Free shipping on orders over $100

How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea Guide

Brewing loose leaf tea couldn’t be more simple, but since you have some questions we've put together this straightforward guide. It covers pretty much everything you need to take into account when making your cup of tea without using tea filters.

From picking the tea and accessories to nailing the ideal brewing time, whether you're going for a hot or cold brew.

Choosing the Tea and Accessories


Loose leaf teas release more flavor when steeped without physical constraints. Avoid infusers or tea bags as they don't allow the tea leaves to fully unfurl. By giving the leaves space to fully open, they can better release all their flavors. Loose leaf tea varies in shapes and sizes, so their steep time varies as well. We recommend using 6 grams of loose leaf tea for 8 ounces of water.

It's a starting point, and feel free to experiment to your taste. We prefer to weigh out the tea rather than using a spoon because tea leaves vary in density and therefore physical volume.


Brewed tea is mainly water. Depending on the quality, tap water should be avoided if possible. In some cities, it may contain traces of pollutants or chemicals that affect the taste of tea. Delicious water, like spring water or filtered water, will inadvertently make good-tasting tea. Over boiling the water can cause it to lose oxygen and may affect flavor (We are picky).

Avoid using boiling water to brew green tea or white tea as it may alter their delicate aroma.


Avoid using heavily scented infusions in clay pots, as most clay pots are porous and absorb flavor. Other teapots made with ceramic and glass are easier to clean. Rinse the teapot with hot water to preheat the vessel before brewing the tea.

Steeping Time

When steeping a new tea, steep it for a minute or two and then taste it. Focus on the taste rather than the color. Remember to strain all of your tea out into a cup or a pitcher to avoid over-steeping. The steeping time will depend on the tea, ratio of water to tea and personal preference. When using good loose leaf tea, make sure to steep several times because they are meant for multiple infusions.

Remember to increase the steeping time for subsequent infusions.

Brewing Hot Tea


Here are some general guidelines on how to brew using hot water.

6 grams tea
8 ounces water

Scale the ratio to your teaware volume and feel free experiment to your taste.

Steeping time and water temperature

White Tea: 1-1:30 minutes in 180-195° F (82-91° C)
Taiwanese/Chinese Green Tea: 1-2 minutes in 185-195° F (85-91° C)
Japanese Green Tea: 0:45-1:30 minutes in 160-185° F (71-85° C)
Twisted Leaf Oolong Tea: 1-2 minutes in 195-205° F (91-96° C)
Ball Shaped Oolong Tea: 1-2 minutes in 202-212° F (94-100° C)
Black Tea: 0:45-1:30 minutes in 195-210° F (91-99° C)
Pu-erh Tea: 1-2 minutes in 195-210° F (91-99° C)
Herbal Tisane: 2-3 minutes in 202-212° F (94-100° C)

Brewing Cold Tea

All types of tea can be made into a great-tasting iced tea.


8 grams tea
24 ounces cold water

Scale the ratio to your teaware volume and feel free experiment to your taste.

Steeping time and water temperature

Cold Brew: Room temperature water and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Hot Brew: Slightly above suggested temperature, brew for 5-10, refrigerate until cold.


The above suggestions are guidelines so take it as such. For more information and step-by-step guide on how to brew teas using different methods, including french press, please check our brewing guides page.

We encourage you to experiment with different amounts, steeping times, and steeping temperatures to suit your own palate. There are no wrong answers here. Ultimately, your taste is the one that needs to be satisfied. 

A Few Tips

  • If using ice, a stronger brew is preferred. Ice will dilute the strength of the tea.
  • Ice quality will impact the tea flavor. If the ice sits in the freezer for long periods of time they will absorb odors and flavors that will influence the flavor of the iced tea.
  • If using sweeteners, use honey, agave, or simple syrup. It will dissolve easier.
  • Making bitter, over brewed tea and then diluting it does not get rid of the bitter taste.
  • The water used to brew tea should be carefully considered since it imparts its impurities to the finished tea. Bad water will make bad tea, no matter how good the tea.
Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now