Need help on resteeping

I am kind of confused about resteeping tea. How long can i keep already steeped tea leaves? How do i know if that certain tea can be resteeped? Is it at the same temperature and time as the first resteep?

Also, I use an old fashioned kettle, so i put a thermometer in the spout to see the temperature. But when i take off the lid the temperature drastically changes, how do you recommend going about this?


8 Replies
WtFGoD said

pretty sure the protocol is add like 30% to the steeping time? anything from 10-60 seconds, stronger teas can usually be resteeped, or any tea depending on quantity used.

i wouldnt keep used leaves for more than a day, i think the major concearn is them collecting bacteria(wet/hot/porous)

same temp, and some may say pour the water asap to get the hottest water/most flavor.

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Cavocorax said

I’m with WtFGoD about not using leaves after a day, but that’s just based on what I’m comfortable with. Also, I agree with the 30% steeping time suggestion.

How do you know which ones can be resteeped? I don’t know until I try it! If it tastes weak, then I know now to bother again, but I resteep most of my blacks, greens, oolongs and tisanes. I don’t think my rooibos teas hold up as well but it might just be the ones I’ve tried.

Using a thermometer is a good idea! I just let my kettle boil, and either pour directly (for blacks) or let the water cool for an indefinite about of time (unless I’ve stopped it before it hit boiling).

I guess I really am a barbarian about this. :P

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Uniquity said

Anything CAN be re-steeped – it may not taste good, but it can be done. :) I tend to add 15 – 30 seconds to each steep with oolongs, greens and whites, and about 1 minute for blacks. Pure teas tend to do better than flavoured and if you’re an iced tea drinker, you could always try a cold steep with the remaining leaves to really get your use out of them.

In my house we re-use leaves for a day or two (occasionally a bit more) but I’m not really one to worry about mold or things like that. If it looks or smells off, toss it! I’ve left leaves in the pot for a week or so and they never developed mold (not that I had interest in drinking them!). I think the climate you live in has a lot to do with how long your leaves would be okay.

Enjoy yourself! If you don’t want to drink a tea until there is nothing left in the leaves, that’s okay. I used to feel obligated to drink every last steep but now I just have one or two more often than not.

PS – I find most teas re-steep better when you’re drinking small amounts with gaiwan or yiing. Pots and brew mugs tend to yield larger amounts of tea so I usually can only handle a bit before I’m too sloshy! : )

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Personally, I steep plain teas once and flavoured or herbal tisanes not at all. But then, I also have enough tea to last me until doomsday so if I resteep too many times before moving on to another I’ll never get through them all. I don’t drink many oolong/green/white teas but I add a minute to the original time for blacks. So if you originally steep for 3 minutes (where I generally start out in experimenting) then the second steep is 4 minutes.

WtFGoD said

" I also have enough tea to last me until doomsday "

you only have 2 days worth of tea? trollface

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Lazey said

I have a tea strainer so I can make my tea one cup at a time, so if I throw out the leaves after only steeping once no more than 1-1.5 teaspoons of tea gets wasted. I make sure to toss out the old leaves before going to bed, as much to avoid bacteria/mold as to take care of my strainer. Pouring boiling water over old leaves might kill anything that might make you sick but you really don’t want anything in your house that can encourage mold to grow.

I try steeping at least twice, especially if i like the tea. Flavored teas like chocolate will have little to no flavor left to them or will only keep the strongest flavor, like orange (See my tasting notes on ETS Orange chocolate) Second steeping of Earl Grey will taste more like regular tea, unless you have extra bergamot then the second cup will taste like regular Earl Grey.

Tisanes vary. I can resteep Evening in Missoula up to 3 times before it starts to get weak. But Blackcurrant herbal only seems good for one cup, I don’t think berry based teas can hold their flavor as well as herbs and spices.

Additional steepings usually take longer than the first steeping, how long depends on the tea and personal tastes. I usually wait a few minutes, take out the strainer, sample a spoonful and put the strainer back in if I’m not satisfied.

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I try resteeping (within a day) with most loose teas- I have found at least one jasmine that changes character greatly in the second steep, I can get 3 steeps from it. I drink mainly greens, and have noticed many do not hold up past a second steep.

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About keeping already steeped tea leaves, I try to use them the same day. For longer than that they’ll start to degrade.
Sometimes I dry them, not for resteeping but for other uses.

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