Water temperature

Should you always bring water to a boil? If so why? I ask because I always see to bring water to a boil then either wait this long or transfer between this many cups to get to this temperature. I never see, bring water to 75 degrees. Whats the reason?

14 Replies


I had this question before. : ) I think you can bring water to 75 degree without boiling, but that is not easy to measure without a thermometer. When I have a thermometer with me, I just put the meter into the water, and wait till the right temperature. If I don’t have the meter, thus, another easy way is to bring it to a boil and wait for various time to get the expected temperature. Another reason to bring to a boil is to get rid of some chloride or unpleasant smell in the water. I assume in the US, the tap water is pretty decent and no need to worry about this. Hope I answered your question. = )

I completely forgot about chloride and odors in water. I imagine that is in fact why sites always say to boil the water. I use filtered tap water for tea. Tap water here isn’t so bad but we have filter anyway and it gets its fair use.

Good to have nice tap water. That makes brewing tea more convenient. I had experience using tap water to brew tea in Berlin. Un…. very bad result. The tea smells less fragrant and the taste becomes dull. When I travel to Sofia, Bulgaria, and try using tap water, the same kind of tea tastes back to its normal standard. It just amazes me how water plays a key role in tea brewing.

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Lala said

I do not have a variable temperature kettle, but I am wondering how they work. When you set it to 75 degrees, does it boil it then cool it down, or does it just bring it to 75 and its done? I am wondering if they may help answer your question.

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DaisyChubb said

I have a variable temp kettle, it just brings it to the exact temperature then stops. If you can do that on your own, you’re good to go.

I second everything Mantra Tea Taiwan says :)

Thanks for the info!

Hey Daisy,
Thanks for sharing!
I should look for that temp kettle. I’m using a simple thermometer, and sometimes I slip it into the water. ; )

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Sil select said

I’ve totally never thought about your question. Hehe. Now you’ve got me curious. I too have a variable temp kettle, mostly for the ease….but now I’m curious about the boiling thing. Logically everything that’s been said makes sense. Heh

Ya just something I’ve always wondered and debated if it made any difference. I know boiling water for too long leads to poor results but didn’t know if boiled water lead to better results.

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sandra said

i never boil my water. wait for the bubbles appear (approx. 80C.) and then take the kettle away from the stove.

also prefer to drink most of my teas lukewarm, not hot.

Same here. My taste bud doesn’t function well to taste the tea when the tea is too hot. After I brew it, I smell it first and wait till it gets lukewarm and take a sip. It does make a difference.

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Angrboda said

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong here. It’s a bit like when some milk-users prefer to add milk first, others prefer to add it last.

I have one of those kettles with different temperature settings, so I just bring it to whichever approximate temperature I want and brew it with that. It’s faster and easier for me to do it this way. With my previous kettle, it didn’t have the different settings, so I would boil and then let the water cool of for a few minutes, or add a splish of cold water to cool it.

Honestly? Tastewise I can’t tell a difference between those two methods. I’ve heard some people can, because water which has boiled contains less oxygen than water which hasn’t, and some think it makes for a more flat taste. I can’t tell myself, so I go for easy and convenient. :)

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I suspect the non-electronic methods (using human sense) are generally better than any temperature setting from electronic kettles. My impression on reading Amazon product reviews is, if an electronic kettle with temperature setting gets more than 20 customers’ reviews, usually you would see quite a few complaints about the temperature setting being very inaccurate.

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Gaiwan said

The question as to whether you should boil the water or not is highly dependent upon what kind of tea you are brewing. Strong teas, like black tea, are typically brewed with boiling hot water. More delicate teas, such as white and green, are steeped in cooler water. Asian green tea afficianados refer to water that has boiled all the gasses out of it as “old man water”. It is not a compliment. The quality of the water is much more important for delicate teas. Trying to heat water on the stove to the correct temperature and avoiding boiling is far more trouble than I am willing go through. A temperature controlled kettle is my preference. My 2 cents.

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