How to Steep Green Tea

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I am trying to cut back on the java.  It is rough.


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Although I have numerous ‘quit techniques,’ the one thing that’s been getting me through has been green tea, which does have caffeine in it.  I think of green tea as my nicotine patch. 


Anyway – I’ve received numerous requests for a step-by-step tutorial on how to steep green tea.  The key, of course, is the tea to water ratio.


You’ll want to use 1 teaspoon of tea for every 8 ounces of water.  We like Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea.


First, bring your water to boil.  I use an electric kettle (best invention ever) that is 48 ounces in size, so I use 2 tablespoons of green tea (6 teaspoons = 2 tablespoons). 


Once the water boils, you want to remove it from heat and allow it to cool off a bit.  I usually give it a minute or two.   Scoop the tea into a tea pot, pour the water on top, and cover it with the lid.  Please, for the love of all that is holy in tea-land, use a tea pot.  I promise it will make your tea taste better.  <—My British Husband has brainwashed me.


Let the tea stand for 45 seconds.  Yup!  That’s it.  Otherwise, it becomes too bitter.


You’ll need a strainer:




After I make two small cups, I pour the remainder of the water into an iced tea jug and refrigerate it to create iced green tea.  I also tend to reuse the leaves to make another 48 ounces of tea to fill the iced tea jug to the top.  I’m guessing this second batch of green tea isn’t as ‘powerful’ (antioxidant and whatnot-wise) but it tastes fine, especially iced.


I had my tea with an epic Grilled Banana Sandwich:


Smeared with sunflower butter and topped with almonds.



Well, on that note, I’m off to slam another ten cups of green tea and get some work done.


Have a great Thursday!



  • Taylor @ Crumbs Don't Count September 1, 2011, 10:09 am

    Ugh. I admire your ability to drink green tea. I have tried SO HARD to like it but it just tastes so gross to me!!

    On the other hand, your banana sandwich looks INCREDIBLE!! I’m drooling.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey September 1, 2011, 10:11 am

    Mmmm I love green tea. I only use bagged tea though – I really want to get a steeper thing so I can use loose tea as well. I’m sure its way better!

  • Orla September 1, 2011, 10:12 am

    a couple of things – I find it hilarious that electric kettles are not more common – I couldn’t live without mine. I tried a whistle stove top but it just didn’t taste the same.
    Second point, scald your pot. As in drop a small amount of boiling water into your pot, swirl around and discard before putting the tea and water in. Not sure why but tea just doesn’t taste the same without this vital step.
    The point about not letting your tea get bitter is so important! It puts me off every time as I seem to leave it too long. Thanks for the tip!

    • CaitlinHTP September 1, 2011, 10:14 am

      Oh yes! The Husband does this. I wonder how it changes the taste. So cool. tea is an art 🙂

      • Baking N Books September 1, 2011, 2:22 pm

        Is it more beneficial to steep loose tea like that then? I just get teabags.

        And…do you really drink 10 cups?! I can never understand when people say they drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee or tea in the morning…I’d be so full and in the bathroom every 20 minutes! 🙂

  • Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama September 1, 2011, 10:15 am

    Interesting tips. I just use tea bags and the microwave. Oops!

  • Orla September 1, 2011, 10:17 am

    I have no idea but it was something that was ingrained in me as a child – making tea is not the same without scalding the pot! Its funny in Ireland everything will be better with a cup of tea. Not matter how bad the situation, have a cuppa!

    • M September 1, 2011, 6:08 pm

      I do the same ,was told growing up it
      keeps the tea hotter in the teapot
      once the teapot has been warmed?
      (but I may be totally wrong 😉

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 1, 2011, 10:20 am

    I tried to give up black tea awhile ago, and did pretty well.. and then it creeped back into my life. I find green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as black tea does…

    • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 1, 2011, 1:14 pm

      I just realized the title of your post is wrong haha… it’s steep no seep! You obviously are lacking caffeine 😉

      • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 9:53 pm

        Haha I just changed it 🙂

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 1, 2011, 10:20 am

    I’m impressed with your determination to cut back coffee. I just can’t do green tea. I constantly try it in hopes my taste buds will one day like it but so far it’s just YUCK!

