Steep time for your tea is definitely one of the most important ‘steps’ when preparing tea, and must be done right to get that oh-so-awesome cup of tea. Steeping too long leads to a rather unpleasantly strong and bitter taste in your tea. Steeping less than required and you would have a weak-tasting and flavour-devoid cup of tea. Neither of these is desirable! Adding to this ‘complexity’ is the fact that there are several varieties of tea, with each one requiring a specified steep time for them to release the flavour and aroma unique to them. Get the steeping time right, and you are well on your way to saying that all teas are ‘your cups of tea’!


Given that different types of teas have varying steep times, there really isn’t a set-in-stone rule for how long you should steep your tea. It all depends on what you like and whether you would add a sweetener and or milk. Take the liberty to experiment and soon you would have that perfect-tasting cup of tea that will also nourish and soothe you.



Get Steeping

The recommended steeping time of teas ranges between one and ten minutes, depending on the type of tea and just how strong you want your tea to taste. As mentioned, every tea type has a different steep time, and for starters, it would be great if you could time the steeping. Your phone’s alarm would work perfectly! Over time, you would become adept at estimating the steeping time based on what you prefer.


Black Tea: The optimal steeping time for typical Black tea ranges from three to five minutes. These teas require a longer steep time to completely extract all the flavour and goodness, which then results in a robust full-bodied brew. A longer steep time would be recommended if milk and a sweetener are to be added.


Green Tea: The recommendation for green tea steeping is about two to three minutes. Infusing green tea for longer will result in an undesirable bitter taste. If you are just starting out on your green tea ‘journey’, it is advisable to start with shorter steep times, taste, and steep more if required until you get it just right. It all depends on the type of green tea being used.


White Tea: The recommended steep time for white tea is between two and three minutes. Do check the label on the White tea you buy – depending on whether it contains first buds and tips or mature dried leaves, you would be able to decide on steep times. White teas undergo minimal oxidation, which is the reason for the delicate, mellow, and light flavour.


Oolong Tea: Two to three minutes is the recommended time to steep Oolong tea. These teas are unique owing to their partial oxidation – they lie somewhere between black and green teas for this reason. The great part of these teas is that they can be infused multiple times – with some variations in flavour, getting weaker with each steep, and hence would need longer steeping time.   


Pu-erh Tea: Pu-erh tea requires a steeping time of four to five minutes, just like Black tea. The brew is rich, robust, and full-bodied but not bitter, given that they are aged before being sold. One tea bag can be used several times, with short brews each time.


Herbal Tea: Herbal tea requires five or more minutes to steep well and let out the flavour of whatever spices and herbs being used. Similar to black tea, herbal teas are best prepared with boiling water, and also that longer steeping does not render the brew bitter. To gain more flavour and goodness of spices such as ginger or turmeric, or herbs such as peppermint and Tulsi, longer steeping times would result in a great flavour.


Covering Your Tea While Steeping: This is an oft-asked question. Our answer is yes. Covering the cup while your tea bag is steeping will not only keep the water hot but will also allow the tea leaves enough time to unfurl and infuse in the water. Of course, remember to keep to the ideal steeping time.


Steeping Multiple Tea Bags: When making iced tea, typically several tea bags are used. The same would be true if making a larger batch of steaming tea. The expert rule is to add an extra one or two minutes for every tea bag, but the important thing is to suit your personalized taste and preference.


Squeezing the Tea Bag After Steeping: This is a big no. Squeezing the tea bag post-optimal steeping is akin to over-steeping the tea. What also happens by squeezing the tea bag is the release of additional tannins into the cup, which would otherwise have remained in the tea bag, and this would lead to a bitter taste.


Removing the Tea Bag After Steeping: This is truly a subject of personal preference. As mentioned, a longer steep could result in a bitter-tasting tea, and hence it would be best to remove the tea bag once the recommended steeping time is up.



Our recommendation is to follow the steeping instructions, taste the tea, steep some more if required, and then taste the tea as it is. But feel free to experiment with temperature, brewing styles and recipes, and stick to what works best for you. If you like the taste as is, you would not crave additional flavours. However, if you wish, you could add honey or date sugar, and or milk. You could also add spices/herbs depending on your palate. Hoping you find the perfect blend and peace in your cup of tea!

Shop All Teas


Subscribe to our newsletter & stay updated! What's more - A SPECIAL DISCOUNT ONLY FOR YOU!


Subscribe to our newsletter & stay updated! What's more - A SPECIAL DISCOUNT ONLY FOR YOU!