Each tea has a suitable water temperature: some tea must be brewed with boiling water, and some tea needs to be brewed after the boiling water is cooled.
However, many old tea lovers believe that no matter what kind of tea, tea fragrance and tea taste can be forced out only when the tea is brewed with boiling water, and boiling water is the standard for testing good tea.
There is indeed such a saying "Good tea is not afraid of hot boiling water”. Is that true?
01 Why is good tea not afraid of boiling water?
Good tea is relative. On judging whether it is "good tea", everyone has their own subjective standard. But if objectively speaking, good tea is actually determined by good raw materials and good process together.
First of all, the raw material basis of tea should be good, wherein excellent varieties and growth environment are essential. Tea processed with good raw materials has rich connotations, with various active components in harmonious proportion. As a result, the good tea endures several times of brewing and withstands high temperature.
Secondly, the good process gives tea a second life. After proper processing of good raw materials, no matter how to brew the tea, the result will not be too bad. However, for tea processed through the poor process, brewing it with low-temperature water can cover up its shortcomings, while brewing it with boiling water will make its original features fully exposed.
02 Can good tea all be brewed with boiling water?
In principle, all tea can be brewed with boiling water. As long as the quality is excellent, it is not too big a problem even if it is brewed with boiling water; however, for tea with slightly poor quality, it is prone to expose shortcomings.
If you really stick to brewing tea with boiling water, you should also pay attention to the following points:
- Oolong tea must be brewed with boiling water.
Oolong tea (such as Organic Tieguanyin/Tie Guan Yin/Ti Kuan Yin King/Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong Tea and Classic Wuyi Rock Da Hong Pao/Big Red Robe Oolong Tea Chinese Loose Leaf Tea), which is, no doubt, processed with raw materials with high picking maturity and high rolling strength, must be brewed with boiling water so as to fully release its high aroma and deep charm.
- Agedtea is suitable for being brewed with boiling water.
Brewing tea with boiling water has a certain effect on elimination of the warehousing smell of aged tea. Moreover, after a long period of transformation of the substances in the aged tea, its rich flavor is more in need of boiling water to be activated, and a lot of aged tea (such as Royal Grade Palace (Gong Ting) Ripe/Shou/Cooked/Fermented Pu-Erh- Bulk Loose Leaf Tea and Royal Pu-Erh Bulk Loose Leaf Tea in mandarin) taste better if cooked.
- Green tea can also be brewed withboiling water.
Green tea is generally brewed with water at 80-90℃, mainly because raw materials of green tea are tender, and high temperature will destroy the fresh taste of green tea. In fact, green tea can also be brewed with boiling water under some necessary conditions: You need to brew the tea with a GaiWan (tureen) or porcelain pot, pour the water along the edge instead of flushing the tea leaves directly, and the brewing time should not exceed 10 seconds.
- Black tea should be brewed with boiling water through some certain skills.
The brewing temperature of black tea is generally recommended to be below 90℃, because many black tea is prone to sour if brewed with boiling water. If you want to use boiling water to brew black tea (such as Organic Keemun Gong Fu (Kunfu) Hao Ya Mao Feng Loose Leaf Black Tea/Qi Men Hong Cha and Ying De Loose Leaf Premium Black Tea), the amount of tea can be a little less, and the brewing time should be as short as the boiling water flushes the tea.
- White tea,processed with good raw materials, endures several times of brewing.
Because of the simple process of white tea, there are high requirements for its raw materials, such as good growth environment and moderate altitude. White tea (such as Organic-certified Nonpareil Pre-Ming Imperial Bai Mu Dan/White Poney Loose Leaf Tea and Chinese Tea Royal King Natural Caffeine-Free Bai Mu Dan Wang/Organic Fuding White Peony King Loose Leaf Tea), even with high degree of tenderness, can be brewed with boiling water and still tastes sweet, while some of white tea with slightly lower quality can only be brewed with water of lower temperature, or it will be prone to have a bitter taste.
That good tea is not afraid of hot boiling water, to a certain extent, can judge whether the quality of tea is excellent. But there is no need to regard boiling water as the only standard for testing good tea.
In addition to raw materials and technology, whether the tea is good to drink or no is also closely related to brewing techniques.
Good tea can stand the test and will never appear an odorous, bitter, dry and astringent taste when brewed with boiling water. But boiling water is not always the best way to brew tea.
As mentioned above, tea of high quality can be brewed with boiling water in the grasp of brewing skills such as injecting water and pouring out tea soup, but there is no need to persist in brewing tea with boiling water, and one should also master the best brewing temperature for each tea.