Oh the days of putting water in a tea kettle
The fact is, the physical components of each variety of tea are different, and the different types of teas require different methods to obtain the optimum cup of tea. Fortunately, most tea makers provide optimum tea steeping information on each tea's packaging.
The quality of water affects the flavor of the tea. So many teas have wonderful, subtle flavors, and any sort of impurities, chemicals, or minerals, etc., in the water will affect the flavor of the tea. Try to avoid tap water, or well water with heavy mineral contact if you would like to enjoy the full flavor profile of the tea. Clear, filtered water will help you obtain the optimum flavor from your tea.
Steeped for too short of a time, the tea will not release the full flavor and aroma. Steeped too long, too many tannins are released, making the tea bitter, with an unpleasant after taste.
The temperature of the water also effects the flavor of the tea. If the temperature is too low, the flavors of the tea will not be fully released. And, if the temperature of the water is too high, the flavor profile can flatten.
The steeping time and water temperature tend to hold true across any given type of tea..
Below please find general guidelines for steeping different types of teas. Refer to your tea label for tea-specific instructions:
Black Teas - 200-212 deg F water, 4-5 minutes
Green Tea (Japanese) - 160-170 deg F water, 1-2 minutes
Green Tea (Chinese) - 170-180 deg F water, 2-3 minutes
Darjeeling - 200-212 deg F, 3 minutes
Jasmine - 190-205 deg F, 3-4 minutes
Herbal - 200-212 deg F, 5-7 minutes
Pu-Erh - 190-205 deg F, 1.5-5 minutes
Rooibos - 200 deg F, 5-10 minutes
White Tea - 175 deg F, 2-3 minutes
190-205 deg F - Just short of boiling
200-212 deg F - boiling
175 deg F - Boil, then allow to call for 1.5-5 minutes
170-180 deg F - Boil then allow to cool for 1 minute
160-170 deg F - Boil, then allow to cool for 2 minutes
Most tea manufacturers put the optimum steeping conditions on their packaging - so steeping your perfect cup of tea can be as easy as following the instructions on the label.
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