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Check the Tea Temperature Chart for the best temperature to brew tea, according to the type.

The best temperature to brew tea depends on the type of tea. Our Tea Temperature Chart provides the guidelines.

After water, tea boasts the rank of most popular beverage in the world.  Although coffee still ranks high is America, much of the world drinks more tea than coffee. For many, tea offers a relaxing way to begin or end the day. In fact, many enjoy it throughout the day.

And what could be simpler to make? Just boil some water, add a tea bag, and you have a cup of delicious hot, comforting tea.

Not so fast, please.

Did you know that some teas taste best when prepared with a lower temperature of water? It’s true. Your boiling water might inflict damage to the best taste of that tea.

In fact, when true tea connoisseurs make tea, they pay special attention to the details such as quality and temperature of the water. And since tea consists mainly of water, that matters.

I should also mention that the type of water makes a difference, as well. In fact, your water greatly affects the flavor and quality of your tea.

Considering temperature to brew tea

Should I use distilled water? Hot or Cold?

So you might wonder if you need to buy distilled water to use. No, not only is that not necessary. It actually causes more harm than good. Studies indicate that the loss of important minerals when water is distilled creates a negative affect on our body. We need that magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients.

Yes, you should use filtered tap water. If that tastes bad, consider an extra water filter unit or purchase water in the grocery. Just don’t use distilled water.

We begin the tea making process using cold tap water. Hot water from your hot water heater lacks the oxygen that freshly heated water has. Also, hot water in the storage tank usually has a build up of minerals and other deposits. It works to clean dishes, but will not create a fine tea.

Bring the water to an easy boil. This will oxygenate the water, allowing the best flavors to be extracted from the tea.

However, avoid vigorously boiling your tea water. When it comes to an easy boil, remove it from the heat. That will help you avoid that dull, flat tasting tea that comes from a long boiling process. Keep to a gentle boil and pour before the water loses that oxygen it has embraced.

Not sure how long to boil? Some experts suggest you watch the bubbles.

Delicate teas such as the green teas brew best from tiny bubbles in the water. Hot black teas use higher temperatures. The bubbles will be larger and considered a rolling boil. In the middle, the Oolong Teas and similar ones need bubbles between those sizes.

Of course, it is quite easy to just track the temperature of your water. Some electric pots also have a thermostat control which will shut off when your water reaches the correct temperature.

Before you begin brewing, let’s consider the cooling times, too. That black tea brewed at or near the boiling point will take a few minutes to cool enough to consume.


You might refer to the following chart to guide your tea making ventures.

Times and Temperature to Brew Tea by Type


White Tea               150-155°F  (65-70°C)              Brew for 1-2 minutes

Green Tea               165-175°F  (75-80°C)             Brew for 1-2 minutes

Oolong Tea              175-185°F  (80-85°C)             Brew for 2-3 minutes

Black Tea                 210-212°F  (100°C)                Brew for 2-3 minutes

**NOTE: At higher altitudes, temperatures change a bit. For instance, water may boil at 200°F, rather than the normal 212°F. Adjust your temperatures, accordingly.



Tea Bags vs Loose Tea

Traditional paper tea bags have a much shorter steep time – 2 min or less – because the cut of the tea is much finer. Some people prefer to use these as they brew quicker.

For loose tea, use 1 teaspoon of loose tea per large cup. Yes, that is how the teaspoon got its name. If you prefer, use a kitchen scale to measure. Tea experts recommend using about 2.5 to 2.7 grams, depending on the type of tea. Use these amounts as a guide and adjust to your personal preference.

Keep in mind that whole leaf teas take considerably longer to reach their optimum flavor.


Tea Tips

* Try infusing tea in cool water. Use your tea infuser and add it, with cool water, to a glass jar. Place in your refrigerator and leave overnight. Alternatively, put the water and tea in your water bottle and enjoy throughout the day.

* Use filtered tap water to avoid the flavor imposed by the minerals in water. However, if the minerals don’t bother you, tap water is fine.

* Many teas can actually be steeped multiple times. However, you will notice the flavors change with each use of the tea.

* While I prefer using whole leaf tea, often the paper tea bags are more convenient. You’ll still get a decent brew out of a more finely cut tea. And you may not need to heat the water to as high a temperature.

* Try steeping Japanese-style green or white tea to a lower water temperature, about 140˚F. It will need to brew for a much longer time. Doing so produces a nice gentle flavor with less caffeine.

* If you are sensitive to caffeine or just choosing to consume less, consider these facts. The highest caffeine amounts come from using a smaller cut tea leaf, hotter water, and brewing for a longer time. So, to reduce the caffeine in your cup, aim for the larger leaf, slightly less heat to your water, and a shorter brew time. Also note that even decaffeinated teas contain small amounts of caffeine. If you want to stay caffeine-free, use herbal teas, also known as “tisanes” as they are naturally caffeine-free.temperature to brew tea


Fun Facts about Tea:

  • Tea, like wine, always comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. It is in the way that tea is processed that makes it a black tea, green tea, or white tea.
  • Red teas and herbal teas, meanwhile, are actually not tea at all. Rather they are simply herbs, fruits or spices – often called “tisanes”.
  • When left alone in the wild, the Camellia sinensis can grow quite tall, up to 30 feet or more. But for cultivation of tea leaves, the bushes are mostly kept trimmed for easier harvesting. A typical tea bush produces around 3,000 tea leaves per year.
  • The finest whole leaf organic teas use only the top two leaves and bud of the tea plant




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