how hot should water be for tea

how hot should water be for tea

How Hot Should Water Be for Tea?

Tea is one of the most universally enjoyed beverages around the world, and getting the perfect temperature can make or break the experience. Brewing the ideal cup of tea requires paying attention to the temperature of the water, as well as the steep time and the quality and quantity of the leaves.

Optimal Temperature for Tea Types

The optimal temperature for tea varies depending on the type of tea you’re making.

  • White Tea: 160-170 F
  • Green Tea: 160-180 F
  • Black Tea: 190-200 F
  • Oolong Tea: 180-190 F
  • Herbal Tea: 200-212 F (boiling)

Tips for Striking the Right Temperature

One of the best tips for making sure your water is at the correct temperature for the tea you’re using is to bring the it to a rolling boil, then wait for a few seconds before pouring it over the tea.

Another tip to get the right temperature before pouring is to preheat the cup or teapot. This step can make a huge difference in maintaining the temperature of the water while steeping. You can easily preheat the cup or teapot you’ll be steeping in by pouring in a bit of boiling water, swirling it around, and then pouring it out before adding the tea leaves.

Benefits of Getting the Temperature Right

Brewing tea at the right temperatures will not only result in a more enjoyable cup of tea, but also make the most of the flavor, color and aroma of the specific tea you’re using. Different teas release different compounds at varying temperatures, so the warmth determines how much of those compounds will actually transfer into the tea.

Using water that’s too hot can cause the compounds to break down and render them ineffective, leaving you with a poorly made cup with bitter or off-tasting flavors. Similarly, starting with too cool of a temperature won’t allow enough of the compounds to transfer into the tea.


In conclusion, the optimal temperature for tea leaves varies depending on the type of tea. To make sure you get the correct temperature, one tip is to bring the water to a rolling boil, wait for a few seconds, and then pour it into the cup or teapot that’s been previously preheated. Optimal water temperatures will not only result in a more flavorful cup of tea, but also a more enjoyable experience overall.


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