How to bring water to the right temperature (the old school method)
It’s easy to set the desired temperature of water when you have an electric kettle with temperature presets. But what to do when you are using the good-old-stove to warm up water for your tea? Don’t worry – it’s actually not so hard to tell the water temperature, as long as you can see how the water in your kettle reacts to heat.
Green teas are usually brewed with water that is around 175ºF (80ºC). Right before the water in your kettle will reach this temperature you will see tiny little bubbles start forming at the bottom of the pot. And then, as soon as the bubbles start rising up to the surface – it’s time to brew your green tea.
White teas are best brewed with water that is around 185ºF (85ºC). This is when tiny bubbles, of about 3mm, start rapidly racing to the surface – more intensely than at the beginning.
Oolong teas brew best in water of around 195ºF (90ºC). At this point, bubbles will become bigger - about 5mm in diameter. You will see the steam begin to rise.
Most Black teas should be brewed at the temperature of around 200ºF (93ºC) and higher (but don’t let it boil!). Bubbles will become large (with some small bubbles still present) and will be rushing to the water surface more frequently.
Pu-erh is best brewed with water that is just below boiling point. When you see that there are almost no small bubbles left, turn off the heat.