How to Steep Tea: Water Temperature

My brother loves coffee. I love tea. (Coffee’s great too, but I lurrrve me some tea!) Unlike him, until now, I’ve never taken an interest in learning the best practices for my drink of choice. I’ve always heard that really learning how to steep tea the right way will preserve the tea’s yummy natural flavors, health content, and all that jazz.

tea water temperature

Well, folks… it begins. I will be testing best tea practices during the coming months. We’ll call it the “how to steep tea” series. I’ll tackle questions like:

  • What is the ideal tea water temperature?
  • How much water should I use for each tablespoon of tea?
  • How long should I steep the tea?
  • What is the best kind of steeper to use?

If any of the best practices are any good, I’ll keep ’em and chuck the rest! (Fingers crossed I don’t become a snobby tea purist. Haha!)

Today I’m focusing (very narrowly) on tea water temperature. I first heard about the importance of tea water temperature from a YouTube video of a man talking very excitedly about how horrible it is that everyone in America burns their tea!! Basically a mortal sin.

How to steep tea

Water temperature for tea:

Note, I’m giving temp ranges. Giving an exact number is just too much of a burden. Who wants to sit around and wait for the exact suggested temperature when a few degrees here or there won’t make a difference?!

White tea water temperature: 170-185 degrees F
Green tea water temperature: 170-185 degrees F
Oolong tea water temperature: 180-190 degrees F
Black tea water temperature: 208-212 degrees F
Herbal tea water temperature: 208-212 degrees F

I know what you’re thinking. What about rooibos? Haha – maybe you weren’t thinking that, but my boyfriend asked about it from across the room, so I feel it’s definitely something I should address.

Unlike green tea, not all teas have their “type” in the name. Rooibos, for example, is an herbal tea. I’ll be tweeting about the teas I’m trying and giving information about the type each tea is, so follow me on twitter if you want to learn along with me!

Teavana website
Two Leaves website

Yours steep-ready,


Song: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

6 thoughts on “How to Steep Tea: Water Temperature

  1. Alina says:

    I’m not entirely on topic here, but have you ever found a peach tea that you loved? I find that they always smell amazing, but the peach flavor is weak. It’s not even remotely close to a real peach…

    • arunagee says:

      That’s a toughy! I really enjoy perfect peach by Bigelow, but I don’t expect strong flavor from it. I’m currently exploring teas by DavidsTea so I’ll be sure to ask them for a peach tea recommendation next time I’m in store.

      • Alina says:

        Oooh, Bigelow! Somehow, that didn’t occur to me. I will try it. (David’s Tea sounds intriguing. I will have to try some of their flavors, though they are pricier than I would like…)

      • arunagee says:

        Yeah, DavidsTea is on the expensive side. I like the Bigelow one a lot, but I just know it’s not going to taste like a real peach 😛

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