Complete guide to the perfect cup of tea.

How to make a proper brew is all in the details. Learn how with our step by step approach here.

A true taste of Tea.

As Tea Sommeliers, we have learned that when it comes to making tea, its in the details.

All you need to make a cup of tea is hot water and tea. But if you want to make a proper cup of tea, there are a couple of steps you should take. It will uplift your tea experience and make your tea taste radiant. 


  • ATOPPs Exotic Jones Ceylon Tea Brand. 

  • Filtered water

    Better water makes better tea.

  • Teapot with infuser

    Use a teapot with a large infuser. It makes it easier for the tea leaves to unfurl and steep.

  • Electric kettle with temperature setting

    A must for all tea drinkers. Not all tea should be brewed in boiling hot water and with this kettle, you can change the water temperature

  • Here’s a quick overview of the steps to make tea properly. For full instructions to make black tea, scroll down to see the recipe.

    1. Boil water.
      Different types of tea require different water temperature to brew. Check the tea packaging to see the recommended water temperature.
    2. Warm up teapot.
      This step is a detail that takes your tea to the next level and almost no one does it. But they should. Take some of the boiled water and fill half the teapot and give it a few swirls then throw out the water. We’re warming the teapot so that when the hot water for tea goes in, the water temperature won’t drop too much.
    3. Put tea into teapot and add hot water.
    4. Cover teapot and steep tea.
      Set the timer on your phone to steep it to the correct amount of time. The steep time is different for each kind of tea so check the tea package to see what is recommended. Usually it’s no more than 5 minutes.
    5. Strain tea solids and pour hot tea into tea cups.

    If you want to have another cup, pour more hot water into the teapot (using the same tea leaves) and set the timer again. For the second steep, add 1-2 more minutes.

    ATOPP Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Don’t leave tea leaves sitting in water after the steep time since it makes the tea really bitter. To avoid this, use a tea infuser inside a teapot so that the tea leaves are separated from the water after the first pour or make just enough tea and pour out every last drop so there isn’t any water sitting in the teapot.


    • Use Filtered water
      Clean, filtered water won’t add any other taste to your tea.
    • Set the correct water temperature
      Water temperature is a little tricky. Some tea require just boiled water while other teas are a little more sensitive to hot water (especially green tea) so you’ll need to make sure the water temperature is correct. An electric kettle with temperature setting is key to making a proper cup.
    • Steep for the correct amount of time
      Over steeping tea leads to a bitter cup. This is the time to use the timer on your smartphone. Follow the steep time recommendations on the tea package, but roughly it is: black tea for 4-5 minutes, green and oolong for 3 minutes, and white tea for 4 minutes. The only tea that should steep for longer than 5 minutes is herbal tea.
    • Warm the teapot
      An important step to making sure the tea brews properly in hot water.


    Why is my tea bitter?

    Tannins are compounds in tea. When tea leaves steep for too long or in water that’s too hot, it releases a lot of tannins, making your tea bitter. That’s why you shouldn’t steep your tea for too long or in water that’s too hot.

    Why is green tea so bitter?

    Green tea is notorious for being super fickle. You shouldn’t steep for too long and most definitely don’t need boiling hot water. If you’ve had green tea that’s too bitter to drink, it wasn’t made properly.

    Why is my tea flavorless?

    Again, tannins. If you didn’t steep your tea long enough or used water that’s too cool, you’ll get a less than ideal cup of Jones tea.

    Why can’t I use tap water to make tea?

    You’ll get a cleaner and more consistent tasting cup of tea when you use better quality water.

    Can I use the microwave to make tea?

    I would advise against using the microwave to make tea. When you use an electric kettle or heat water on the stovetop, you get water that’s uniformly hot. In the microwave, you would get hot and cold spots which isn’t ideal for steeping tea. Also, it’s incredibly difficult to figure out the water temperature when you use the microwave.

    Which tea should I start with if I want to get into tea?

    I recommend starting with Jones Earl Grey black since its the most forgiving and versatile.

    How to Easily Make a Proper Cup of Tea - Oh, How Civilized