How To Brew White Tea

Discover the art of brewing white tea with our comprehensive guide! Learn about the delicate process, ideal water temperature, steeping times, and tips to enhance the subtle flavors of this exquisite tea. Perfect for both beginners and tea connoisseurs. Brew your perfect cup today!

WTC team

2/24/20243 min read

three bowls of different types of teas
three bowls of different types of teas

White tea is the least processed and most delicate of all teas, and all of its attributes must survive the brewing process. It is especially important that the strong concentrations of the antioxidants present in the buds and leaves are not lessened or otherwise impaired by the brewing process, and that the tea’s mild and delicate taste is not overcome. However, the most important thing is that you enjoy what you have made. Remember that tea, which should always be loose-leaf tea for best results, likes to be kept in a dark, dry, and not-too-hot place. Store it in an airtight canister to keep it fresh.

The water

Two friends are capable of ruining any brew of white tea and they are hard water and water that is too hot. Hard water refers to water that has a high mineral content, mainly calcium and magnesium. These minerals will not only damage the taste but may well inhibit, and bind, many of the polyphenol antioxidants. If you know that you have hard water use a filter to treat your water before you make your tea.

Fresh water from the tap should be used to make your white tea, not water that has been sitting in your water heater or teapot for hours or days. White tea has such a delicate taste that any taint, or impurities, will be readily detectable and the tea will taste less good.

Water temperature

First, heat the water to the boiling point, then let it cool. You never want to steep white tea in boiling water. 175-185 degrees Fahrenheit, or 80-85 degrees Celsius, is considered the perfect temperature for brewing white tea. Some will tell you to use water at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or 95 degrees Celsius, but that is way too hot. At temperatures anywhere near the boiling point, many of the antioxidants and much of the other good stuff that the tea contains are destroyed, and the tea becomes astringent, and it loses some of its best qualities as the leaves cook.

Amount of tea

The amount of tea you should use per cup of tea is a matter of taste and economics since top quality white tea is by far the most expensive tea there is, and you probably don't want to throw it away. At White Tea Central we usually recommend using one teaspoon of white tea per cup, or one tablespoon for a pot that holds a quart (~1 liter).


Depending on the quality level of the tea in question, it should be brewed for less than one minute, or slighter longer. Silver needle top quality white tea should not be brewed for more than 30-40 seconds for the first steeping – calculate the steeping time based on how you like your tea to taste – the longer you steep, the stronger the taste, and the more pronounced the golden color.

One serving of white tea can be steeped several times, and each time should take about one minute longer than the time before. Each steeping reveals another hue of taste.

Enjoy! It's traditional for some white tea aficionados to make a ritual out of brewing and enjoying this rare and exclusive treat; people swear that it can be a powerful moment of relaxation and refinement to prepare and rejoice in a cup of the invigorating nectar. But, whether you sit back, calm your senses, and slowly savor the sweet smell of a fresh white tea blossom as it seeps into the air or you hurriedly gulp your mug down while you're typing up that report, it doesn't make a difference – however you wish to enjoy it is the right way. Just remember not to pour any milk or cream into it; the casein in dairy products will bind the antioxidants in the tea and neutralize the beneficial effects.