Magali said

Steeping temperatures for tea?

Well I’ve drunk a lot of tea in my life but since I live in India it’s been mostly black tea (chai!) or sometimes green tea. Though I don’t live under a rock, even the concept that there are so many different kinds of teas is pretty new to me. But I digress.
I just placed an order with DAVIDsTEA & I’ve been reading all about steeping temperatures. When we prepare black tea in India, we brew the tea by putting the ‘dust’ into boiling water & further boiling for a couple of minutes. I’ve read that certain teas need to be brewed at 98 & 94 degrees, so my main question is how do you guys do it? Do you use kitchen thermometers? Thanks!

4 Replies
Nik select said

Hi, Magali. My experience was much the same before I found Steepster. I grew up with chai and just figured that’s all there was. I was astonished to learn about the depth and breadth of the world of loose tea. =)

You could probably do this with a simple thermometer, but lots of people use variable temperature kettles. For example, I use this one:

Basically it makes things simple for impatient/lazy people like me. I look at the type of tea I have, I find the button corresponding to that type of tea, and I push the button. =} Sometimes if there’s a blend of two different kinds of tea, I’ll set the temperature to something in the middle. For example, if green is steeped at 175°F and black is steeped at 212°F, I’ll steep a green+black blend at 195°F.

I’m still pretty new to all this, but so far it’s worked well for me.

Magali said

Thank you for the thoughtful reply, Nik :)
The kettle looks gorgeous but would be difficult to get a hold of here. I’ll probably ‘invest’ in a cheap kitchen thermometer from eBay.

Nik select said

Where in Bombay are you? My home’s in Juhu. If you were motivated enough, we could probably work something out, where I send it in Mum’s suitcase and then arrange for delivery or pick-up. My only concern would be the 110/220 voltage business. I’d have to check to see if the kettle is built for North America only, or if it’d work over there. Then again, you may decide that that’s entirely too much hassle, but at least I put the option out there. =)

Magali said

Thank you very much for the kind offer, Nik :)
I live in Andheri (E) & have gone to crazy, obsessive lengths to get my hands on some stuff. My mom’s friend is coming down from Canada & I ordered my first ever DAVIDsTEA so she can bring them with her (that’s actually what prompted me to join this site, too).
But I’m afraid we already have two electric kettles as well as a lovely gas one with a whistle, so I don’t think a new electric kettle would be on the cards, unless one of these breaks or something. ;) So a thermometer would be much easier & more economical for me. Thanks so much again for offering, though. :)

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