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How to Prepare Tea Correctly! – The Dilmah Way

Are you preparing your tea incorrectly and serving poor quality tea to your customers? This is a very common thing and I hope this article will help you serve the best tea you can to your customers or even to yourself.


On recent travels to Sri Lanka I was privileged to attend the Dilmah School of Tea where the experts from Dilmah personally trained us in the proper preparation of tea.

What I aim to do is go over some of the basics that can make a huge difference to the tea you serve or drink. And believe me the simple things will have a huge impact on the tea.

I will break the teas down into the following categories and then give you the basic preparation guidelines: Black Tea, Green/Oolong Tea, and White Tea.


Black Tea:

These are fully fermented teas that require 100 degrees water and steeping for 3 – 5 minutes.

Add the tea to the cup or pot and pour over the once boiled water, stir and then steep for the required time. Pour tea or remove teabag (please do not squeeze the teabag as you will release bitter flavours into your tea)

The biggest mistake we make is under steeping our black teas. All the flavour and antioxidants (good stuff) need that time to fully infuse with the water.


Oolong (semi fermented)/ Green Tea (un-fermented):

These teas require 80 degree water and steeping for 2 – 3 minutes.

The easiest way to achieve this temperature of water is to first add ¼ cold water to the pot or cup then the ¾ of freshly boiled water. Add the Green Tea LAST so it is not burnt. The burnt tea will be bitter. Oolong tea can be re-infused a couple of times.

The biggest mistake with Green tea is using 100 degree boiled water which burns the leaf; this makes a huge difference to the flavour. I encourage you to try this for yourself using the above correct method for one cup and then just use boiling water for another and TASTE the difference, you will be amazed.


White Tea:

These teas require 80 degrees water and can be steeped for 2 – 8 minutes.

Real white tea does not go bitter as easily as green tea through longer infusion times.


A note on water

The quality of water plays a huge influence on the flavour of your tea, at the very least you should be using filtered water; spring water with the right mineral content is the best water to use.

Once only boiled water is also a very important component of the flavour of the tea you serve. Continually boiled water loses its oxygen and will have a tainted flavour that will be passed into the tea. Test this by tasting the water from a coffee machine; you will notice a certain metallic like flavour.


While I understand achieving all of these things can be a challenge in a commercial environment, if you can implement a couple then you will be serving a better tasting tea and that should result it repeat customers.


If you are interested in tea and would like to delve deeper into the world of tea then check out the blog from Jonathan, our NZ Dilmah Tea Trainer who has a huge passion for tea that is infectious. Check it out here:


We support and supply Dilmah tea. Dilmah is a truly ethical company putting back into their own country, people, and natural environment AND the tea tastes fantastic!

I hope this helps you in preparing your tea correctly.

All the best

Wade Hutchinson

Coffee and Equipment

Servicing Central Otago, Queenstown, Wanaka, Timaru, Oamaru, South Canterbury, Te Anau, West Coast

Category: Blog


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