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Brewing Tea to the Right Temperature: How to Make or Break a Cup of Tea

Brewing Tea to the Right Temperature: How to Make or Break a Cup of Tea

Words Emily Connelly

Do you know what factors change your cup of freshly brewed tea?

Much like coffee or wine, different types of teas have their own unique flavor profiles and need to be brewed at different temperatures to enhance those flavors.

The quality of your brew depends on two factors above all else: time and temperature. If tea steeps too long, or not long enough, it can result in an unbalanced, slightly sharp taste. When water is too hot for the tea leaves, it can dissolve compounds in the tea and even burn the leaves, resulting in a bitter brew.

tea temperature

Enter the Adjustable Temperature Kettle, which allows you to  choose a precise temperature between 170 and 212°F This means you can consult the handy guide below before you brew, and get a perfect cup of tea time and time again.

tea brewing temperature

Here’s a tea temperature guide to get the most out of your brew, whether it’s fruity and herbal, a classic breakfast blend, or anything in between:

Black Tea Temperature – heat to 206-208°F, steep for 3-5 minutes

Drink it plain or add a splash of milk, or sweeten it with a little bit of sugar.

Green Tea Temperature– heat to 108-185°F, steep for 3 minutes

Soothing and light, green tea is perfect for after a meal, and the caffeine will help you perk up.

Herbal Tea Temperature – heat to full boil (208°F +), steep for 5-7 minutes

Nothing is better than a hot cup of herbal tea in the fall – add some honey for an extra cozy touch.

tea brewing temperature

Oolong Tea Temperature – heat to 190-206°F, steep for 3-5 minutes

For complex flavors, look no further than an oolong. The teas are often characterized as delicate yet bold and are known for increasing energy levels because of the caffeine.

White Tea Temperature – heat to 175-185°F, steep for 1-3 minutes

White teas are light, fragrant and subtle – so much so that they’re usually best enjoyed plain, without milk or sugar.


What’s your favorite tea? Tell us in the comments.

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By Emily Connelly

Emily Connelly is part of OXO's Brand Communications team. She enjoys running, backpacking, dad jokes, and Bruce Springsteen. She once broke her wrist falling out of a doorjamb.

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