The Three-Minute Rule
Steep your tea bag in hot water for at least three minutes to allow the tea to release its full potential. Before you put the tea bag in the cup, give it a gentle shake. This will loosen any compacted tea, allowing the water to flow freely through the tea leaves. Once the tea bag is in the water, there's no need to move it around.
Don't Oversoak Your Tea Bags
Don't leave your tea bag in the water any longer than six minutes. After the tea has been in hot water for this length of time, it begins to release tannins. These tannins add a bitter taste, which many people find unpleasant.
Tea bags should be left in your hot water for three to five minutes. If you like a stronger cup of tea, soak two tea bags at the same time, or soak one after the other for three to five minutes each. Using pyramid tea bags can provide a stronger flavor as well, as they offer a better circulation of water around the tea.