Reinfusing tea leaves or the 'Second Infusion'

There may be more flavour and value in your lovely leaves than you realised...

Did you know most of our loose leaf teas can be infused at least twice, some up to six or even ten times? Not only is there more flavour to be unlocked in each infusion, but great value too.

Take our Chinese Iron Goddess Oolong - if you were to infuse it six times, each cup would cost you just 5p! (6Β’) and each infusion reveals different subtleties of flavour.

Second Infusion FAQs

How do I reinfuse my tea leaves?

When you make your first pot, ensure you drain all the water from the leaves. When you are ready to reinfuse, just pour fresh water into the pot.

Should I use the same temperature water? And for how long should I infuse my tea?

If you're making many infusions in rapid succession in a Gaiwan teapot you wont need to reheat the water in the kettle. But if you are spreading the infusions throughout the day please do, of course, reheat the kettle.

The infusion time might need extending a bit for later infusions. We recommend tasting before you strain your leaves to make sure it's just the way you like it.

For teas like Gyokuro there are different methods. We have recommended infusion instructions on all our product pages; please do check the specific tea page for guidance.

How many infusions can I get out of my tea?

You can get at least two infusions out of almost all of our teas. We provide a suggested number of infusions on each product page, but we have been conservative, and you can often achieve more - just keep infusing your leaf until the flavour is exhausted.

How long can I leave my leaves between infusions?

If you don't have time to make a second infusion right away, you can leave your tea for several hours, all day, perhaps even over night. The leaf will oxidise and change over time, but that doesn't mean it's not still delicious. You might want to add a little extra fresh dry leaf to the pot. The most important thing is to ensure ALL the water has been drained from the leaves, otherwise they will continue to infuse - all the flavour will be extracting!

How should I store my tea in between infusions?

If you are going to come back to your tea within a few hours it should be fine to leave in the pot. Over 12 hours we would recommend popping them in the fridge in hot weather.

Is there anything else I can do with my spent leaves?

Yes! You can make a cold infusion - just pop the used leaves in a flask of cold water to infuse over night. It depends how exhausted they are (how many times you've infused them) to how much water you need. As a rule of thumb it's about 5g per 500ml. But do experiment.

For more details on cold infusions visit our guide here.

Remember; multiple delicious infusions are only possible with the highest quality tea, bought for amazing flavour over price. If we all chose tea for flavour over price, tea farms would thrive and the whole industry would change for the better.

Here are some teas that are great to practice infusing more than twice:

Malawi Antlers

Taiwanese Sunset Oolong

Japanese Gyokuro

All the best,

Image Henrietta Lovell
Rare Tea Lady
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Since 2000 Henrietta has been travelling the world, working directly with independent tea gardens, from the Shire Highlands of Malawi to the foothills of the Himalayas. Lovell is at the forefront of the tea revolution. She founded Rare Tea Company in 2004 to champion responsible and ethical relationships direct with farmers. In 2016 she founded Rare Charity pledging a direct percentage of Rare Tea revenue to their partner farms, supporting tertiary education scholarships. In 2019 Faber & Faber published her first book – "Infused - Adventures in Tea", named the New York Times book of the year and was awarded the prestigious Fortnum & Mason award. She is currently working on a documentary series.