Why does temperature matter?

Most people will just dump a teabag in a mug pour boiling water over the top and be done with it. If that suits you then that’s fine. But when trying to truly enjoy some of the more unusual teas preparing them properly is key especially when dealing with the temperature of the water. As to a large extent, the health benefits can be destroyed if mishandled.

The reason black tea traditionally requires a higher temperature than green teas is that black teas are more oxidised and are therefore more stable. In order to bring out the tannins, the water of a higher temperature is needed; however, if the brewing occurs for a long period of time then a high concentration of tannins can dominate the flavour, causing bitterness. On the other hand, if a delicate leaf is steeped in water that is of too high a temperature, the leaves will burn, as well as extract more from the tea leaves due to the higher molecular energy, creating too many acids and leaving a bitter flavour in the cup.

Yet, the temperature of tea is actually largely due to personal choice. In fact, you can still brew delicate teas such as white teas at a higher temperature or, conversely, black teas at a lower one. A good rule of thumb is ‘the hotter you brew, the darker and more robust your tea will be; the cooler your water, the sweeter and milder it will taste.’ As long as you drink good quality leaves, every cup should taste wonderful.

Tea Type Temperature Infusion Time
White Tea 70℃ 1-2 minutes
Yellow Tea 80℃ 1-3 minutes
Oolong Tea 75℃ 1-3 minutes
Pu’er Tea 100℃ 2-5 minutes
Green Tea 80℃ 1-3 minutes
Black Tea 100℃ 3-5 minutes
Herbal & Fruit Tisanes 100℃ 3-5 minutes

Don’t forget to have some tea on me.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I didn’t know about this! Very informative, thank you 🙂

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