Tea is a beloved beverage enjoyed by people all over the world. It can be enjoyed hot or cold. With each type of tea comes a temperature and a steeping time (yeah, steeping time is like cooking time for tea…)! Translation in French: thé.
Tea infusion time and water temperature
How long do I steep tea?
- Infusion or Steeping Times
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
- White Tea
- Oolong Tea
- Red tea (or Rooibos tea)
- Herbal Tea
- Milk or lemon?
Infusion or Steeping Times
The infusion or steeping time depends on the type of tea you are using. Steeping tea for too long or too short can affect its flavor and health benefits. Here is a general guide for how long to steep each type of tea:
Black Tea: 3-5 minutes
Green Tea: 1-3 minutes
White Tea: 2-3 minutes
Oolong Tea: 3-5 minutes
Herbal Tea: 5-7 minutes
Water temperature for tea
The temperature of the water used to steep tea is also important as it can affect the flavor and health benefits of the tea. Here is a general guide for the recommended temperature for each type of tea:
Black Tea: 190-212°F (87-100°C)
Green Tea: 160-180°F (71-82°C)
White Tea: 160-180°F (71-82°C)
Oolong Tea: 190-200°F (87-93°C)
Herbal Tea: 208°F (98°C)
Black tea is the most popular type of tea and is known for its robust flavor.
It is made from fully oxidized tea leaves.
Black tea is commonly steeped for 3-5 minutes at a temperature of 190-212°F (87-100°C).
There are several types of black tea, among which you’ll find:
Assam is grown in the Assam region of India, this tea has a strong, malty flavor and is often used in breakfast blends.
Darjeeling is grown in the Darjeeling region of India; this tea has a floral and fruity flavor and is often called the “champagne of teas”.
Ceylon is grown in Sri Lanka, this tea has a bold, full-bodied flavor with hints of citrus.
Keemun is grown in the Anhui province of China, this tea has a smoky, earthy flavor and is often used in blends.
Yunnan is grown in the Yunnan province of China; this tea has a sweet, honey-like flavor with a hint of malt.
Lapsang Souchong is known for its distinct smoky flavor, which comes from the drying process over pine wood fires.
Earl Grey is a black tea infused with the oil of bergamot, a type of citrus fruit, giving it a floral and citrusy flavor.
Green tea is made from unoxidized tea leaves and is known for its grassy and vegetal flavor.
Green tea is commonly steeped for 1-3 minutes at a temperature of 160-180°F (71-82°C).
Here are some popular varieties of green tea:
Dragonwell (Longjing) is a Chinese green tea with a smooth flavor.
Sencha is a Japanese green tea with a fresh, grassy flavor.
Matcha is a powdered Japanese green tea with a rich, earthy flavor.
Gyokuro is a high-quality Japanese green tea with a sweet, vegetal flavor.
Gunpowder is a Chinese green tea with a smoky, bold flavor.
Jasmine is a Chinese green tea scented with jasmine flowers for a fragrant, floral taste.
Hojicha is a roasted Japanese green tea with a toasty, nutty flavor.
Bancha is a Japanese green tea made from mature tea leaves with a mild, earthy flavor.
Mao Feng is a Chinese green tea with a delicate, slightly sweet taste.
Chun Mee is a Chinese green tea with a slightly sour, plum-like flavor.
White tea is made from young tea leaves and buds that are minimally processed. It has a delicate and subtle flavor. White tea is commonly steeped for 2-3 minutes at a temperature of 160-180°F (71-82°C).
There are different types of white tea available, such as:
Silver Needle is considered to be the highest quality and most prized white tea. It is made from young tea buds that are covered in fine white hairs, which gives the tea its name. The flavor is delicate, sweet, and slightly floral.
White Peony, also known as Bai Mu Dan, is a popular white tea made from the young leaves and buds of the tea plant. It has a light and slightly sweet flavor with a hint of nuttiness.
Long Life Eyebrow, also known as Shoumei, is a type of white tea that is made from the larger, more mature leaves of the tea plant. It has a stronger flavor than other white teas, with notes of honey and apricot.
