The Best Brewing Temperature for Every Type of Tea
Brewing tea is an art—and like any art, it requires practice to perfect.
Once you get the hang of it, brewing a great cup of tea is easy. The only trouble is getting the hang of it in the first place.
As any tea lover knows, there's a wide variety of teas to choose from, each with its own unique flavor, aroma, and mood. However, what many people don't realize is that the perfect cup of tea requires more than just selecting the perfect blend.
One of the most important factors in brewing a great cup of tea is actually just selecting the correct brewing temperature.
If the water is too cold, the tea will be weak and flavorless. On the other hand, if the water is too hot, the tea can become bitter and astringent (especially the case with some Green teas). So it's important to find the “Goldilocks” temperature for each type of tea in order to achieve the perfect balance.
The Instructions that Come With the Tea
The directions that come with tea, of course, are good general-purpose directions that generally give a suggested brewing temperature.
But the thing is, these instructions are designed to be accessible and easy to follow for most people—not to produce the perfect cup of tea, but to produce the most consistent cup of tea—one that's "perfectly" acceptable for most people.
However, the brewing instructions that come with teas are very often non-optimal. But if you like the way the tea tastes—that's good enough, right?
So, if you're looking for the perfect cup of tea, following the directions on the box is probably not the best way to go about it.
But if you're just looking for a decent cup of tea, then by all means, go ahead and follow those instructions to the letter.
A Note About Green Tea
When it comes to brewing green tea, water temperature is crucial. If the water is too hot, it can scald the delicate leaves and produce a bitter cup of tea. On the other hand, if the water is not hot enough, the tea will be weak and flavorless.
For most types of green tea, the ideal water temperature is between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. However, contrary to popular belief, there are some varieties of Japanese green tea that can be brewed just fine even with boiling water. One of these types is konacha. If you're frequently in a rush and don't have the time nor the inclination to wait for a kettle to cool down, brewing konacha with boiling water is a perfectly acceptable way to make a delicious cup of green tea.
The Optimal Temperature Ranges for Brewing Teas (By Type):
Here's a full list of the ideal water temperatures for brewing every type of tea:
- Black Tea (including Chai Tea) – Boiling water, around 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Green Tea – 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- White Tea – 175 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Oolong Tea – 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Purple Tea – 175 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pu-erh Tea – Boiling water, around 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rooibos Tea – 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Herbal Tea/Tisanes – Since these teas vary so greatly from each other, the optimal brewing temperatures will be different for each of them. However, in general, boiling water around 212 degrees Fahrenheit will work fine in most cases.
Remember, these are only guidelines. The best way to find the perfect water temperature for your tea will always be to experiment—and see what tastes best for you.
Hopefully, this list will give you a good starting point. Happy brewing!
At Meadow Ridge, we pride ourselves on our huge variety of teas. Our selection includes many of the leading brands, and we have a wide variety of tea types to choose from. Whether you love black teas, green teas, white teas, or herbal/medicinal teas, we have what you're looking for. Check out our selection of tea bags and cans, and stock up on your favorite teas now!
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