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We're into hot water... not boiling

We're into hot water... not boiling....

Hot water is a necessi-tea when it comes to steeping tea.

All puns aside, water temperature in tea steeping is pretty important. It makes the difference between a nice cuppa, a bitter, astringent cup, or a week, watery cup..

Each type of tea (white, oolong, etc.) has an ideal temperature range (see our STEAPing guide for details). This is because each tea type has unique attributes and needs a certain water temperature to bring out its best qualities. When the water is at the correct temperature, all the compounds in the leaves are released to make a well-balanced and delicious cup of tea. 

You may be wondering why a few degrees matter. Well, there a couple reasons.

  1. Boiling water can cause the over extraction of polyphenols (tannins), which can alter the flavor of your tea. 

  2. Water that is too hot can burn delicate tea leaves, meaning that it can destroy the healthy compounds of the tea. The result can be a biter, astringent, and unpleasant cup.

It should be noted that the opposite side of the water temperature spectrum has it's own issues. Water that is not hot enough will fail to extract the tannins and compounds that give the tea it's flavor. This results in a week, bland, or "watery" cup.

Personally, my favorite way to ensure recommended water temperatures is to use an electric kettle that heats water to specific temperatures. It's easy and accurate. This is also what I recommend to folks looking to ensure proper steeping temperatures. If you already have a kettle that doesn't heat to variable temperatures, you can try to stop heating the water according to certain stages in the heating process (see our STEAPing guide for details). Less reliable, due to changing variables, is to cool the water from boiling.

When you use the correct water temperature it can open up a world of flavor. You'll be amazed by the difference. Download our STEAPing guide to get started!

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