Seven Steps to Great Tea: Step 4

Measure the Water Temperature

If you’ve ever had green tea that was bitter, chances are the water was way too hot. Water temp. is important; you would never bake a cake 50 degrees hotter or colder than the recipe called for; you should be just as diligent with your tea.


Black tea: Boiling

You can hear and see the bubbles breaking the surface of the water; your kettle should be whistling like crazy.
Dark Tea (and Puer):
200-210 degrees

Just short of a rolling boil, “fish-eye” bubbles are forming on the surface and the kettle is beginning to hiss.
Oolong tea: 190-203 degrees

The steam should be strongly coming out of your kettle’s spout in a steady column, but bubbles should not be breaking the surface.
Green Tea: (and Yellow)
170-185 degrees

The steam should be coming out of your kettle’s spout in a gentle wafting/wisping motion—like the way steam raises off the frozen surface of a Minnesota lake in February.
White teas: wide variation of temp.

Classic steeping is 170-175 degrees, the very first hints of steam coming out of the kettle. We have taken to brewing some white teas near 180-190 degrees to extract more flavor.


Basically, the hotter the water-the more flavor chemicals (including any bitter flavors) you will pull into the steep water.

The above are general guidelines, and there are many exceptions.   All TeaSource packages come with steeping suggestions on the back. These are just meant to be starting points. Feel free to experiment and find what suits you best.


Also, be sure to visit us on Facebook for a chance to win a year of free tea!

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