T3 – Time. You’ll find brewing times to be similar to issues about brewing temperatures. Everyone has different preferences. We’ll include the recommended times established by the Specialty Tea Institute as a good guide for starting. I would always err on the side of less time. *In fact, I begin tasting my new green teas after 30 seconds. Green teas can get bitter if they’re brewed too long and I particularly dislike bitter tea. Just pour a little out and give it a taste. If it’s too weak in flavor, let it steep a little longer. Check it again after another 30 seconds. You’ll learn that some greens can be steeped for longer while others you’ll enjoy more at briefer steeping. There is no right or wrong. Obviously you’ll see that I don’t agree with the Specialty Tea Institute’s time schedule when it comes to green tea. It’s individual preference. Some people assess time by looking at the color of the liquor rather than the clock. Again, once you’re familiar with a specific type of tea, this might work out well, especially if you’re using a glass pot or cup. I have found this method to be less reliable when used for repeated steepings however. My partner likes his teas brewed longer than mine typically. When we’re sharing a pot of tea, I simply pour mine out first. With some, he pours his out soon after mine. With other teas, he waits an additional minute or two.

Steeping Times as recommended by the Specialty Tea Institute

White- 3 minutes

Green- 3 minutes*

Oolong- 3 minutes

Black- 5 minutes

Each subsequent steeping will require additional steeping time however. As rule of thumb, add an additional minute to each subsequent steeping.

So there you have it. Everything you ever needed to know about making a delicious cup of premium whole leaf tea. Remember, some of it is a matter of personal preferences. Once you know what you like, you’ll find it’s easy to prepare a delicious cup of tea.