Tea brewing and storage tips

  • Brewing Traditional Mauna Kea Green Tea
  • Brewing Flavored Mauna Kea Tea

Brewing Traditional Mauna Kea Green Tea

Premium Green Tea – First Flush

Premium Green Tea

Island Green Tea

Roasted Green Tea

Brewing Flavored Mauna Kea Tea

Coconut Green Tea

Ginger & Turmeric Green Tea

Hawaiian Cacao Tea

Each type of tea has unique brewing requirement for optimal result.  If you have a trouble brewing to your liking, the following tips may help you.  Also, please understand that natural tea tends to be lighter in taste.

If tea taste bitter…

  • Use less tea leaf
  • Use more water
  • Use cooler water temperature
  • Use shorter steeping time

If tea taste flat or lack crispness…

  • Use spring water with higher mineral contents.  Avoid using distilled or purified water which lacks minerals.  
  • Increase water temperature.  This tends to increase bitterness, hence the sensation of more crisp taste.  
  • Avoid re-boiled water.  Boiling can result in loss of oxygen which gives flat taste in tea.

Anything else to try?

If you tried everything and still not satisfied with the tea, email at (info@maunakeatea.com) or give us a call (808.775.1171) and describe your preference and what your particular problems are.  We would love to help you get the best experience possible from our tea.

Four factors that affect tea brewing


Minerals in water gives more depth to the flavor of tea, it is highly recommended to use spring water or filtered water with moderate amount of mineral content (mineral concentration. 50-100mg/L) and neutral pH (pH7-8).  If you are fortunate to have tap water of good quality, filter or let chlorine evaporate. Avoid distilled water or purified water since water lacking minerals tend to brew tea flat. Also, avoid water with minerals high in Calcium and Magnesium, which tends to make tea more bitter.

Tea leaf

Tea leaves naturally concentrate bitter chemicals such as EGCg (most common type green tea antioxidant) and caffeine in the tips. Generally, higher density of tips in green tea tend to be richer but also more bitter. You can steep at lower temperature to reduce bitterness while enhancing richness.


More tippy the tea is, lower the temperature of water needed for optimal result. Generally, we like to start steeping around 180F if we don’t know the tea and go up or down depending on your desired result. If tea taste too strong and bitter at 180F, lower the temperature to 170F.


Many people learn that tea brews stronger with more time. Briefly walking away from steeping tea and they realize only to find overbrewed cup of tea. Start with 1-2 minutes of steeping time. If you like stronger, use longer steeping time. We like to start with 2 minutes, but depending on water temperature we occasionally enjoy 5 minutes brew.

Fresh storage tips

Green tea is very sensitive to oxygen, moisture, heat and light.  Minimize the exposure to oxygen, light and heat.  Vacuum sealed bags will stay fresh in freezer or refrigerator for extended period of time.  Once you open the bag, tea leaves get exposed to oxygen and tend to absorb moisture from air in a humid environment.  Consume in 1-2 weeks for the best result.

Oxygen and moisture

Oxygen and moisture hasten the degradation process of green tea.  Keep air out of storage container to minimize quality loss.  The less air gets into your container, the more fresh the tea stays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I have been brewing Mauna Kea Tea exactly the same way, but it doesn’t brew the same anymore.  Why?

A: For our premium and Island green tea, we like to maintain consistency, but also like to preserve natural quality that make them unique and special in their growing environment and seasons. We are working with nature to produce tea. Weather conditions, seasonality and leaf condition affect how tea is produced.

Q: It comes out bitter.  What can I do to make it less bitter?

A: Lower temperature, use less tea leaf, and steep shorter amount of time. You can also add more water to your finished brew to dilute.

Q: How many steepings can you get?

A: Most flavored teas are blended to give 1 perfect cup, but many people enjoy changing flavors over 2nd and 3rd cup.
Traditional leaf teas (premium and island green) can usually steep 3 times. They are made in pan-fire style and it opens slowly, which allows multiple steepings.

Q: Can you brew in gongfu style?

A: Yes. It requires more attention. Gongfu style uses more leaves thus quick infusion. It allows you to test infusability (how many steepings you can get) and each steep gives you more precise outcome you desire. For example, first steep tends to give more surface note such as roast, second steep gives you more balanced roast and body, third more body, and so on.

Q: If the tea leaf smells old and state, can I still drink the tea?

A: Yes. Old or aged green tea is generally safe to drink if the tea is stored in cool dry place. Some people prefer old green tea to new harvest. It is more gentle and less stimulating to stomach. You can freshen up the tea by roasting in a frying pan or baking in an oven. Tea burns easily so pay close attention!