Two Leaves and a Bud Blog

How hot should your water be before you add a tea sachet?

How hot should your water be before you add a tea sachet?

Boil, plunk, and enjoy.

As in, boil your water, plunk in the tea sachet, and drink your tea. Aren't those the basic rules for making tea?

Actually, no. At two leaves and a bud, we think if you're going to enjoy a premium cuppa' our whole leaf tea, you might want to learn a bit more about how to prepare one so you get the most out of every leaf.

So consider, for a minute, that the temperature of the water you're preparing for tea is just as important as the time you allot for steeping the tea. After all, you want to brew up the best tea you can, don't you?

But not to worry — we're not about to intimidate you with how you should buy a fancy-schmancy thermometer to painstakingly take the temperature of each kettle you're about to pour. Certainly, you can if you want to, but we think it doesn't have to be that difficult. With a little practice (and as a tea lover, you've probably already discovered this), it's easy to tell when the water has reached the right temperature for your chosen variety of tea.

Tea can be delicate stuff; that's why this matters. White and green teas are made with leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, but they don't go through the full fermentation that black tea does. As a result, they have the more gentle, light flavors that you white and green tea drinkers enjoy.

So when you've got light flavors, you only want to boil the water lightly before pouring it into a mug, and adding a sachet of white or green tea. Temperature-wise, this means water that's not quite boiling, at 170 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter than that, and you might cook the leaves and ruin that perfect flavor.

Black tea can handle a full boil — that's 208 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit — so feel free to let the kettle whistle for a while, and then add your sachet of Assam, Mountain High Chai or Earl Grey.

As for Oolong tea, which we sell in loose form, what makes this tea unique is that it's prepared with a wide range of oxidation, turning it into a cuppa' tea that's either more like black tea or more like green tea. For that reason, we recommend a medium boil of 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course, when it comes to steeping, sometimes your own tastebuds know best. If you need more direction, we're happy to provide you with our preferred steep times on each sachet packet, to give you a suggestion.

So, heat your water, steep and enjoy! Do any of you have suggestions on getting your water to the perfect temperature before enjoying a mug of tea?

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