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Tea Basics - How hot and how long should I steep?

For Black teas, the water should be @ 212 F,(boiling) and steep for 4-6 minutes.

For Oolong teas 195 F and 5-8 minutes.

Green teas 170-195 F, the more delicate green teas like Sencha, 170 F, more hearty greens 195 F and steep for 2-4 minutes.

White teas, 180-195 F and for 4-6 minutes.

Rooibos - same as Black teas.

Herbal teas 212 F for 5 minutes.

I personally use a Japanese Zojirushi Kettle that has set temps, but usually go with 195 F for whites and greens and 212 F all other teas. But what if you don't have a thermo? If you don't have a thermo handy, you can tell the water temperature by watching the bubbles. Small bubbles will float to surface of the water 160 F to 170 F, and you'll see strings of bubbles from the bottom of the kettle at 180 F to 190F. After, that you'll have a full rolling boil.

Always start with fresh cold water, reboiled water is not recommended as it hampers the brew. In China waters are graded and flowing spring water is the best grade. As you become more and more astute with tea drinking you will determine which water best enhances your brew. When I first started I only use Nicolet water from northern Wisconsin in 5 gallon jugs. Now I use purified water with an Alexapure carbon filter. With conversations with tea gurus, this can be good or bad, the filter may take out things necessary for a good cup of tea. My thinking is to at least take out the garbage in my cities' tap water. Still spring water is my preferred. Try brewing your favorite tea with tap, distilled and spring waters and make your own decision.

Happy tea sipping!


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