Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why Steep Tea at Lower Temperatures?

Most tea experts agree that boiling water is too hot for tea. Theoretically, there's an ideal and precise temperature that each variety of tea should be brewed at.

Black tea, which is fully oxidized, is most forgiving with hot water and is not usually affected as much as green, jasmine, oolong and white teas.

For oolong tea, we usually recommend about 180 degrees, and for green, jasmine and white teas, maybe closer to 170.

But don't worry too much about it. Far more important is having fresh tea that's been kept airtight. Tea will steep at any temperature, but hotter water infuses faster. If you steep at 170 or 190, it's probably fine.

We recommend electric boiling pots. You can either boil the water and then add a little cold water, or catch it as it makes noise but before it boils.

If you have to use the microwave to heat your water, heat the water and then pour it over the tea leaves... it's best not to put the tea leaves in the microwave because the process is to pour hot water over the leaves. Steeping cups are the perfect way to do that.

The main idea is that perfect tea flavor changes when too hot for too long, because it cooks and loses the fresh, raw aftertaste.

Learn more about green tea at

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