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I have a reeeeeeeeally dumb temperature question, guys...

I live at an altitude where water boils at approximately 200 degrees.

I’m attempting to brew my favorite teas with more attention to accurate and proper temperature, and I’m feeling a little brain-dead this afternoon (in my defense, I live with my two toddler boys and we were up most of the night after the election…). As long as the prescribed water temperature for a tea is below (my) boiling temp, I’m fine. (White Ayurvedic Chai from Teavana, my favorite, 175F, no problem.) But what about a tea that is to be brewed at just under boiling? Samurai Chai Mate, for example, is supposed to be brewed at 208F. Do I just fudge down a tad from my own boiling point to make it below boiling? Or should I brew it at 208 and my water will be boiling where yours might not be?

— Andrea in New Mexico is also a blonde, but swears that isn’t a factor right now…
4 Replies

I would go down a tad from your own boiling point, especially with Mate, which can sometimes taste a bit bitter when prepared with boiling water. I’d probably drop it down to about 190F or so. With Mate, since you can steep it longer without the tannic bitterness, I’d go low and with a longer steep time rather than a higher temp with a short steep time. You’ll probably get more flavor that way, but without the bitterness.

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Thanks. That was my hunch. And after I posted I realized that I probably can’t get water to reach 208 anyway… so the point is to have it below boiling. (Right?)

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Andrea, I live in Bogota and water boils at 196!
You could get the water temperature to rise by using a pressure cooker, but that’s kind of too much, right?

I also use the closest temperature possible. You can also experiment with adding a bit more tea to make up for the lower temperature.

Ninavampi said

Oooo! Hey there! I live in Ecuador (Quito) and have similar water boiling temp differences! :) nice to see another South American around Steepster!

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