Last Updated on 11/04/2020 by Desmond
When we make tea, using the water at a proper temperature for steeping is one crucial factor. The too high temperature will make the tea lose its fresh taste, and too low temperature will not fully extract the flavor of the tea.
Different types of tea have different water temperature requirements, and it affects the tea experience a lot. So, how should we manage the steeping tea temperature?
Effect Of Different Temperature
Brewing tea with the 70℃~85℃ water, this temperature section is suitable for making the tender tea such as green tea, white tea, and yellow tea. The leaves and buds of these teas are very delicate, if you brew them with high-temperature water, they will be cooked thoroughly, and lost most of the unique flavor. In the matcha case, people also use the water low to 60℃.
Brewing tea with the 85℃~95℃ water, this temperature section is suitable for the typical cases. For most of the tea, brewing with low-temperature water can not extract their flavor and fragrance fully; and too hot water would cook the leaves, break the nutrition facts contained, even extract excessive the ingredients such as tea tannin and caffeine, which makes the tea getting bitter, and effect the tea quality. Therefore, when you are not sure the exact temperature, place the water after boiling for a while, it may be the wisest.
Brewing tea with 95℃~100℃ hot water, which suitable for such as black tea and dark tea. Because these types of deep-fermented tea need a high temperature to sent out the flavor. Besides, in the plateau regions, the water got a lower boiling point and hard to reach 100℃. And most folks live there mainly consume the tea brick(dark tea), which needs to steep with boiling water for a longer time. So they usually cook the tea with boiling water all day long, to get more juice and nutrition fact.
Related Reading: Tibetan Butter Tea, A Bulletproof Beverage With 1000 Years History
The Factors Affecting Water Temperature
You may often find that even though you used the proper temperature water for steeping tea, it still does not taste good and get the unique flavor or fragrance you want. That seems some factors affecting the water temperature when brewing.
Was The Tea Leaves Been Cold Storage
To store the loose tea leaves in the refrigerator is the best way for storing, it does much help to prevent it from going bad.
But when you are going to make tea, the leaves just put out from the refrigerator still cold. If you add these tea leaves into the teapot directly, that may affect the following adding water temperature, and the quality of the tea you brew.
Therefore, after cold storage, tea must be taken out in advance and let the tea be restored to the ordinary temperature before brewing.
Was The Teapot Been Pre-heat
Whether pre-heating the teapot also affects the tea brewing water temperature. If you haven’t pre-heating the teaware at the beginning, after adding boiling water in the teapot, the temperature may be cold down fast and needs to take longer steeping time. That’s an essential thing to do in the first round, and to the next round, the only thing you should care about is the steeping time, avoid steep too long and make the tea cool down.
It’s effortless to pre-heat the teapot. A typical way is adding 4/5 hot water in the teapot, steep for 30 seconds, then pour out. Or you can put the teapot in an oven for pre-heating, but that does not seem to be a smart way.
Worth to know, different types of teapots got a different pre-heat result. The heat-absorption performance depends on the thickness and density of the wall. The higher the thickness and the lower the density, the better the performance it gets. That’s why many tea lovers prefer the Yixing teapot.
Was The Tea Leaves Been Pre-steeped
When making tea, we call the first steeping “pre-steep,” which lets the leaves absorb the heat and increase the humidity and make the tight body bloom. Pre-steep helps the tea leaves sent more flavor, fragrance, and color next round. By the way, the infusion made from pre-steep, we call it “waste tea.”
But sometimes, pre-steep is not necessary, especially the tender tea case; pre-steep would make the tender tea such as green tea lost most of their flavor instead.
The first round brewing after pre-steep, the water temperature may reduce 3℃~5℃; the more leaves you put in, the lower the temperature it will be. So when we doing the pre-steep job, make sure it not wase too long time.
Except for the 3 factors above, the water temperature also affected by the environment. For example, the water temperature decreases slowly in summer, but rapidly in winter. In that case, just raise the water temperature or extend the steeping time.