Three Keys of Brewing A Good Cup of Tea III: Time and Steeps

The brewing time and steeps of tea have a close connection with the tea types, the temprature of water, the amount of tea and the drinking customs.

Tea’s Quantity Water Temperature Time and Steeps

The brewing time and steeps of all the teas have tremendous difference. They have a close connection with the tea leaves, the temperature of water, the amount of tea and the drinking habits.

The temperature and the quantity of tea could take important roles on deciding how long the tea should be brewed. High temperature of water and more tea leaves need a shorter time, but low temperature and less tea leaves should be longer. Then how long the tea should be brewed? Actually, this depends on the drinkers' taste.

Core Factor – The Tenderness of Tea Leaves

Tender tea leaves should be brewed much shorter than the coarse tea leaves; on the contrary it will be longer. Loose tea and the broken tea should also be brewed shorter than the compressed tea and full leaves. For those teas famous for the fragrance, like oolong tea and flavored tea, the brewing time should not be too long. However, for the white tea, it is not rolled when processing, so the cells of tea leaves have not been broken. Thus the taste of tea is very difficult to extract, the brewing time should then be longer.

Tea Leaves

Tea Leaves

By Tea Types

Yet different teas are featured of various characteristics, which present very distinct flavor based on different brewing time. Here are some experiences of time controlling of brewing each type of tea.

High grade green teas are formed with tender buds, which should not be steeped for too long, 2 to 3 minutes would be enough. Otherwise its aroma and freshness will be ruined.

For oolong tea, the Yixing teapot is the best choice. If use tea leaves about half of the teapot’s capacity, the first steep can only be a few seconds. Then the second steep can be 15 seconds and one minute; the third 40 seconds and one minute and the fourth 15 seconds and 2 minutes. That’s to say, from the second steep the brewing time should be increase.



In fact, each tea should not be brewed for too long or for too many times. It is better to drink the tea immediately after brewed, otherwise, the good ingredients will be oxidized and only the nutritional value will be lowered, but also can produce the harmful substance.

If you enjoyed this article on tea, you might also like to read the following articles:

TeaVivre’s guide on how to make a great cup of tea

Brewing Chinese Top Grade Dragon Well Green Tea

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