Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?


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Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby ACardAttack » Jun 16th, '12, 17:34

Okay, from what I've seen, green tea should not have boiling water poured on them, but I see a lot of packages at the store that say to bring water to a boil.

Now I know loose leaf tea is better than tea bags, but I've found that I have an easier time making a gallon of lipton or luizane green tea than I do from leaves as I can make more mistakes (when trying to find the best way to brew it for my tastes) with the big brand tea bags since they are so cheap. Any idea why they say bring the water to a rolling boil, and should I bring it to a boil or get water to about the 180 degree mark?
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby Poohblah » Jun 16th, '12, 18:34

Usually the idea is to bring water to a boil first, then cool it to the proper temperature. For green tea, cooler water is generally better.
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby edkrueger » Jun 17th, '12, 10:09

Some green teas should be made with boiling water.
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby JRS22 » Jun 17th, '12, 11:17

edkrueger wrote:Some green teas should be made with boiling water.


Interesting - which ones do you find brew well with boiling water?
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby gingkoseto » Jun 17th, '12, 12:10

If you use boil water, pour water in a porcelain container, and throw the tea into the water instead of pouring water on tea, the brewing temperature is probably already 10-15 degrees (F) lower than boiling. If you use an open top vessel, the tea will get a heat shock to thoroughly release its flavor, but won't be "steamed" because the steam and heat escape the container very fast. As Edkrueger said, some tea would like to be treated that way. Sometimes people are shocked of temperatures used by each other because they have different brewing vessels and brewing methods in minds :wink:
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby JRS22 » Jun 18th, '12, 18:25

I've been on tea chat too long to be shocked - my reaction was more mild surprise and curiosity. The only Chinese green I have in the house right now is Tai Mu Lu Xie Ya, which I've been unable to brew to my satisfaction. So today I put the boiling water in a small porcelain teapot, tossed the leaves on top, watched and waited. After a few seconds, maybe 5, when the leaves were all wet, I poured the tea into a waiting cup and enjoyed a mild tasty brew. I brewed the subsequent infusions at 195° and was quite pleased with the outcome.
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby FlyedPiper » Jun 19th, '12, 12:06

I think boiling water gives you a uniform temp to work with traditionally. It is then cooled to the appropriate temp from there. In the case of Japanese teas boiling water is poured into the vessels and cups and back into the pot to brew the tea, giving you an appropriate temp to brew the tea.

Thermometers and variable temp kettles are a relatively new development to tea, which has been drank for thousands and thousands of years...
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby Teacup1980 » Jul 9th, '12, 21:07

Water temperature changes tea's flavor :D If you use high temperature, like boiling temperature, it makes tea more bitter/astringency and stronger aroma. On the other hand, if you use low temperature, such as 175F or 140F, it makes tea more sweet/mild but less aroma. That's why the ideal temperature varies depending on tea's characteristics.

For example, Genmaicha has nice nutty aroma but doesn't have much bitter taste, so many tea companies recommend to use boiling water. On the other hand, Sencha, which has a lot of astringency, is recommended to be brewed with lower temperature.

You also need to find your preference. You may like to brew Sencha with boiling water if you like the bitterness of tea. It's OK not to follow the brewing instruction on a package :D
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby David R. » Jul 10th, '12, 04:29

Teacup1980 wrote:Water temperature changes tea's flavor :D If you use high temperature, like boiling temperature, it makes tea more bitter/astringency and stronger aroma.


High grade green teas don't bring much bitterness, so you can use boiling water for a full flavor extraction. At least that's what I have been told. It seems to work though. But for a basic green tea, I would definitvely consider 80°C.

I think the pouring technique is important too.
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby edkrueger » Jul 10th, '12, 11:25

JRS22 wrote:
edkrueger wrote:Some green teas should be made with boiling water.


Interesting - which ones do you find brew well with boiling water?


Generally, bancha (genmaicha, hojicha, konacha, kukicha, yanagicha, etc.) needs boiling water. Some coarser Chinese greens do well with boiling water. Also, stale tea does well with boiling water.
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby beecrofter » Jul 10th, '12, 17:34

Not everyone has safe water. Boiling knocks down the pathogens.
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby iovetea » Jul 11th, '12, 01:41

well i heard boiling makes water clearer and the test of tea purer but it could be a myth i don't know
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Re: Why do some green teas say bring water to a boil?

Postby Teacup1980 » Jul 11th, '12, 20:53

beecrofter wrote:Not everyone has safe water. Boiling knocks down the pathogens.


Agree. Even if you use the low-temperature water, you need to boil the water once and let it cool down to your ideal temperature. Boiling takes out water's odor too.
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