Much has been written about the perfect cup of tea or infusion. As with everything, it is a topic that usually causes debate or, at least, certain differences between experts on the preparation of tea.
Fortunately, there is a consensus when it comes to talking about the times and temperatures needed for each of the different varieties of infusions that are known and today I want to talk about them. Why? Because it is a question that you ask us many times through the web, social networks, and in the markets.
Of course, the data that I am going to give you below are indicative. It will depend on whether you want it stronger or softer. In the end, the perfect cup of tea is the one that adapts to your palate, both in temperature and flavor.
Tea Preparation Times and Water Temperature According to Tea Type
Black tea varieties are strong-flavored teas and, therefore, the water temperature should be high. For this reason, it is recommended that the water reaches 100 degrees C. Once the temperature is reached and it starts to boil, you can pour the water into your tea cup. From here and depending on whether you like it more or less soft, it is recommended to let it stand between 3 and 5 minutes.
In this case, the flavor of the tea is softer and more delicate, hence the temperature is lowered to 75 degrees C. The process is the same as for black tea. It is worth mentioning that some varieties of green tea, such as Organic Hojicha, allow a second infusion with the same leaves. If this is your case, you should let it rest, instead of 3 to 5 minutes, 9, so that the flavor is better impregnated in the infusion that you are going to drink later.
Pu Erh Tea
One of the classics that are never missing among tea lovers, especially when it comes from such famous origins as Yunnan, for example. Pu-Erh tea is halfway between black tea and green tea, so the ideal temperature for infusion is between 95 and 100 degrees C. Once you pour the water over the tea leaves or your pyramid, let it infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.
It is one of the softest and most delicate teas known and of great quality. In fact, it is made from the most tender buds of the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. Hence its low degree of theine that can be taken, even by problems that, for problems related to cardiovascular health, prevented taking other varieties of tea more powerful as far as the amount of theine is concerned.
Among the best-known varieties of white tea, there are some of high quality, such as Silver Needles, which should be infused at a fairly low temperature, compared to other varieties of tea; specifically, at 60 degrees C. However, the rest of the most common varieties can be infused at 70 degrees C. In the first case, it should be left to steep for 3 to 5 minutes and in the second case, as it can give a more pronounced touch, for 4 to 6 minutes.
Oolong tea has become one of the favorite teas of millennials, probably because it has a mild and very pleasant flavor, slightly stronger than white tea, and became very famous a few years ago among celebrities and, as a result, among the population, for its properties to help burn fat. In this case, you must heat the water until it reaches 80 degrees C. Once poured over the tea leaves or the corresponding pyramid, I recommend you wait between 2 and 3 minutes.
Although it is within the list of varieties of tea, rooibos does not contain a single gram of theine, so it can be consumed at any time of the day and by all audiences and it is also one of the favorite teas for athletes. The water temperature should reach 100 degrees C and, in this case, you must be patient to let it rest since it is advisable to wait between 7 and 10 minutes, depending on whether you want it softer or stronger.
In this case, regardless of the type of caffeine-free infusion you choose, both the water temperature and the steeping time are the same as for rooibos but think that it is great to wait that long, taking into account that the water temperature is very high and, therefore, you will need more time than in other teas so that you can drink it without getting burned.
Remember: it is about enjoying your favorite drink or the one that is going to heal you from your problem, not about remembering that you have been drinking it for several days because your tongue or throat hurts because of how hot you drank it.
Some Extra Tips
You already have all the times and temperatures you need to know how to prepare a good cup of tea, but in addition to that, experts also recommend other points to make both the taste, aroma, and, above all, the experience, unique:
Choose non-carbonated mineral water: if you are lucky enough to have good quality tap water at home, perfect. Otherwise, we recommend that you use bottled water, as this way, the tea or infusion will not pick up the taste of water that, at some points, is really difficult to drink because of its unpleasant taste.
Glass or stainless steel teapot: if you can use either of these two products to brew or serve tea, so much the better. Firstly, because you will feel that you are really living your “tea moment” and, secondly, because tea is much better preserved in this type of teapot.
Take your time: I know it’s not easy, but drinking a cup of tea is something really nice, so whenever you can, take a moment for yourself. And if, for example, you are drinking it at work or among people around you, try to enjoy every sip; feel it, both in your nose and in your mouth.
Now it’s your turn – enjoy your infusion!