For every type of tea, there is a recommended steeping temperature. This temperature is important for the correct notes and flavors to be brought out in the tea. If your water isn’t hot enough when steeping a black tea, for instance, the flavor will be weak because of the short steep. Each blend’s water temperature and steeping time are selected for the highest quality flavor.
For the purest taste, we suggest using filtered water and following the brewing instructions for each tea. That being said, not everyone has a thermometer at home to check their water temperatures, so we have provided a basic guide to follow below.
Water Temperature Guide
160 F – Generally White or Green Teas
Bring the water to a boil and allow it to rest for 5 to 7 minutes. Watch for gentle wisps of steam.
170 – 180 F – Generally Green Teas
Visible pillar of steam materializes.Or bring the water to a boil and allow it to rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
180-190 F – Generally Green, Oolong & Black Teas
Large, lazy bubbles will gently break the surface. Or bring the water to a boil and allow it to rest 1 to 2 minutes.
200 F – Generally Black & Puerh Teas
Tiny bubbles appear to loop near the perimeter of the kettle. Or bring the water to a boil and allow it to rest for about 1 minute.
212 F – Generally Black, Herbal, Rooibos, PuErh & Chai Teas
Bring the water to a full, rolling boil (when the water is most active).
Note that the actual times will vary slightly, depending on how much water you are heating.
If you would like to keep this guide handy, feel free to ask one of our associates in stores to give you our Water Temp Tips bookmark or print the graphic here. If you are interested in learning more tea tips and tricks, let us know in the comments below!
Article Written by Natalie Mast