of making tea, and thus, it is quite important to consider what is the best duration for how long you should steep tea.

How Long To Steep Tea?

Type Of TeaTime
Black tea3 to 5 minutes
Green tea1 to 2 minutes
Herbal tea5 to 6 minutes
Oolong tea2 to 3 minutes
White tea2 to 3 minutes
Purple tea3 to 4 minutes
Pu-erh tea5 to 6 minutes
Rooibos tea6 to 7 minutes

Black tea takes around 3 to 5 minutes to steep when 1 teaspoon of black tea is used in 60 oz of boiling water at a temperature of around 200 to 220 degrees Celsius.

Green tea takes about 1 to 2 minutes to steep when 1 teaspoon of green tea is dissolved in 60 oz of water at a steaming brisk temperature of around 175 to 180 degrees Celsius.

Herbal tea, on average, takes about 5 to 6 minutes when 1 teaspoon of herbal tea is mixed in complete boiling water at about 200 to 220 degrees Celsius of 60 oz.

Oolong tea will take around 2 to 3 minutes when 1 teaspoon of oolong tea is mixed in 60 oz of almost boiling water at a temperature of about 170 to 180 degrees Celsius.

White tea generally takes up to 2 to 3 minutes when 2 teaspoons of it are mixed in 60 oz of water at a temperature of 175 to 180 degrees Celsius.

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Purple tea takes 3 to 4 minutes for 1 teaspoon of purple tea to get infused in 60 oz of steaming briskly water at a temperature of about 175 to 180 degrees Celsius.

Pu-erh tea takes up to 5 to 6 minutes for 1 heaping teaspoon of Pu-erh tea to get dissolved in 60 oz of complete boiling water at a temperature of 200 to 220 degrees Celsius.

Rooibos tea generally takes the longest time to steep, that is, about 6 to 7 minutes when 1 teaspoon is infused in complete boiling water of 200 to 220 degrees Celsius.

Why Does It Take That Long To Steep Tea?

Different types of tea have different steep times. This is mainly because of how long it takes for the tea to get infused in the liquid. 

Black tea is usually infused for a longer duration of time as compared to other types of tea which result in increasing their caffeine content. So, if you are making the black tea with water then it will take less time, however, it will take longer to steep if you are making black tea with milk.

Moreover, talking about green tea, it takes not much time for green tea to get infused into the liquid. However, if you steep the green tea for too long then it will result in increased bitterness of the tea. Among many, there are certain types of green tea like gyokuro and kabusecha which take comparatively longer to steep.

Herbal tea generally takes a bit longer to steep. Unlike other teas, herbal tea does not have caffeine, thus, steeping for a long time won’t make the tea bitter. If steeped for longer, flavors like ginger will get infused into the tea even more.

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Oolong tea can be infused into the tea multiple times. On average, it takes generally 2 to 3 minutes for oolong tea to steep. 

Pu-erh tea can be steeped in two ways. Firstly, it can be done by collectively steeping the tea, or it can be done by following the Chinese gongfu method. In this method, the tea is steeped in collective short steps.

Conclusion

Steeping your tea is the most crucial part of making it. The longer you steep, the more it will be strong and flavorful. The reason behind that is because steeping results in the infusion of tea flavors into the water. 

However, in some teas like herbal teas and robust teas, the longer steeping time can result in an unpleasant and bitter taste. Whereas on the other hand, steeping for too little time can result in not a very flavorful taste, mellow and weak tea.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=noZdFRPwQV8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=steep+tea&ots=4XHvlJFdvS&sig=wX_VmM5x0g5UAYJ6ArJOJ9LDsEA
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08998280.2010.11928604