Tea 101: How Long Should You Steep Tea

By December 14, 2016

Throughout history, tea has been favored a lot by people across the world. It used to be a pretty elegant hobby for the ancient Chinese to steep tea, not only for its thirst-quenching functions, but also for its mind-refreshing and unique health-care functions. Then, how long should you steep tea for a cup of perfect tea? I guess it may have bothered you a lot.

It’s common thought that the longer you steep your tea, the more perfect tea you can get. Actually, the steeping time for your tea depends on the types of tea you are using and how strong you like your tea. Here are some details for a cup of perfect tea.

Tea Type

Water Temp.

Steeping Time


176 – 185℉

2-3 min


176 – 185℉

1-2 min


185 – 205℉

3-5 min


205-210 °F

3-5 min


206  °F

5-7 min

Green tea

This kind of tea has a distinctive grassy taste, and it has many health benefits—cancer prevention, heart disease prevention and etc. Typically, steeping for approximately 2 to 3 minutes is enough. And the proper water temperature for steeping is 176 – 185 °F (80 to 85°C).

green tea

White tea

Generally, it tastes light & sweet. And it has less caffeine than the other varieties. Compared with green tea, it has more active cancer-fighting antioxidants. So, it’s really good for your health. As for the steeping time of it, 1 to 2 minutes are proper enough. And for its steeping water temperature, 176 – 185 °F (80 to 85°C) is ok.

white tea

Oolong tea

Oolong tea, which is also called Weight Loss and Beauty, is especially popular among girls. And it is both fresh and fragrant. For the steeping water temperature and steeping time, it should be prepared with 185-205 °F (85 to 96 °C) water (not boiling) and steeped 3–5 minutes.

oolong tea

Black tea

Black tea is very good for human heart health. Word has it that its anti-aging effect is much more than that of garlic and carrot. Usually, the longer it is being steeped, the healthier it is. And 5 minutes is the best choice. The water temperature should be 205-210 °F (96.1 to 98.9°C).

black tea
Learn how to brew tea with teapot

Herbal tea

No matter for losing weight or simply for having a better health condition, herbal tea should be given priority. And there are varieties of herbal tea available. You can choose to have a cup of chamomile tea to relax your body when you are under a lot of pressure, and a cup of jasmine tea to comfort your headache, and etc. the proper time for steeping it is 5-7 minutes, and the water temperature for steeping it should be 206°F (96.1°C).

chamomile tea for sleepless night

Teas vary a lot, so does their steeping time. So, you should pay much attention to it. Perfect steeping time is the premise of a perfect cup of tea. Only when you know the proper steeping time, can you benefit from tea. After everything is perfectly done, what you need to do is enjoying the pleasant fragrance and flavor your tea brings you.

Comments (28)



  1. I usually steep my Typhoo red box for five minutes. But, I have forgotten a few times and it sat much longer. It never seems to get bitter. Very nice tea, as is Targets’ Market Pantry.

  2. I make it for my husband and though I’ve never timed it, I’d say maybe 2 minutes?

  3. I steep it until it tastes good. Some teas I like very weak but good old fashioned sweet tea I want very strong tasting with only 1/2 cup of sugar per gallon

  4. It depends really, if I forget it’s there then we could be talking 10 minutes!! I normally do 2 minutes for green, 3 for black and about 5 for herbal. This all sounds way to complicated!!

  5. Around 3 minutes any more it can be a bit stewed.

  6. I don’t drink ordinary tea but for my green tea I only leave it for a couple of minutes otherwise it tastes bitter

  7. 3 minutes maximum otherwise it gets stale tasting.

  8. I tend to have herbal tea and steep them for about five minutes

  9. I steep my herbal tea for 10 minutes

  10. I steep my tea for a couple of minutes I don’t like it when it gets to dark. I go by the taste of it.

  11. I really don’t steep my tea. I put the tea bag in a cup and pour the hot water over it than pull tea bag out

  12. i steep for 5 to 6 minutes i love strong tea

    • Actually, steep longer does not mean strong tea, but makes the tea bitter. If you love strong tea, steep more tea leaves.

  13. I steep green tea for 2 min 22 sec, and often marinate my chicken (from a family recipe) for the night with some remaining…

  14. herbal tea

  15. I am always worried that my tea will get cold :)

  16. 2-3 Minutes otherwise the tea will have a bitter taste.

  17. I usually warm the tea for 1 minute in the microwe. Just that!

  18. I don’t drink tea.

  19. I steep my tea for 2 minutes.

  20. I steep tea for 4-5 min and that’s it.

  21. I steep my tea at least 3 minutes

  22. I steep green tea for 3 minutes. Herbal and black teas I leave the tea bag in until I am finished drinking the tea.

  23. My wife and I drink Earl Grey tea and we let it steep for about 3-4 minutes