What's the right temperature for making your tea?

shiladitya das

To have a perfect cup of tea, there are a few critical things. Ofcourse, the quality of the tea leaves is of utmost importance, but you shouldn't ignore the quality and the temperature of the water used to prepare the tea. Having the right water temperature gives control over the delicate balance of the tannins, amino acids and the aroma compounds that are present in the tea leaves. Oxygen in the water encourages the passage of the aromatic compounds to the gaseous state and thus affects our perception to taste when it reaches our brain. Each type of tea has its optimum water temperature, but one rule applies to almost all the teas: the water must never be allowed to boil except for preparing Masala Chai. When water is boiled, the most volatile aroma compounds, responsible for the “top notes” evaporates, thereby affecting the flavor of the tea. Higher water temperature also dissolves the tannins and produces a greater astringency in the liquor, making the tea sharper and bitter. We recommend 203-212oF for Black Tea, 185-203oF for Oolong Tea and 160-180oF for Green Tea.

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