Tips for Brewing Black Tea

By Bruce Richardson


Follow these tips to brew the perfect pot of black tea.
  • Fill a kettle with filtered cold water and heat to a rolling boil, 212°.
  • Warm the teapot with hot tap water.
  • Discard the water in the teapot.
  • Using an infuser basket or tea sack/filter, add 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of water to the teapot.
  • Pour the boiling water over the leaves in the teapot. Agitate occasionally.
  • Steep for 3 to 5 minutes, or to taste. Remove wet leaves to prevent over-brewing.
  • Pour tea into cups. Taste the tea before making additions such as milk, lemon, or sugar.


Bruce Richardson is the owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and the author of The New Tea Companion. Read his blog at


  1. The author of this article is the first I’ve seen mention “Taste the tea before making additions such as milk, lemon, or sugar.” Seems like common sense, but I’ve never seen anyone other than myself do it! It’s rather like those who automatically sprinkle on salt and pepper before tasting the food.


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