Know Your Brew Times

There is much debate over how to brew tea and what the best water temperature is for each. Ultimately it comes down to a matter of personal taste and the specifics of how you brew, including whether you pre-warm your teapot and what ratio of water to leaves you use. However, if you are new to tea or just not getting the flavour you want from your tea, these tips will help you get the most out of your brew:

White Tea

Temperature: 71C

Time: 1-5 min (Longer steeping times bring out more complex flavours) 

White tea refers to several styles of tea which feature young or minimally processed leaves of the Camellia. With this young tea the brewing water should be well below boiling point, high temperatures will scald this delicate tea.

Green Tea

Temperature: 65-82C

Time: 2min or less

Also from the leaves and buds of the Camellia leaf green tea is too better brewed on the side of lower temperatures. Most green teas are best when brewed well below boiling temp so if your green tea tastes bitter or overly grassy, try brewing it at a lower temperature. Note: Steamed Japanese green teas tend to require lower temperatures than other green teas, where a scented or shaped green tea, like Jasmine Pearls, may be brewed at slightly higher temperatures.

Oolong Tea

Temperature: Dependent

Time: 1-5 min (Longer steeping times bring out more complex flavours) 

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea whose brewing temperatures are dependent on how you are preparing it. Gong fu, the traditional brewing method requires a higher brew temperature, more leaves and short brew time when compared to Western-style brewing. For Western-style brewing, oolong tea is generally best when brewed between 88C and 93C F.

Black Tea

Temperature: 82C- 100C

Time: 2-3 min (fine cut leaves) 5 min (large leaves)

More oxidised and stronger in flavour than green, white and oolong tea most black teas can be brewed between 93C and 100C. However, some delicate black teas like First Flush Darjeelings require lower brewing temperatures of around 82C to 88C.

When in doubt, use cooler water, teas can be ruined by water that’s too hot, whereas they are rarely spoilt by water a few degrees too cold. Boiling water and then letting it cool, is also not advised, as it removes oxygen from the water and decreases the flavour of the tea. It’s better to bring water up to the appropriate temperature.

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