A box of loose-leaf tea is a great amenity for any kitchen to have. This beloved beverage is centuries old and world-renowned. Most importantly, it’s healthy and delicious. Tea comes in various flavors and aromas (two terms you’ll see a lot in this guide), and it also has a bevy of health benefits. However, if you don’t brew tea in the right way, you’ll wind up with a lackluster result. One of the biggest reasons for this is because not all tea drinkers know how water temperature affects tea. This quick guide will fill you in on why this aspect of tea brewing plays such a vital role in making the tea taste and smell incredible.
Avoid Extra Hot Water…
The temperature at which you brew tea is so important because of several components—amino acids, tannins, and flavonoids. These ingredients provide all teas with their unique flavors and aromas. If you brew tea leaves in water that is too hot, it will dissolve ingredients like amino acids and tannins too quickly, resulting in a less than optimal taste and scent. Water that is too hot will also affect the flavor because it burns the tea leaves, which will lead to a very bitter-tasting tea.
However, Too Cold Isn’t Good Either
On the other hand, brewing tea in water that isn’t hot enough won’t allow those tannins and amino acids to dissolve efficiently. This will simply result in a muted flavor and aroma. Suffice it to say, you won’t get that ideal tea experience. Although optimal temperatures vary depending on the type of tea you brew, they’re easy to understand the more you become familiar with those different teas.
Different Temperatures for Different Types
For instance, green teas are a bit more sensitive than other teas, meaning it typically requires a water temperature of around 170 degrees Fahrenheit when brewing. Black teas, on the other hand, are less sensitive and require a higher temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit to deliver its bold flavor and aroma. Green and black teas essentially create the two ends of the water temperature spectrum. In between them, you have the other teas like oolong, which typically requires water to be 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit for brewing, and white tea, which is best brewed with water that is 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you have a better understanding of how water temperature affects tea, you have the ability to make the tastiest batch possible the next time you indulge in a cup. Between the many health benefits and the mixture of flavors and aromas, there are so many reasons to try a cup of this beloved beverage.