How long to steep white tea?

White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.


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Oct 31st, '08, 20:35
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How long to steep white tea?

by jackcheng » Oct 31st, '08, 20:35

I've seen such a wide range of recommended times compared to other teas. A book I have says 7-10 minutes, my adagio tin says 7, yet some vendors say 30-60 seconds following the logic that the more delicate + less processed the tea, the shorter the steep time should be. Why the huge discrepancy?

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Oct 31st, '08, 21:10
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by Chip » Oct 31st, '08, 21:10

A lot will depend on the amount of leaf. If one uses 2.3 grams per 6 ounces water, English style, then longer will be required. Many US vendors go by English style leaf to water ratio.

I generally go a gram per ounce water. 1-2 minutes is sufficient for a flavorful brew full of nuances, yet delicate enough to remain true to the white tea name.

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by TaiPing Hou Kui » Nov 7th, '08, 00:28

Hey Jackcheng! Whites are one of my favorite teas and this is quite a subjective question. Peronally, I brew my whites in 4 oz. gaiwan. I use roughly 3.5 grams depending on the type....a little more for silver needle, a little less for bai mu dan. I will usually brew for about 2.5-3 minutes. The main thing that I have found is thta your water temperature is crucial for white teas. 165 F is my magic number and it is enough to pull out all of the heartier earthy tones as well as the subtle, sweet nuances white teas are known for. If you screw up the water temperature who cares how much or how little tea you used, the brew will be ruined...at least in my opinion...however much that may or not be worth haha :) Anyway, I hope this helps you in your quest for that perfect cup!

-Nick (TaiPing)

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by Salsero » Nov 7th, '08, 00:49

TaiPing Hou Kui wrote:Whites are one of my favorite teas ...
Do you also have words of wisdom for yellows?

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by Chip » Nov 7th, '08, 01:04

Salsero wrote:
TaiPing Hou Kui wrote:Whites are one of my favorite teas ...
Do you also have words of wisdom for yellows?
TeaSwap it for a decent white :!:

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by Salsero » Nov 7th, '08, 01:41

Chip wrote:
Salsero wrote:
TaiPing Hou Kui wrote:Whites are one of my favorite teas ...
Do you also have words of wisdom for yellows?
TeaSwap it for a decent white :!:
Oh noes! I have had some nice moments with Yellows, but I just feel all thumbs brewing them.

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by TaiPing Hou Kui » Nov 7th, '08, 01:41

Salsero---Unfortunately I do not have any light to shed on the topic of yellows. It is one tea I still have yet to get a hold of. I am planning an order for some soon but I dont think I could call myself any source of knowledge until I experiment with it for quite some time....I have been dialing in on whites for a few years now so feel I have a fair basis of trial and error to pull from. I certainly wish I could say the same for yellows. Im pretty good on whites and Jap. and Chin. greens, but thats about it....though I have brewed many Pu's and Oolongs in my day I have not brewed them nearly as much as my whites and greens. Im getting in some fresh white tomorrow so I will give a "brew report" tomorrow night!

-Nick (TaiPing)

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by Salsero » Nov 7th, '08, 01:45

TaiPing Hou Kui wrote: Im getting in some fresh white tomorrow so I will give a "brew report" tomorrow night!
I'll get back with you on the yellows in a couple of years! :lol:

Do give a brew report: we could use a bit more synergy in the white department of this forum. They are a hidden beauty like the pouchongs were until Tenuki gave them some airtime and they took off. We have maybe four or five real white experts I think, but they are a shy and retiring bunch.

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by Wesli » Nov 7th, '08, 11:32

All whites: 180°f - 5 minutes. Gotta throw in a large volume of leaf because of how light and fluffy it is.

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by chad » Nov 7th, '08, 15:35

While I'm certainly not an expert on brewing white tea, I have stayed in Holiday Inn Express!! :D

I drink a really nice Pai Mu Tan from Metropolitan Teas at work. I put a nice "load" into my stainless infuser and brew with water from the commercial coffee machines - hot water tap - I've never taken the temp but I'd guestimate 180-190.

I appreciate that I can basically "forget" about the mug while taking calls and still get a nice cup.

I just finished a first infusion after lunch today -- probably steeped about 5-6 minutes.

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by brad4419 » Mar 11th, '09, 19:37

Im glad this threads around. Thanks everyone for the white tea info I just reallized I don't use enough tea leaf. Ive been useing 2g for 10oz :roll:

What would you recomend for a tea bag white tea :oops:

The reason I ask is because I have Imperial White Peach from celestial seasonings left over from before I found loose leaf teas. The white peach is probably my favorite tea bag tea but still thats nothing compared to loose leaf.

I only give it 2 minutes because Im afraid it will go bitter easily since it is a tea bag.

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by Beidao » Mar 12th, '09, 09:12

Brad4419: Why don't you just play around with the bags, experiment a bit? Try three minutes, try four, try five. The worst that will happen is that you get a bitter tea, and then you don't have to drink it :wink:

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by entropyembrace » Mar 12th, '09, 19:02

My parents have the same tea bags, brad...

I find the best thing to do is pour a cup of hot water then lower the tea bag into the water holding it by the string and gently whisking it in a circular motion through the hot water until you reach the desired strength. Infusing tea bags this way helps to make up for that the tea is trapped in a small bag rather than being free to spread through the entire pot or gawian.

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My Silver Needle White Tea

by ChildOfNight » Apr 14th, '09, 03:42

I use Koryo 10 oz tea cups hand made and fired (hold heat well), with removable infuser. 7-9 oz water, 1 Tbs. of Silver Needles, 185 water temp, and 4:30 minutes first steep, 5:00 second steep.

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by silvermage2000 » Apr 14th, '09, 15:50

This is interesting. I do agree though that some white teas differ and need to be steeped different times. I do believe experimenting would be good. I would say depending on the tea possibly anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes atleast for me.

Funny enough I have some celestial seasonings imperial white peach tea to. But I have to say that my favorite white tea so far would have to be ancient moonlight white from rishi I got some from a friend and it was great.

I am abit unsure about flavored whites though this I think is a helpful topic so thank you. Does anyone got any advice on flavored whites?

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