How to Brew Your Loose Leaf Tea

Depending on whom you talk to, brewing tea can be a very simple or a very complicated matter. The government of Great Britain actually maintains official specifications on the “proper” way to brew tea! We’re not so strict at Tea Organix - we firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste.

In that spirit, we’re happy to provide this step-by-step guide to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own tea preferences. There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.

Step One: Measure Your Loose Tea

Start by measuring your loose leaf tea. Generally, you should measure 1 teaspoon loose leaf tea per 8 oz cup of water. However, fluffier blends such as white teas and Chamomile may require as much as one tablespoon or more, while denser teas such as Gunpowder may require less than one teaspoon. Look at the label on the back of your Arbor Teas bag to find our suggested serving size per 8 oz cup. Place the measured tea in an infuser or directly in your cup/teacup. Next place the infuser (if you are using one) in your cup/teapot.

Step Two: Heat Your Water to Temperature

Next, heat your water to the temperature suggested below. Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may result in a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.

  • Black & Pu-Erh: 212° F
  • Oolong: 195° F
  • Green & White: 170-180° F
  • Herbal: 212° F

No thermometer? Not to worry! Here’s an easy way to estimate temperatures:

  • 180° F = bubbles form on the bottom of the pot
  • 195° F = the first bubbles begin to rise
  • 212° F = full rolling boil

Step Three: Steep Your Tea

Pour your heated water over the tea-filled infuser. Be sure the tea is covered completely with water. Steep your tea for the amount of time shown below. When enough time has elapsed, remove the infuser.  If you are steeping directly in your vessel, simply wait until most of the tea leaves have fallen to the bottom of your cup. Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea. Then, resteep your tea leaves as desired. Many teas can be resteeped multiple times!

  • Green & White: 2-3 minutes
  • Black & Pu-Erh: 3-5 minutes
  • Oolong: 4-7 minutes
  • Herbal/Fruit/Tisanes: 5-7 minutes