Tribute Eyebrow, also known as Gongmei, is a type of white tea that is made from the larger leaves and some buds of the tea plant. It has a stronger flavor than Silver Needle, but is still delicate with notes of honey and hay.
Darjeeling White is a unique white tea made in the Darjeeling region of India. It has a light, floral flavor with hints of peach and apricot.
Oolong tea is partially oxidized and has a flavor that falls between black and green tea.
Oolong tea is commonly steeped for 3-5 minutes at a temperature of 190-200°F (87-93°C).
There are different varieties of Oolong tea, such as:
Here are some different types of oolong tea:
Tie Guan Yin, also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy, is a popular oolong tea from China with a floral and creamy flavor.
Da Hong Pao, also known as Big Red Robe, is a highly prized oolong tea from China that has a smoky and earthy flavor.
Wuyi Rock is a famous oolong tea from China that is grown in the Wuyi Mountains. It has a complex and rich flavor with notes of fruit and honey.
Milk Oolong, also known as Jin Xuan, is a Taiwanese oolong tea that has a creamy and smooth flavor with a hint of milk.
Oriental Beauty is a Taiwanese oolong tea that is known for its sweet and honey-like flavor. It is made from tea leaves that are bitten by insects, which enhances its flavor.
Phoenix Dan Cong is a Chinese oolong tea that has a floral and fruity flavor with a hint of honey. It is named after the unique variety of tea plant used to make it.
Red tea (or Rooibos tea)
Rooibos tea is also called red bush tea. Steep rooibos tea for 5-7 minutes.
The longer the tea is steeped, the stronger the flavor will be.
Rooibos tea can be enjoyed hot or cold and is often served with a slice of lemon or honey for added flavor.
Rooibos tea has a distinct reddish-brown color and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It is often enjoyed as a substitute for black tea or coffee, as it has a similar taste and can be served with milk and sugar.
Rooibos tea is a non-caffeinated tea that has been consumed for centuries in South Africa. It is made from the leaves of the rooibos plant, which is native to the Cederberg region of South Africa.
Herbal tea is made from a variety of herbs, fruits, and flowers and does not contain tea leaves.
Herbal teas are a great alternative to traditional teas and can be enjoyed any time of day due to their lack of caffeine.
Herbal tea is commonly steeped for 5-7 minutes at a temperature of 208°F (98°C).
Chamomile tea is made from dried chamomile flowers and has a light, floral flavor. It is a popular tea to drink before bed as it is known to have a calming effect on the body. Steep chamomile tea for 5-7 minutes.
Peppermint tea is made from dried peppermint leaves and has a refreshing, minty flavor. It is a popular tea to drink after a meal as it can help with digestion. Steep peppermint tea for 5-7 minutes.
Ginger tea is made from fresh ginger root or dried ginger and has a spicy, warming flavor. It is a popular tea to drink during cold and flu season as ginger is known to have immune-boosting properties. Steep ginger tea for 5-7 minutes.
Hibiscus tea is made from dried hibiscus flowers and has a tart, fruity flavor. It is a popular tea to drink cold and is often served as an iced tea. Hibiscus tea is also known to have a high level of vitamin C. Steep hibiscus tea for 5-7 minutes.
Lemon balm tea is made from the leaves of the lemon balm plant and has a citrusy, slightly minty flavor. It is a popular tea to drink during stressful times as it is known to have a calming effect on the body. Steep lemon balm tea for 5-7 minutes.
Milk or lemon?
Whether to drink tea with milk or lemon is a matter of personal preference, as both options have their own distinct taste and benefits.
Adding milk to tea is a common practice in many cultures, especially for black tea. The addition of milk can help to mellow the flavor of strong black teas and add a creamy texture. Milk is also known to help counteract the bitterness of tannins found in tea, which can make the tea more enjoyable to drink. However, adding milk can also dilute the flavor of more delicate teas, such as green or white teas.
On the other hand, adding lemon to tea can provide a tangy and refreshing taste. Lemon is especially popular for herbal teas and can help to enhance the natural flavor of the tea. Lemon is also known to be a good source of vitamin C and can help to boost the body’s immune system.
To each one its own…