Infusing Hot Tea

Flower and herbal tea

Infusing Hot Tea

You will need either a tea ball or French press teapot, a standard stovetop kettle, a stove or hot plate and a thermometer.

The first important thing to do is decide how much tea you want to make. This will vary based on the type of tea you’re using.

  • For black tea, it is recommended you use one teaspoon for every eight ounces of hot water, but I find one teaspoon for every ten ounces works well. If you find it’s not strong enough, you can always steep it a little longer.
  • The standard for green tea is also one teaspoon for every eight ounces of hot water. If you’re used to drinking green tea with additives, and you want to try it plain, this may seem strong, so you can adjust the amount of water, leaves, or steeping time to taste.
  • For white tea, use one and a half teaspoons per eight ounces. This is because white tea can have a bit of a weaker tea than its darker, more colorful cousins.
  • For rooibos, use one and a half teaspoons per nine ounces.

Using this guideline, add the desired amount of leaves to your press. If you’re using a single eight ounce cup and a tea ball, place contents into a tea ball and place the tea ball into the cup.

Next, it is time to prepare your water. It is important to leave the lid to your kettle open so you can check the temperature regularly. It is not a simple case of waiting for the kettle to start whistling, as many teas are brewed best with the water not boiling. The water temperature will vary from type of tea to type of tea as follows:

  • For black teas and rooibos, use boiling water
  • For green teas and white teas, you want to use slightly cooler water

The reason for the lower temperatures in green and white teas is to prevent the leaves from burning when they steep. Because black teas and rooibos are roasted, they are already slightly burned, so boiling water does little harm.

After the water has reached the desired temperature, immediately pour the water into the press, right through the leaves (or into your cup if you’re using a tea ball).

Next, let the tea steep. Put the lid on your French press and make sure the handle is all the way up. The steeping time will be you’re best way of determining tea strength. I like my tea somewhere in the middle, not too strong and bitter, but not weak either. Depending on your taste, you can adjust the steeping time to your desired strength, but the general starting point is:

  • Black Tea: three minutes
  • Green Tea: two minutes
  • White Tea: three minutes
  • Rooibos: six minutes

Because the tea will do a significant amount of it’s steeping as you pour the water through, especially with black teas that use boiling water, you can always press down early, check the taste, and then draw open the press to let it steep further. Because everyone likes their tea done differently these are just guides are mainly used as a starting point for you to discover your own tastes. Once the tea has steeped to the desired strength, close the press (push the sieve all the way down) to stop the steeping process.

You may also want to steep a little bit longer when using a tea ball. I would recommend between one or two additional minutes.

Add desired additives: sugar, milk, lemon, honey to taste, serve and enjoy!