/ /

How to Brew Green Tea

Jun 25,2024 | TeaTsy Team

Legend has it that the discovery of green tea began in 2737 B.C., when the Chinese emperor Shen Nong stumbled upon tea leaves dropped into boiling water, producing an aromatic beverage. Since then, green tea has grown in popularity in China and has become an important cultural symbol. 

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the tea-drinking culture began to flourish, and the production and consumption of green tea increased.

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the popularity of the tea-dotting method pushed green tea culture to a new peak.

After the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the loose tea method gradually replaced the tea-dotting method, and the green tea production process was further improved and developed. Nowadays, China has a wide range of green teas, such as Longjing, Biluochun, and Maofeng, which are renowned all over the world.

However, when it comes to brewing green tea, many tea drinkers are discouraged because they find it difficult to brew green tea well. In this blog, we will provide you with a complete guide on how to brew green tea, including how long it should be steeped and how many green tea leaves should be used.

Find out more about the Chinese Tea category.

Green Tea

The Importance of Quality Tea Leaves

The starting point for a great cup of green tea is good-quality tea leaves. As the saying goes, "You can't make good tea from bad leaves, but you can make bad tea from good leaves." Poor-quality leaves won't ever lead to a delightful tea experience. Always begin with the best leaves you can find.

Click here to learn more about tea expired.

Basic Brewing Guidelines

There are three main decisions to make when brewing green tea: the amount of tea leaves, the steeping time, and the water temperature. While personal preferences play a significant role, these guidelines provide a solid starting point.

Amount of Tea Leaves

There are two primary styles:

  • Western Style: 2 grams of tea per 300 ml of water
  • Chinese Style: 5-6 grams of tea per 200 ml of water

For those who don’t want to weigh the leaves every time, a large pinch usually amounts to about 1.5-2 grams.

Steeping Time

  • Western Style: 1.5 to 2 minutes
  • Chinese Style: 10 seconds, sometimes even just 5 seconds after the leaves start to open

Water Temperature

A good starting point is 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit). Using boiling water (100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit) can extract the compounds too quickly, resulting in tea that is too bitter. 

To check the water temperature, you can use a plug-in digital thermometer or a smart kettle (which displays the water temperature).

brew Green Tea

Teatsy's teapot is made of high grade borosilicate glass that can withstand high temperatures and won't break easily.

Infusers and Strainers

Keep in mind that you want room for the tea leaves to unfold and release their flavors. Green tea can expand many times in size, especially if the leaves are rolled. For this reason, a roomier basket-style infuser or filter (made of glass, metal, or cloth) is usually preferable to the ball-style infuser. You can also brew the tea leaves directly in the pot or cup and strain them out as you pour.

Step-by-Step Brewing Process

  1. Pre-Heat Your Tea Ware: Pour freshly boiled water into your pot to warm it up. This helps in maintaining a consistent brewing temperature.

  2. Measure Your Leaves: Use about 5 grams for a 200 ml pot if you’re following the Chinese style. Adjust accordingly for Western style.

  3. Adjust Water Temperature: Allow boiled water to cool down a bit, or add a splash of cold water to get it around 80 degrees Celsius.

  4. Combine and Steep: Pour the water onto the leaves and steep for about 20 seconds if you’re trying a Chinese style with 5 grams of leaves. For a Western style, go for 1.5 to 2 minutes.

We recommend trying to choose loose whole leaf green tea over tea bags, as whole leaf tea is usually of higher quality and better flavor. However, we still have many users who prefer the tea bag method of brewing, and that's okay. Below we will also explain how to brew green tea bags and how long to leave them in the water.

green tea

How to Brew Green Tea Bags

To brew the perfect cup of delicious hot green tea, you first need to pay attention to the type of green tea you are purchasing.

If you are purchasing green tea in flat tea bags, the tea is most likely low-grade, dusty, or tannic. These types of teas are unrefined and many contain high levels of tannins and have a weak, astringent, bitter taste.

For such green teas, it is best to wait five to seven minutes after the kettle has boiled. The lid of the kettle should be open so that water vapor can escape and the water can cool more quickly. Steep the tea bag in a cup of cooled water for three to four minutes so that you can taste the flavor of the green tea and avoid the bitterness of the tannins.

Let the tea brew for 1 to 2 minutes. During this time, a clear, verdant color will develop along with a full-bodied flavor and aroma. If you want a punchier taste and are happy to sacrifice a little aroma, let the tea brew for between 2 and 3 minutes. For the fullest flavor impact, leave it to brew for 3 minutes.

If you're interested in brewing cold tea in the summer heat, check here.

Visual and Taste Test

Brewing the same tea leaves at different water temperatures can yield surprisingly different results. For instance, when brewing with 80-degree water, your tea will appear a brighter green and taste lively, fragrant, and slightly sweet with vegetal notes. In contrast, tea brewed with 95-degree water will look more yellow and taste dull, woody, and more bitter.

About Green Tea FAQ

What is the Difference Between Matcha vs Green Tea?

Matcha is a type of green tea that is ground into a fine powder and consumed by whisking the powder into hot water, creating a frothy beverage. Unlike regular green tea, where leaves are steeped and then removed, matcha includes the entire leaf, providing a higher concentration of nutrients and a more intense flavor.

Does Green Tea Have Caffeine In It?

Yes, green tea contains caffeine. However, it has less caffeine than black tea and significantly less than coffee. While green tea can provide a gentle caffeine boost, it is milder compared to higher-caffeine beverages, reducing the likelihood of an energy crash later.

How Long to Steep Green Tea?

Steep green tea for 1 to 2 minutes. This ensures you extract the optimal flavor and health benefits without making the tea too bitter. Adjust the steeping time based on your taste preference.

What Country Drinks Green Tea Most?

China is the leading nation in green tea consumption, accounting for about 50% of the world's total green tea intake. Following China, Japan is the second-largest consumer, with approximately 80,000 tons of green tea consumed annually.


Brewing green tea to perfection is an art that requires some experimentation. Starting at 80 degrees Celsius is a good baseline. Adjust based on your taste preferences. Happy brewing, and remember, always use good quality leaves for the best experience.

If you enjoyed this guide and found it helpful, give it a thumbs-up, and feel free to share any topics you’d like us to cover next. Visit Teatsy if you're in Hong Kong, and let's sip some great tea together!