The Right Water Temperature For Tea
Does The Water Temperature Really Matter?
One simple pleasure in life is a perfect cup of tea. The ideal cup is made up of various different components, like the perfect ratio of loose leaf tea to water, the current season, and what you add to it. One thing that often gets ignored, but is actually very important is getting the right water temperature for tea.
Every tea drinker can agree on one thing, nothing tastes better than when your tea is at the perfect temperature. Just like tea has a perfect drinking temperature, it also has a perfect steeping temperature. If the water is too hot or isn’t hot enough, then it’s just not going to taste as good. For the average tea lover, this is a waste of perfectly good loose leaf.
Why Does Water Temperature Matter in Tea
Do you ever notice an inconsistent taste with your teas, even though you make the same blends and use the same ratios? This is probably because you aren’t using the right water temperature. Tea isn’t just as simple as letting the leaves steep in hot water for a few minutes.
There are actually several types of teas that each need a different water temperature to bring out their best qualities. Each tea has its own attributes and needs a certain water temperature to make them distinctive. When the tea water is at the correct temperature, all the compounds are released to make a well-balanced and delicious mug of tea.
What Happens When The Water Is Too Hot?
Everyone loves tea for its tannins because they are studied for their numerous benefits. They are basically what makes tea a healthy choice as a beverage. When you use tea water that is too hot, it destroys the tannins and also ruins the other great compounds from the tea leaves.
Tea water that is too hot can also burn certain types of tea leaves. Pure white tea, such as the Dollar Tea Club’s popular Puritea, are very delicate and if the water is too hot they will be ruined. This leaves you with a bitter and unpleasant beverage in your cup. Green tea leaves are also very sensitive to scalding hot water. One rule of thumb to remember when making a cup of tea is to never use boiling water.
What If The Water Is Too Cold?
When tea water is too hot, it burns all the great compounds of tea. On the other side of the page, when tea water isn’t hot enough it won’t be able to release those compounds. If the water doesn’t reach the right temperature then you will be left with a weak and unbalanced drink in your mug. Yuck!
Now For The Tea That’s Just Right!
Every tea has a different temperature recommendation. While most teas have an average temperature range, each brand used specific ingredients to make their loose leaf blends unique. Since each one is unique, you should always check with the company directly to find the particular tea’s ideal water temperature.
When ordering tea directly from The Dollar Tea Club, you can find the correct water temperature in the “Additional Information” section. Also, don’t forget you can always stop by our interactive Steeping Calculator to help you with the deets on any cup of tea you want to brew. You will notice a huge difference in the quality of flavor when you start using the correct water temperature. In case you don’t have the information needed to get the correct water temperature for the specific blend you want to make, here is a general guideline for temperatures:
- White tea: 160–185 F (71–85 C)
- Green tea: 140–190 F (60–88 C)
- Rooibos tea: 208-212 F (97-100C)
- Oolong tea: 180–200 F (82–93 C)
- Black tea: 190–200 F (88–93 C)
- Pu’er tea: 190–212 F (88–100 C)
- Herbal tea: 208-212 F (97-100 C)
How To Get The Perfect Water Temperature For Your Tea
Now that you know the perfect temperature range for making your favorite teas, it’s time to get that water in that range. The easiest way to do this is to allow your kettle to boil, and when it’s finished pop the lid open. Check the temperature with a thermometer (a regular meat or kitchen thermometer will do the trick). Keep the lid open and allow the water to cool, checking the temperature every couple of minutes until it is perfect.
However, if you’re too impatient for that trick you can stand by your kettle and wait for the bubbles to start. This works better when the kettle is glass and see-through because you will need to see the size of the bubbles. Once the bubbles start and get to be the size of crab eyes, the water is the perfect temperature for delicate teas. For teas that need a slightly higher temperature, allow the water bubbles to reach the size of fish eyes. However, we still recommend keeping a thermometer nearby to check for assurance.
Getting the perfect water temperature does take patience, but once you taste the results you’ll see that it’s worth it. A few extra minutes of your day could leave you with a finer beverage all around. When it comes to your tea, you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
Final Thoughts: How To Get The Ideal Water Temperature For Tea
Making the perfect cup of tea isn’t a complicated task, but it does require more than just adding leaves to hot water. When your favorite blends are tasting inconsistent or bitter, the most likely reason is that you’re not using the right temperature of water. Once you change this you should notice a huge improvement in your morning cup. Tea is meant to be enjoyed, and the perfect cup can never be rushed.
Remember, allowing the hot water to cool off is just as important as heating it up. If you’re not 100% sure whether or not your water is the correct temperature, always use a kitchen temperature to double check. This one simple step can make your tea one hundred times better!