Brewing your tea

Below are some recommendations for brewing tea. If you are unfamiliar with a certain type of tea, we suggest you follow our recommendations, then experiment with different variables to discover your taste preferences.

The key variables to keep in mind when you brew tea are: 

  • Amount of tea
  • Amount of water
  • Water temperature
  • Amount of time for each steep

Note: When possible, use clean, pure water (e.g. filtered water); water with too much minerals may impart strong tastes affecting your tea


Because oolong tea leaves come in different shapes and forms, some tight some loose, we recommend measuring the amount of tea by weight.

(1) Normal Brewing

      Ratio: 3 grams tea leaves + 150 c.c./ml water (steep for 5 minutes)

      OR      0.1 oz tea leaves + 2/3 cup water

Easier to remember: 4 grams tea leaves + 1 cup hot water (steep for 6 minutes). This brew will extract a lot of flavor in the first steeping. But with quality tea leaves, you should continue with a second, third, and perhaps more steeping even with a "hard" brew. Depending on your preference, you may even like the second or third steeping more than the first. 

(2) Gongfu-cha Style Brewing 

Ratio: tea leaves (gram) to water (c.c.)
  • Medium brew    1: 15 ~ 20   [oolong tea]
  • Light brew         1:  > 20       [green, white, black tea]

Steeping time: < 80 seconds for 1st steep (adjust for subsequent steeping) 

For most oolong teas, multiple steeping is the traditional and best way to enjoy the subtle difference and nuance as the tea leaves slowly unfold. Bring the water to a boil, pour into your pot or cup, cover and steep for: 

  • < 80 seconds for 1 steep
  • < 60 seconds for 2nd steep
  • add 30 ~ 60 seconds for subsequent steep. Generally you can go 4~5 steeping before the tea weakens significantly. 

The water temperature recommended* for different types of oolong are listed below: 

            Type of Tea  Water temperature
     TungTing WuLong           95 -100°C (205 - 212°F) 
     High Mountain WuLong           85 - 95°C (185 - 205°F) 
     BaoZhong WuLong           80 - 90°C (176 - 194°F) 
     WuLong-Style Black           95 - 100°C (205 - 212°F)
     WuLong teabags            90 - 95°C (194 - 205°F)


In the past, a quick rinse of the tea leaves before the actual brewing was common practice in Taiwan. Now the opinion is quite divided. Advocates for rinsing believe that a quick rinse relaxes the leaves and allows heat to permeate into the semi-ball or ball shaped eaves. It's like letting the tea leaves do a "warm-up" before the exercise. Some also believes that a quick rinse gets rid of impurities that accumulate on the leaves. On the other hand, proponents of not rinsing argue that volatile aromatic compounds are released during the rinse, and thus throwing away the rinse reduces one's full experience of the tea.

In any case, here is one method of rinsing your tea: 

  • Pour a little of the hot water over the dry tea leaves in the pot, just enough to submerge the leaves.
  • Quickly pour out the liquid. (You can reserve this liquid if you want to add it later add to your tea.)
  • With the teapot's cover on, wait for approximately 30 seconds. This allows the heat to permeate the tea leaves. 
  • Begin your brewing process.


Cold brews are so easy to make, but steeping time will take longer. Here is our steeping method:

Recommended Ratios

Teabags:  1 teabag + 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz) cold water

       Loose Leaf: 3 grams (0.1 oz) tea leaves + 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz) cold water  

Put the teabag / tea leaves in a sufficiently large container (e.g. pitcher, jug), add water, cover and refrigerate. Steep for 3-5 hours. If you would like a stronger tea, steep for 8+ hours or leave it overnight. 

Note: Don't worry if you forget and over-steep the tea. The tea may taste stronger, but it will not turn bitter or astringent.