So I kept track of the temperature of my water throughout steeping today, and discovered that I haven’t been steeping my teas in boiling water, ever. Even warming the pot with boiling water only got the starting temperature up to 205°F (though admittedly, I’m only filling my little Bee House teapot halfway – I know that’s a nono). Without warming it’s more like 195.
Anyway, the slightly higher temp today made for a notable darker tea, but I’m not sure I like the change – there’s less chocolate and spice, more of just a “black tea” flavor, but the aftertaste is a lot more fragrant and lingering. Will keep playing with this a bit.