Temperature Guide for Brewing a Nice Tea
August 25, 2019
HOW TO BREW
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What is the most important thing to brew a nice tea?
There are many points to care about, such as the extraction time, the amount of tea leaves and water, but I think it is temperature.
Tea can be super nice or ruined easily by the temperature. If you know the relationship between tea and temperature, you can enjoy one tea in various ways.
Today, we are talking about tea and temperature to enjoy tea more than now.
The best temperature to brew a nice tea
I imagine that you wanna ask me “What is the best temperature for making tea?”
The answer I can only say is ”It depends.”
Difference of ingredients and tastes depends on the type of tea.
For example, we often brew Gyokuro with 50-60℃ water to bring out rich umami and sweatness, while we use boiled water(about 95 ℃) for Black tea and Oolong tea to bring out the bitterness and astringency and rich aroma.
Is that tea with plenty of umami or a well-balanced astringent taste?
If you know the characters of the tea, and also how do you want to drink that tea, the best temperature for the tea will be determined by itself.
The link between tea and temperature
Black tea, Oolong tea, and Sencha have different ingredients, brewing way changes slightly, but you only have to remember two points.
- Umami is easier to extract at lower temperatures
- Bitterness and Astringency are extracted at high temperatures
In short, bitterness and astringency will be strong at high temperatures, sweetness and umami will be strong at low temperatures.
60 degrees : if you want to taste the rich umami of tea.
70 degrees : to bring out the bitter and astringent potential of tea.
80 degrees : or higher, a lot of Caffeine is extracted, so it is good when you want to concentrate on something.
It may be more easier to understand the link between the ingredients of tea and the temperature.
Tea ingredients and brewing temperature
Umami is consisted from amino acids.
Theanine, Aspartic acid, Glutamic acid, etc ... Tea leaves contain about 15 different amino acids, and "Theanine" occupied about 50% of it.
These components can be extracted even at low temperatures with long time. It can be extracted at 50-60 degrees like Gyokuro, and also it can be extracted with cold water if you take enough time (2~3 hours, depends on tea)
On the other hand, bitterness is consisted from Catechin and Caffeine.
These components do not extract much at low temperatures, and rapidly extract at high temperatures. The amount of extraction increases from around 80 degrees, so when tea is brewed at high temperatures, the bitterness and astringency exceeds the umami of amino acids.
At low temperature or cold-brew, the bitterness and astringency will not extracted a lot, and only umami and sweetness will stand out.
For Black tea and Oolong tea, high temperature water is more suitable because these type of tea are characterized by rich aroma and astringency. They have less amino acids than Sencha, and also the fragrance comes out more with higher temperature.
The Best Temperature for Tea
Let’s think again about ”the best temperature to make tea”.
When you look at the packages of the tea, sometimes there are guidance for temperature and extraction time. Of course, you can make a delicious brew in that way, but if you know the story so far, you should be able to brew tea as you want.
If you want a refreshing tea, let’s brew “Asatsuyu”, one of the variety of Japanese tea, with high temperature. You can enjoy strong bitterness and astringency with clear taste.
If the tea is for your guest, let’s use the the water about 50 degrees, to maximize the umami of the tea.
It is also the way to enjoy tea that brewing in many way depends on the scenes and your preference.
We introduce our recommended way to brew for each variety of the tea on each product pages. Please try to find the best way while referring to it.
Key for brewing nice tea is temperature
The flavor of tea will change drastically by changing the temperature.
Enjoy the various tea flavors while remembering today's stories.