So, you want to make tea? How do you know what temperature to brew it at?
If you’re a tea lover, you’ve probably wondered this question before. And while you can buy a book with specific brewing instructions, those are more of a guide than an actual temperature chart.
So, we thought we’d put together a temperature brewing guide for the common types of tea that people brew at home. It’s going to be fairly general and will help you get started making some pretty delicious tea at home!
In order to brew good tea, you need two things: 1) high quality loose leaf tea, and 2) a method of brewing that will produce an excellent cup of tea.
Steeping vs. Brewing?
Before we get into the temperature brewing guide, it’s important to understand that there are two different terms in making tea: steeping and brewing. The difference between them is pretty simple.
Brewing is the act of making tea, and steeping is the process that is involved in making tea. In order to make the perfect cup of tea, you must steep loose tea leaves in fresh water that is heated correctly.
Why Does Temperature Matter in Tea Brewing?
Many people have a preconceived notion that all tea should be brewed at the same temperature. The reality is that it’s quite possible to brew some teas too hot and burn them, while you may also ruin a great cup of tea by brewing it too cool.
That said, when brewing loose leaf tea in your electric kettle or stove top, you need to take note of what type of tea you are making. If you’re using a Chinese green or black tea like Sencha, try brewing at 160°F (71°C). For oolong teas like Lapsang Souchong, try keeping your water around 180°F (82°C). For Japanese green teas like Gyokuro, brew between 175-185°F (79-85°C).
With all other types of teas such as white and black teas and herbal infusions like Chai Tea, pick whatever temperature suits your tastes best. Experiment with different temperatures for maximum enjoyment!
Methods of Brewing Tea
There are several ways to brew tea properly; these include stove top brewing, electric kettle brewing, french press brewing, and cold brewed teas. However, each one of these methods has their pros and cons; let’s go over them here in this guide!
Stove Top Brewing
The easiest way to brew tea is on the stove top with no fancy gadgets required! You just need some water heated up enough that it can dissolve your leaves into something delicious. It’s also a very cost effective method because you don’t have to buy any equipment or supplies for it.
However, this method does not allow for much control over the time the water is boiling since there is no thermostat involved in your stove top pot. If you’re not careful about making sure your leaves stay submerged in the water, you could end up with a very bitter cup of tea.
Also, if you’re using too low of a temperature for your leaves to brew into something delicious, you’ll be left with an under-extracted cup of tea.
How to Use: The stove top method is very simple. Simply heat up water in a pot on your stove to the desired temperature, then pour it into your teapot. It is a very cost effective and simple way to brew tea. Furthermore, it can be used with any type of tea leaves.
Electric Kettle Brewing
The electric kettle is a great way to brew your tea since you can adjust the temperature and time the water boils without having to turn on your stove top. The problem is that it takes quite a bit of practice to get it right; it requires you to use higher temperatures and longer brewing times than traditional stove top brewing, which may lead to some bitterness in your tea if you’re not careful.
How to Use: To use the electric kettle, simply fill your pot with water to the desired temperature and place it on your stove. Then turn on your stove top and let it boil until you’re ready to pour in your tea leaves. The best way to do this is to take a scoop of tea leaves, then place them into the pot, then wait for them to dissolve completely.
French Press Brewing/Cold Brewed Teas
The French press is a great way to brew tea since you can get all of the wonderful flavors out of your leaf without any bitterness from over-extraction or bitter under-extraction (which would occur if you brewed at too high or low temperatures).
The best way to use the French press is to brew your tea leaves in your normal way, then just pour them into the top of the press. The glass pot that it comes with makes it very easy to filter out any excess grounds. You can also use a mesh strainer or even a regular colander if you prefer.
How to Use: Simply fill up your French press with some freshly brewed water and place your freshly brewed tea leaves inside of it. Then simply put on top of the stove and let it brew for as long as you’d like until they’re done brewing!
Cold Brewed Teas
Cold brewed teas are great because they can be made using less than boiling water; however, there’s more room for error when making cold brews than when using other methods since you have no temperature control over how long you wait for them to steep (it could take up to 12 hours).
Cold brewed teas can taste bitter if you’re not careful about steeping them correctly or letting them sit too long before drinking; so make sure that you’ve got everything ready before starting this method! It takes a lot longer than other methods so plan accordingly! This method is best used with tea leaves that have a very strong, robust flavor.
How to Use: To make cold brewed tea, you’ll need a mason jar or something similar that can hold enough water to steep your leaves. You can then put the jar in a warm place and let it sit for anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on how strong of a flavor you want out of your tea.