What is tea steeping

steeped tea

amazing tea fields of China

Ahhhhh tea…. for a lot of people out there tea is just a bit of hot water, a bag and some milk. You put all these things together and BAM, you got tea. It wasn’t always this way though, oh no! Some years ago, and we mean some! Tea was brewed by boiling water on the fire and then adding freshly picked tea leaves straight to the water. Now days such a process is rarely used, what with everything coming in a nice little package and so on. No need to blame ourselves for enjoying a little of life’s comforts though!

A true stylist in the world of tea may just engage in this original brewing practice though and if you were to ask what they were doing they would simply say “I’m making steeped tea.”

What is tea steeping?

raw tea leaves floating in hot watersimply put, tea steeping is the process of adding hot water to a cup of whole tea leaves and allowing the water to soften the leaves, releasing their flavour and nutrients.

Where did tea steeping originate

Steeping tea is actually the oldest and original form of brewing tea. There are many stories as to the true origin of tea but all of them follow the idea that ‘steeping’ was the way in which it was first discovered.

Emperor Shennong in his stylish tea leaf shirtOur favourite ‘origins of tea’ story comes from Chinese legend… It has been told that in the year 2737 BC Emperor Shennong (translated to God farmer) was sitting under a tree. The emperor was enjoying some time sipping on a warm relaxing cup of water while gazing out across a vast wild tea valley. A gust of wind swept across the valley and stirred the loose tea leaves up in to the air. One of the leaves floated along and landed in the cup of Emperor shennong which infused with the water. The Emperor took a drink from his cup and was delighted at the taste of his water. He then took the recipe and began to share it with all the people of China

Why it steeping a good method for brewing tea

Whole tea leaves are the bomb! and getting them at their most natural state is a sure way to make sure they are as full of flavour and nutrients as possible. Adding hot water to whole tea leaves ensures you use every available part of the leaf to maximum effect. The stems, which contain the highest amount of L-theanine (perfect for combating stress) and the leaf itself which contains all the antioxidants. a growing tea leaf

When you are involved in a practice such as brewing tea, using a method which is thousands of years old can give a calming sense. You can feel yourself going back in time to before packaged goods were the norm, when only what you could grow or find was available. You may even feel the soul of Emperor Shennong rising up through the steam and aroma of your tea 😉

How long do I steep my tea leaves

How long is a piece of string? As long as you make it… Well, then how much steeping makes for a good steeped tea? Well… that’s a bit of a harder question to answer. We all enjoy our tea a little different, some like a full flavour and some enjoy it mild. Some people like black tea and some like green while some even prefer Yerba Mate (which isn’t even really a tea!)

with so many variables going into this question, we decided to write up a little starting point guide. This should help get you started in the art of steeping tea, just click here


So that’s what steeped tea is. It is a very traditional form of brewing tea which anyone can incorporate into their practice. Can you imagine how much style you will radiate with a unique teapot and a bunch of fresh, raw tea leaves! It will be the coolest hot tea your friends have ever had!!

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If you have any questions or would like to leave a review then simply leave a comment below and I will answer asap.

All the best and all the tea

Founder of TEA, your style

12 thoughts on “What is tea steeping

  1. Melinda 😀 Yes! Steeped tea is a seriously good move when stress starts to take over!! It is my go to style when I want to be completely involved from start to finish with my practice. So calming!

  2. Awesome article Jake! My wife has been trying to get me to drink tea for quite some time now, and I have to admit I am enjoying it very much. I will ask her about steeped tea when she gets home from work later on so I will book mark your page. BTW i really enjoyed the little history lesson about the emperor, really made me chuckle 🙂

    1. Maybe you could surprise the wife with a steeped tea yourself!? It really is very simple and a sure way to score brownie points! Hahaha good ol’ Emperor Shennong, He seems like he really knew what tea was all about, relaxing and enjoying 🙂

      Thanks Mike,

  3. I live in Taiwan. Many people like drinking steeped tea and there are many kinds of high-quality tea.
    If you have a chance to travel to Taiwan, don’t forget to drink tea.
    Have a nice day.

    1. Yes, Taiwan is at the top of my 2018 travel destinations! I love to hike and I know from experience that a herbal tea comprised of coca leaves and other local herbs can be a great remedy/prevention against altitude sickness.

      Thanks for reading Eli,

  4. This was such a fun article to read. My go to drink is tea and hearing stories about it and how to do it better is always fun. I loved the legend about how tea became a drink. I am also a big fan of tisanes.
    Thank you for doing this article. What is your favorite tea?

    1. I do love a good tale from ancient China… perhaps the next blockbuster film?? And yes ’tisanes’ or herbal teas are very unique and can have so many variations. A little fact about tisane teas is that they are not actually tea 😀 but we let them get away with the name anyway! With all things considered, my favourite tea would have to be green tea, it packs a real punch of health in such a small amount!

      Thanks for reading and please stay tuned as we grown as a website!

  5. I have never Tea Steeping. I have a habit of taking Milked Tea twice a day but after going through your article I have decided to try and enjoy steeped Tea. I assume that I need to get Fresh tea leaves from Tea Garden for steeping

    1. Arun I’m super happy to hear that you will be moving away from the standard milky cup of tea! While no tea style is a bad style, some just bring out the benefits of tea better! Natural is always best and we are sorry that right now in our early stages of building our inventory that we are unable to point you in the right direction for a place to buy good natural tea leaves. After all we wouldn’t want to point you in a direction we don’t fully trust outselves!

      Thanks for reading and we look forward to providing you with some serious quality teas for steeping in the near future.


  6. I’d say tea steeping is probably my favorite way to drink it. Nothing better than coming home after a long relaxing day and drinking a nice glass of hot tea to calm your nerves. It really is amazing. Especially when you add things like honey to it. What’s your favorite type of tea?

    1. You can’t go wrong with a good steeped tea! Adding a good natural, organic honey is a great move and perfect way to add a bit of sweetness to your tea. I get asked the question of which is my favourite a lot and I always say green tea. I say that because it has so many health benefits and is so easy to get. It has the ability to calm me down while giving my mind a little focus kick, it’s like energy for the mind!

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