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Coffee or tea on Shabbat


Shalom, what would be the procedures for a person to make tea or coffee in Shabath, Is there any Halakha that allows you to do??



Thank you for your question.

Making tea or coffee on Shabbos involves a number of halachos, and depends on the type of coffee or tea.  There are a few terms that we need to know before studying the halachos. The urn that the hot water was cook in is called “Kli Rishon” (כלי ראשון), the water that is pouted from it, is called “iruy kli rishon” lit. the pouring from a kli rishon עירוי כלי ראשון)). After the water has been placed into a cup, that cup is called kli Sheini (כלי שני), lit. the second utensil. If the water was poured from the cup into another cup that new cup is called kli shleishi lit. The third utensil ( כלי שלישי). Now we can get to the halachos.

Making tea from teabags- When preparing tea from teabags on Shabbos, there are a number of points to remember. First of all, we don’t pour hot water directly on to a tea bag or raw tea leaves because the flow of the hot water (עירוי כלי ראשון ) will cook them. Even placing the teabag into a cup with hot water, (which is called kli shieni) is not permitted because tea leaves cook easily and can get cooked in a cup. If the hot water was poured into one cup and then transferred to another cup (called כלי שלישי) it is controversial if it will get cooked or not. Most poskim hold that it should not be done, however R’ Moshe Feinstein held that it is permitted.

A permitted way[1] according to all opinions, is to prepare tea essence before שבת, by pouring boiling water over a tea bag or leaves, thereby cooking them. They are then steeped in the hot water, and essence is produced. Then on שבת one should pour hot water into a cup, and then add the prepared tea essence. The cup is a כלי שני, and since the essence was pre-cooked, it is permitted. A siman for the basic way to make tea on Shabbos is; The Essence After. (Meaning place the essence into the cup after pouring the water inside it).

There is however a preference that after the essence is made, that it should be kept warm from when it is made until using it. If this was done, then one may even pour the essence into the cup first and pour the hot water from the urn directly on to it. This is since it is a cooked liquid that never cooled; even עירוי כלי ראשון will not cook it. This way is preferable because there are opinions among the Poskim who say that when pouring the essence into the water, it may be coloring it. However, if the water is poured on to the colored essence it isn’t considered coloring. If one wishes to prepare tea the preferred way, with cooled essence, he can pour the essence into a כלי שלישי, and then add the hot water on to it from aכלי שני .

Making tea from instant tea or coffee – Instant tea, coffee[2], sugar, reconstituted lemon juice or milk are usually pre-cooked. One may put them into a cup of hot water in a כלי שני, because cooked solids or liquids cannot cook in a כלי שני. However we may not pour on to the instant tea directly from the urn(עירוי כלי ראשון) . It is important to note that there are certain types of coffee that is not precooked, such as Turkish Coffee, and certain types of instant coffee that has 5% uncooked coffee added to it. These types of coffee should be avoided on Shabbos, (unless it will be made in a כלי שלישי and one relies of the opinion of R’ Moshe Feinstein zt”l.

Fresh lemon should not be put into a cup of tea in a כלי שני, because it might be cooking it. It may[3] however be added to a כלי שלישי.

Enjoy your tea.




[1]  כ”ז ממ”ב ס”ק ל”ט.

[2]  מ”ב ס”ק ע”א, וע’ שש”כ ( מהדורא החדשה) פ”א סע’ נ”ה שה”ה בעירוי כ”ר, אג”מ או”ח ח”ד ס’ ע”ד בישול אות ט”ז.

[3] אג”מ שם אות י”ח, וכן חזו”א ורש”ז.


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