  • Rachel September 1, 2011, 10:29 am

    i’ve read somewhere that a second steep of tea renders it “decaf”.

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 9:53 pm


  • Mary September 1, 2011, 10:29 am

    I used to have an electric kettle, then Someeeone (cough HB cough) left water in it for too long. Anyway, now i have to microwave my water because I dont even have a stove top kettle haha!

    How does the tea pot change the taste of the tea? is it like coke out of a glass bottle as opposed to a can?

    • M September 1, 2011, 6:12 pm

      For me the wider place the tea leaves can unfurl like a teapot, or a wide mug and wide strainer,the better the
      tea steeps and leaves unfurl-richer taste in my mind anyways!!

  • Chelsea September 1, 2011, 10:38 am

    Oh wow I’ve never actually wanted to make my own at home green tea until this post lol.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg September 1, 2011, 10:41 am

    I love my electric kettle — I totally agree, what a great invention.

  • Tracy @ Tracy's Treats September 1, 2011, 10:43 am

    Have you tried matcha powder? If you like normal green tea you’re sure to like matcha, which is finely milled green tea in powder form. Not only can you use it to brew tea, but you can also incorporate it into baking and other foods!

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 1, 2011, 6:01 pm

      Matcha tea is good! You don’t brew it, you just whisk it and drink 🙂

      • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:03 pm

        I must check this out!

      • Tracy @ Tracy's Treats September 2, 2011, 9:46 am

        Ah, yes! You’re right! Just whisk and drink. 🙂

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life September 1, 2011, 10:45 am

    I love iced green tea but I can’t do it hot… it is too bitter for my sweet tooth!

  • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:49 am

    have you tried Teeccino? It is a caffeine-free coffee. I was skeptical about trying it, but absolutely love it now! mmm!!

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:05 pm

      It’s on my list of things to buy!

  • peacebeme September 1, 2011, 10:49 am

    I want your tea pot! It’s so pretty. Where did you get it?

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:17 pm

      A little shop in Tennessee 🙂

  • Jen September 1, 2011, 10:54 am

    Do you ever drink black tea? I know the health benefits of green tea are far superior, but black tea has more caffeine!

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:08 pm

      Sometimes! We have four different kinds of loose leaf tea.

  • Khushboo September 1, 2011, 11:00 am

    I love green tea! Adding a slice of lemon is great to in terms of both flavor and releasing the antioxidants!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 1, 2011, 11:02 am

    Wow, this is quite a coincidence because I JUST finished a cup of green tea!! Before, I couldn’t stand it, but I guess it’s an acquired taste because I really don’t mind it now. I got some samples from Yogi Tea and have been loving them so far. PS. your tea leaf strainer is so pretty!

  • Alyse September 1, 2011, 11:04 am

    Thankfully caffeine never took hold of me, I’m sorry it attacked you, haha. I drink one cup of coffee a day at work and none on the weekends. I’m fine without. Now cigarettes on the other hand, THAT was a battle. It took me 12 tries but after 6 years I quit last year. My resolve was pretty strong that time. 🙂

    I like black tea. And fruity flavored tea. I’ve currently got a box of Cherry/Pomegranate Black, it’s pretty amazing.

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:08 pm

      Congrats on quitting smoking 🙂

  • deva (voracious vorilee) September 1, 2011, 11:19 am

    I am a fan of the Tazo Zen green tea. I’ve never brewed loose-leaf – I don’t have a teapot!

    today, though, I am guzzling juice – I am sick and it is the only thing I want. Juice and bread.

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy September 1, 2011, 11:22 am

    I gave up coffee because I didn’t like being on all the caffeine and I found I wasn’t nuts about the tasty. I like tea so much better. Your green tea looks delicious! I stick mainly with herbal teas and use tea bags. Don’t hate me.

