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There are 3 elements to making the perfect cup of tea.
This guide is best used as a starting point to find your personal preference. If you like stronger tea, try using more tea leaves, a longer brewing time, or hotter water. All of those factors will affect your infusion. Experiment with shorter steeping times and cooler water if your tea is too strong, bitter, or astringent. In all cases, use the freshest filtered water possible. Water quality is almost as critical to making delicious tea as the quality of the tea leaves.
Why do green and white teas taste better with lower water temperatures? With a less oxidized tea, the lower steeping temperature allows for a complex and full flavored brew. Green and white teas are delicate, like fresh garden produce. If you put boiling water on them, the finished cup will seem like overcooked vegetables rather than an elegant sweet, vibrant beverage.
Why do black teas taste better with higher water temperatures? The more oxidized a tea is, the more stable. Hotter water is required to bring out the desired tannins from the tea leaves. If the water is not hot enough, the tea might taste weak and lacking in depth. Listen to your own palate, and find what tastes best to you. There is no hard rules of right and wrong ways to enjoy tea. It is all a matter of personal taste.