One of the more important things to consider is the temperature you steep/brew your tea. There are as many opinions as there are varieties of tea as to the “correct” brew temperature.
I have found that When you use water that is to hot for the type of tea that you are wanting to drink it causes the tea to become bitter. The hotter the water the more likely you are to “burn” the tea. The longer you steep the tea the more flavor that you are infusing into the water. Using a lower water temperature and a longer brewing time will make a better tasting tea.
So how do you know what temperature you should use and just how long do you steep the tea for? The best thing you can do is to find a good general starting point and adapt from there until you find the temperature and time that works for your personal taste.
Here is a helpful chart that I made up and use for brewing/steeping times and temperatures for each main category of tea type.
White tea. 175° 2-3 minutesIndian Green 175° 2-3 minutesJapanese Green Tea 160° 1-2 minChinese Green Tea. 175° 2-3 minOolongs 200° 4-5 minutesDarjeelings 195° 4-5 minutesBlack Teas. 200° 4-5 minutesHerbals. 200° 5 minutes
These are starting points that I use. I live in Colorado at a mile above sea level so my water boiling point is different than someone at sea level. Here our water boils at 206° so the typical 212° for black tea doesn’t work. I found that the first thing that really spoils the taste of a tea is the water temperature. To hot and it will “burn” the tea and not hot enough, the flavors aren’t pulled out of the leaf. Finding your teas perfect temperature will take some experimentation.
I found that 200° works well when a tea manufacture calls for water at full boil.
So now how to I go about brewing my tea?
I’ll be going through these different options and I will link up to them soon.