hop_goblin wrote:Just my two cents, but I would never use boiling water for an any oolong..
Oolong is a pretty broad category, and includes teas that are almost green tea as well as teas that are almost red (black) tea. Personally, I would always use boiling or just off the boil water for a highly oxidized oolong like Oriental Beauty (Dong Fang Mei Ren / Bai Hao). For greener ones, it depends on the tea and what brew you're on. But I think you're missing out if you never use boiling water for any oolong.
When I was trying various yán chá in China (in Wuyishan, as well as at a shop that specialized in these teas in Shanghai), every single person who brewed me tea used boiling water at ~ 100C, and most re-heated before almost every brew. And these are people who have a strong interest in making the tea taste good.
I don't use a thermometer when brewing, so I couldn't tell you if I'm actually hitting 212 (and I'm sure that sometimes I'm using a crab eyes boil rather than a full rolling boil), but I've found that it's more interesting to watch the slight variations from fluctuations in temperature (and try to learn from them) than to obsess too much over water temperature.
You can also boil the water but then pour it on the side or lid of the brewing vessel to cool it down a little and avoid hitting the leaves directly with boiling water.