  • Erin September 1, 2011, 11:31 am

    Hi Caitlin, have you ever tried Teeccino? I’ve heard that it’s a wonderful coffee substitute and provides a little more emph! than green tea! If you try it let me know what you think because I haven’t been able to get any yet but it’s on my to do list.

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:09 pm

      I have not yet tried Teeccino but it’s on my list!

  • Brittney September 1, 2011, 11:33 am

    I’m with ya, I’ve been on mainly green tea for about a week or two as well! It’s not the same, especially this time of year when you feel fall in the air!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness September 1, 2011, 11:37 am

    Lol! So funny! 😀 I know I’d be a wreck without caffeine…I may take a leaf out of your book and try to give it up…I get mine in the form of coke zero and it is sooooo bad for you, this I already know :-/ Your grilled banana sandwich looks scrumptious 🙂 xyx

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) September 1, 2011, 11:38 am

    Hmmm, I need to save this. I love tea, but have never brewed loose-leaf tea and am a bit intimidated to try it, to be honest. I really want to, though.

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe September 1, 2011, 11:44 am

    Cool tip: The vast majority of the caffeine in tea is released in the first brew. So, when you rebrew used leaves to make iced tea, it’ll be naturally almost decaffeinated! Awesome because no one really drinks iced tea to get jacked up anyway. 🙂

  • Moni'sMeals September 1, 2011, 11:47 am

    hang in there! you can do it, haha! I do not really like green tea, bleh! I just know I am not making it right. Great post!!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 1, 2011, 11:50 am

    I love a good herbal tea!!

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 1, 2011, 5:59 pm

      Me too. I’ve realized that even though I consider myself a tea lover, what I really love is herbal brews! I’m a tea lover that doesn’t love tea 😛

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 1, 2011, 11:56 am

    Your tea making puts me to shame! I go the lazy way- microwave and tea bags :))

  • Raya @ Passport Coffee September 1, 2011, 12:23 pm

    Hey Caitlin! I loved this post, and since I work for a coffee and tea company (Passport Coffee and Tea), I’m proud to say these are great directions! Especially the part about taking the water off the heat for a couple minutes after it’s boiled-the ideal temp to steep green tea is 180 degrees. If the water is too hot, the tea will taste bitter. Great job!!!

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:12 pm

      Yay! So glad I passed the Passport test 😉

  • Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City September 1, 2011, 12:26 pm

    That sandwich looks insane. I’m totally going to make that asap.

    Also, kudos for quitting coffee. Such a challenge to get through the morning with out it!

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' FitnessDiaries September 1, 2011, 12:30 pm

    That banana sandwich looks phenomenal!

  • Jenn September 1, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I’ve been trying to cut back on my daily coffee too, mainly due to my love affair with flavored creamer and sugar. I have been trying to sub my daily coffee with green tea a few times a week, but it has been making me nauseous! (i’m a microwave and tea bag kinda girl) At first I thought it was my cheap Stater Bros brand tea, but I switched to Tazo and am still having the same prob! I literally feel like im going to throw up after drinking the tea! Has this happened to anyone else?! What gives??

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:12 pm

      A lot of people don’t like the flavor – try any other type of tea! All tea is healthy.

  • Alyssa September 1, 2011, 12:33 pm

    I’m impressed at your willpower, I could NEVER give up coffee unless absolutely ordered by the doctor. I love it so much. Also my coworkers would probably start a petition for me to reinstate it. I’ve tried to like green tea but I just can’t get on board. Good luck!

  • Katie September 1, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Where do you get loose leaf tea and a strainer??

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:12 pm

      From Teavana!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery September 1, 2011, 12:52 pm

    Cool post! I love tea in the fall and winter, but for some reason in the spring and summer I require coffee. Ok I’ll be honest, I require coffee all year round but my tea intake increases during the colder months. I’m also thinking of investing in one of these: When I lived in Greece one of my roommates had one and it was awesome! I ended it up giving one to a tea-lover friend and she adores it!

