Measure out the tea
While the water in the tea kettle is coming to a boil, I measure out 2 to 3 heaping spoonfuls into a standard 4 cup teapot. Most instructions say one teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup plus one for the pot but, like I said, I use heaping spoonfuls so it’s probably an equivalent amount.
You can use an infuser or you can even put the leaves directly in the pot and either pour carefully “off the top” or use a strainer when pouring into your cup. For convenience, I prefer to use an infuser basket. It’s more roomy than a tea ball and I can easily remove the tea after it has steeped the proper length of time.
Use correct water temperature and steeping time
- Black Tea – bring water to a full rolling boil and steep 4 – 6 minutes. Half that time if using Darjeeling. It’s a little more delicate.
- Oolong – just to the beginning of a boil and steep for 2-3 minutes or longer with the darker oolongs.
- Green Tea – just this side of boiling, steep for 2-3 minutes.
- White Tea – steaming water, steep for 30 seconds to 10 minutes depending on your taste. You can be rather flexible with your white teas.
Pour the boiling water from the tea kettle into the tea pot over the leaves to get them swirling and unfurling. Make sure they have plenty of room to move around in the water.
You can reuse the leaves a few times if you like. You will find different flavors coming out each time. The caffeine levels will drop dramatically after the first pot.
Experiment to see what you like. If you like stronger tea use more tea leaves rather than steeping for a longer time. If you steep the leaves too long you run the risk of your tea turning bitter.