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How to Make Tea on the Stove: Brew the Perfect Cuppa

By The Whistling Kettle September 30th, 2021

Making tea in a pot on the stove isn’t just a make-do option. When it comes to herbal tea, boiling tea in a pot actually brings out the maximum flavor. For black tea and green tea there are ways to visually tell when the water is at the exact temperature you need. We’ll show you not only how to make tea on the stove, but also which teas are BEST on the stove.

Advantages of making tea on the stove:

  • Stronger flavor
  • Saves money (don’t need a kettle)
  • Great for minimalist kitchens
  • More control over temperature

How to Make Green Tea on the Stove:

Have you noticed how green tea tends to taste bitter when brewed with boiling water? Most generic electric kettles boil water to 212 degrees F. which is much too hot for green tea. The ideal temperature for brewing green tea ranges from 160-195 degrees F. depending on the type. At this simmering temperature, you can unlock the delicate flavor without the tea turning bitter.

The expensive way to do this is by purchasing an electric kettle with multiple temperature settings. But you can save the money with this simple step-by-step technique:

  1. Measure 1 and 1/4 cups of water to make 1 cup of tea. (Some of the water will evaporate.)
  2. Pour into a small pot on the stove. (Keep the lid off to watch the water).
  3. Turn burner to medium-high heat.
  4. Watch the water for when there are very small bubbles forming at the bottom. This is called ‘shrimp eyes’ or ‘crab eyes’ in Chinese cooking. There should be a small amount of steam. The water should be hot to the touch, but not burning.
  5. Remove the pot from the hot burner and add in 1 teaspoon of loose leaf green tea. (Tea bags also work, but have less flavor).
  6. Let it steep for 1-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the tea through a strainer into a mug or teapot.
  8. Take a sip of refreshing green tea.

How to Make Black Tea on the Stove:

Whether you want to make a hearty morning brew or a refined afternoon cup, a pot on the stove works perfectly. Like with green tea, there are specific water temperatures for different black teas. When you are making a strong black tea like English Breakfast or Chai, you can use water at boiling 212 degree F. For fine black teas like our Secret Village Tea, it is better to use water closer to 190 degrees, just before boiling.

Strong Black Tea:

  1. Measure 1 and 1/4 cups of water to make 1 cup of tea. (Some of the water will evaporate.)
  2. Pour into a small pot on the stove, with a lid on.
  3. Turn burner to high heat.
  4. Wait until the water reaches a full boil when the steam starts pushing the top of the pot open.
  5. Remove the lid but leave the pot on the hot burner.
  6. Add in 1 teaspoon of loose leaf black tea. (Tea bags also work, but have less flavor).
  7. Let it steep for 5-8 minutes.
  8. Pour the tea through a strainer into a mug or teapot.
  9. Take a sip of bold black tea!

Delicate Black Tea:

  1. Measure 1 and 1/4 cups of water to make 1 cup of tea. (Some of the water will evaporate.)
  2. Pour into a small pot on the stove, with a lid on.
  3. Turn burner to high heat.
  4. When you start to hear bubbling, remove the lid to watch the water.
  5. Watch the water for when the bubbles get larger and it is past simmering. But take it off the heat before the bubbles turn into full waves of boiling water.
  6. Remove the pot from the hot burner and add in 1 teaspoon of loose leaf black tea. (Tea bags also work, but have less flavor).
  7. Let it steep for 4-5 minutes.
  8. Pour the tea through a strainer into a mug or teapot.
  9. Take a sip of invigorating black tea.

How to Make Herbal Tea on the Stove:

Herbal tea is actually better made in a pot on the stove! Since herbal teas usually steep longer, the pot helps keep the tea hot and continue to pull out more flavor. You are also free to make your own blends with fresh ginger, mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, or any herbs you have on hand.

There are two main types of herbal teas: infusions and decoctions. Infusions are the more common type of making tea, where you boil water and then add the tea to steep. Decoctions are when you boil the tea itself for about 15 minutes for a very strong brew. Blends with mostly leaves and flowers are better as infusions because they are more delicate. Root teas like ginger or licorice are great as decoctions because they become more flavorful as they boil.

Herbal Infusions:

  1. Measure 1 and 1/4 cups of water to make 1 cup of tea. (Some of the water will evaporate.)
  2. Pour into a small pot on the stove, with a lid on.
  3. Turn burner to high heat.
  4. Wait until the water reaches a full boil when the steam starts pushing the top of the pot open.
  5. Remove the lid but leave the pot on the hot burner.
  6. Add in 1 teaspoon of loose leaf herbal tea. (Tea bags also work, but have less flavor).
  7. Let it steep for 7 minutes.
  8. Pour the tea through a strainer into a mug or teapot.
  9. Take a sip of relaxing herbal tea!

Herbal Decoctions:

  1. Measure 1 and 1/4 cups of water to make 1 cup of tea. (Some of the water will evaporate.)
  2. Pour into a small pot on the stove, with a lid on.
  3. Turn burner to high heat.
  4. Wait until the water reaches a full boil when the steam starts pushing the top of the pot open.
  5. Add in 1 teaspoon of loose leaf herbal tea. (Tea bags also work, but have less flavor).
  6. Turn the burner to medium heat and remove the lid from the pot.
  7. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Pour the tea through a strainer into a mug or teapot.
  9. Take a sip of relaxing herbal tea!

Why Make Tea on the Stove?

Whatever type of tea you prefer, making tea on the stove is a handy trick. It’s good to know how to make tea on the stove even if you own a kettle. You never know when you might be traveling and find yourself cooking in a kitchen with only pots and pans. Learning how to make tea on the stove is also a great solution for minimalists. Tea is a simple pleasure, so why not keep it simple?

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