  • Laura @ My Reason to Tri September 1, 2011, 12:54 pm

    i was wondering why on earth would you have a tea pot, thats so random….then i remembered your husband is british. so it really does make a difference huh? so im guessing that tea using tea bags dont taste as good as loose tea leaves do they?

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:13 pm

      Nope. Loose tea leaves are the best!

  • courtney (pancakes and postcards) September 1, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Those sandwiches are the best. Good tea rules! I’m so lazy I just usually put the bag in the water but hey, might be nice to do it for reals too.

    I never drink coffee. Caffeine has no tangible effect on me. I could drink ten cups before bed and not notice. This makes it easy to not be addicted to anything but I am SO jealous of people who perk up with a cup of coffee!

  • Amber K September 1, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I think my hatred for the taste of coffee and tea helps me stay away from caffeine. I know it is still in chocolate, but I try and stick to small portions of that. Although I wish my body could handle caffeine, because a jolt sounds good right about now.

  • Hillary September 1, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I made a version of that sandwich this past weekend, Caitlin. It changed my life. ; )

  • Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) September 1, 2011, 1:33 pm

    I’ll drink a little coffee for ya 😉

    I find my brain just works a little better with a cup of morning joe, and I need all the help I can get!!

    Also– there is a lot of new evidence/studies that say coffee is pretty good for you… but then there’s probably more evidence that TEA is good for you. I try to drink both!

  • katie @ KatieDid September 1, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Just curious about your reasons for quitting. Would you consider doing a post about why your quitting? Good for you for coming up with a healthy alternative, and sticking with it!

  • Kathie September 1, 2011, 2:03 pm

    yayaya!! You posted the tutorial. Thanks a bunch lady!!! It totally helps! I’ll be ordering some loose leaf tonight! :o) oh and I guess i’ll just have to-have to find myself an adorable tea pot too, eh? ;o)

    I will have to try this grilled banana sandwich of your’s too. It just looks so scrumptious! Quick question i’ve been meaning to ask you…why sunflower butter? I’ve been using almond butter but im guessing that sunflower butter is probably better? fill me in….

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:15 pm

      I just like the taste 🙂 Almond butter is healthy too!

  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 1, 2011, 2:13 pm

    I love green tea, but I have to drink it caffeine free because caffeine does bad things to me (buzzed much?).

    That sandwich looks amazing! I made one of these a few weeks ago and it was the bomb! Why don’t more sandwich shops add this to their menu? I think that would be a huge hit.

  • Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life September 1, 2011, 2:17 pm

    That green tea looks great! I love green tea! Giving up coffee can be hard. When I was trying to get pregnant, I cut back to only 1/4 – 1/2 cup a day in the morning. It was so hard even though I usually only drank maybe a cup or two a day!

  • Kim@ Wonderings of a Twenty Something September 1, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Definitely a fan of loose tea. I can’t seem to replace my morning coffee with it but I can definitely replace my afternoon cup with tea.

  • michele September 1, 2011, 3:03 pm

    The grilled banana bread looks delicious with a cup of tea.

  • julie (etsy stalkers) September 1, 2011, 3:04 pm

    it’s physically impossible for me to cut back on coffee. physically. impossible.

  • Liz @ Southern Charm September 1, 2011, 3:11 pm

    That’s awesome you are switching! I promise that it will get better. I got off of coffee after law school when I was drinking about 5 cups a day! Ekk! It took a while, but I don’t miss it anymore! Good luck!

    And that grilled banana sandwich thingy? Yum! I want 🙂

  • Carrie @ No More Tomorrows September 1, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I have gotten very serious about my PCOS diet, and in that I am giving up caffeine. I still like coffee though, and if I could drink Decaf black I would let myself have it everyday. But I don’t like it plain, I like it with creamer, flavored, which means it makes it crappified. I have made an agreement with myself that once a week I can have a decaf coffee with all the crap I wanna put in it.

