All our packages of 1 ounce or more contain steeping instructions specific to the tea inside. (We have more than a dozen different labels specific to the variety of teas we carry.)
These General Guidelines are available for reference, or if you’ve put your tea into a canister and misplaced the instructions.
“Rounded teaspoon” – approx 1.25 teaspoons (using a baking measure). [A regular spoon from your kitchen dining set will usually suffice, if you do not have a “tea measure”.]
Black teas (1 rounded teaspoon per 6-8 oz of water)
195-212 degree (Boiling) water, 2-4 minutes (as much as 5 minutes for second steeping)
Green teas (1 teaspoon per 6 oz of water, rounded teaspoon for 8 oz)
(India or China) 175-185 degree water, 1-3 minutes for Indian, 2-5 minutes for Chinese
(Japanese) 140-175 degrees, 30 seconds to 3 minutes
Note: You can usually get at least 3 or 4 steepings from unflavored green teas.
White teas (1 rounded teaspoon per 6 oz of water, or as much as 2 teaspoons for 8-10 oz of water)
185-195 degree water, 2-4 minutes
190-212 degree water, 3-8 minutes, depending upon the type. [Timing is a matter of taste rather than any specific measurement, as needed for tea.]
If it has whole spices or pieces of fruit you will want to steep for longer times to allow the flavor to better infuse the water. More delicate matter, such as peppermint or rooibos, will infuse more quickly.
Oolong teas are most flexible in temperature ranges and steeping times. If it is a green oolong it will prefer a lesser temperature than a more oxidized variety. Oolongs are intended to be steeped and resteeped multiple times for the greatest enjoyment. The leaves will unfurl and open up, yielding a different flavor profile with each successive steep.
All quality oolongs can be steeped for lengthy periods without getting bitter.
Many will frequently yield lovely flavor with only a minute (or less) of steep time, with longer time for each successive steep.
Oolongs enjoy being savored and experimented with, according to your mood.
About those ranges in minutes….the smaller number is the minimum recommended time to get a flavorful cup of tea…the larger number is the maximum to steep without getting a bitter cup of tea (also the probable time for later steepings)
Again, these are general guidelines that we have found to yield a cup of tea that is enjoyed by the broadest range of American tea drinkers. It will get you a decent cup of tea in most instances.
If you have experience with other countries and cultures, you may find other methods more palatable for your taste.
Use this information as a starting point. Experiment. Perhaps even keep a log of what you have tried. You are welcome to use more tea or less tea per cup; and to steep for longer or shorter times.
The most important result is that you achieve the flavor that YOU enjoy!