infuse/steep the tea

birtankose

Member
Turkish
Hi there,

I had some visitors at work and I was ordering drink from vending machine.
When I asked my guests what they wanted to drink, one of them said " steeped tea" but I did not understand.
Later on, he explained it.
I want to know that which expression is more suitable to use :

"steep the tea" or "infuse the tea" ?

Thanks in advance,

Birtan
 
  • Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    To me in AE it is most commonly brewed tea.

    The word infusion at least in AE is most often used when you make tea with loose plants or herbs. You pour the hot water over the herbs and let it sit for a while, then filter it. This word is mostly used for herbal teas, but you can also use it for standard teas if you are using loose leaves.

    The word brewed or steeped to me can mean any kind of tea, either a bag or loose-leaf tea. You can brew or steep regular tea or herbal tea.
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    Could he have wanted to distinguish hot tea from canned iced tea?

    In most areas of the U.S. we typically say iced tea to mean cold and often sweetened tea and hot tea if we want a cup of well, hot tea!

    If you say just tea, it means hot tea usually. The one exception I've encountered in Texas. If you ask for tea, you get a nice cold glass of iced tea, usually unsweetened with sugar on the side.

    In the U.S. we would rarely ask for tea by specifying steeped, brewed or infused.
     

    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    I see. In contrast to that, in Turkey it is common to be asked whether you want brewed tea or weak tea.
    Thanks again for your help and valuable time.
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    As far as I know, weak tea has more water than brewed tea has.
    Isn't it correct ?
    No. In the U.S. I might say would you like your tea weak or strong? Weak means I brew it for less time--maybe a minute--and strong means I brew it until it is very dark, maybe six minutes or so.

    Brewing is to the act of putting the tea bag (or the loose-leaf tea) in the hot water. Almost all tea is brewed, at least to me. You can make cold tea by putting tea bags in water and putting it in the sun for a while. I don't know if that counts as brewed or not; we call it sun tea.
     
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