  • AmandaonMaui September 1, 2011, 4:31 pm

    I am so into tea, especially loose leaf tea. While it’s more expensive upfront you actually get more than one brew out of each scoop. My favorite brand is Rishi Tea as it is organic and fair trade. The price is nice as well. I also like Republic of Tea for tea bag teas because sometimes I just know I’m only going to have one cup.

    I agree with your husband about a tea pot, but don’t forget the scoop for the cup and the scoop for the pot!

    Also, your sandwich looks amazing.

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny September 1, 2011, 4:38 pm

    (a) I love your tea pot. (b) I love all your little tea tools. So cool — I wish I made tea that way. (c) your sandwich looks like DESSERT!! Yum …. I’ll have to give that one a try!

  • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 1, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Agree on the loose leaf love <3 I'm not a big green tea fan, but rooibos is good for the antioxidants and has no caffeine so I like that. Sometimes I steep a sencha with coconut and it's freakin' fabulous!

  • M September 1, 2011, 6:17 pm

    If you get preggers in next year or two,you will have already conquered the giving up coffee challenge 🙂

    I LOVE Gunpowder Green tea only (prefer Twinings looseleaf,
    but Numi teabags aren’t bad).I steep mine for 1.45 minutes
    to 2 minutes at most.(I can’t stand the green teas that are more vegetal like yours.Have you tried the joys of an awesome
    gunpowder green yet-very crucial to not oversteep as well.or you will never want to try it again -ha ha!)

    I find gunnpowder green has a richer taste to me, and was an easier transition from coffee.The other green teas I can’t stand-strange huh?! But I drink 2-4 mugs of gunpowder green a day !

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:15 pm

      I am going to look into this gunpowder tea!

      • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 2, 2011, 10:56 pm

        It’s smokey! <3 it. Genmaicha is really good and has a unique flavor, too.

  • genki September 1, 2011, 7:00 pm

    I was going to leave a comment about scalding your teapot few hours ago but several people got there.before me. Integeral part of making tea my friends. and, I am not usually judgy at all but please don’t make tea in a microwave. Water temp on the tea bag makes a massive difference just like serving temp for wine does, and its important to have freshly boiled water. Also experiment with different teas. Different people like different teas. They are all different!

  • Tricia September 1, 2011, 8:37 pm

    My friend would celebrate lent and whine about it so I said I would do it with them. And I was a caffeine addict… as in I would drink a liter of coke a day, as well as monsters on my late work nights. So I gave it up cold turkey. And never could go back. Literally makes me puke if I have caffeinated soda or take medicine like Excedrin that’s main ingredient is caffeine. 4+ years later… It was only supposed to be 40 days!!!

  • Kathleen @ Fittitudefreedom September 1, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Have you ever tried the yerba Mate teas? I have been drinking these to kick my diet Coke addiction. They have caffeine but it’s totally different than coffee. There is no crash and for at least me I am alert without jitters. I used to drink the Yerba mates alot when I was working on my MBA at night after working all day. Try one of the great flavors out if you have a teavana or tea cafe near by.

    • Caitlin September 1, 2011, 10:17 pm

      I LOVE yerba mate!

      • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 2, 2011, 10:55 pm

        THAT’S what my initial comment was about, mate! Mate is one of my favorite mix-ins. I don’t like it on its own, but it’s great mixed with a red chai or with some coconut or cinnamon!

  • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 1, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I don’t know why my comment didn’t post before 🙁

    I love your teaware! Green tea is not my favorite but sometimes I’ll brew a sencha + coconut and it is D E LICIOUS! I love a good herbal brew. Honeybush is one of my favorites, caffeine free + antioxidants 🙂

  • Sophie @ threetimesf September 3, 2011, 10:04 am

    Mmmmm, I love green tea!

  • Jessica November 10, 2011, 4:54 pm

    I am an avid green tea drinker, but was told not to drink it while pregnant because it blocks the absorption of folic acid. Just something to check into…..congrats!!

    • Marie November 10, 2011, 4:55 pm

      Really? I will look into this. So sad.

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