What Is The Ideal Chinese Green Tea Brewing Temperature?

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Green tea is a delicate leaf.  All care has to be taken when steeping a cup of this verdant delight.  If your water is too cold you risk not fully drawing out the wonderful flavors of the leaf. 

But if the water that is too hot will leave you with a bitter, astringent tea not worthy of a cup of green tea.

So what temperature should Chinese green tea be brewed at?  The answer is that it is actually quite a bit more complicated than it might seem on the surface.

As a general rule, Chinese green tea should be brewed at a temperature of 76°C (170°F) to 82°C(180°F).  But this is just a general rule.  There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account in order to get that perfect temperature for a great cup of green tea.

One of my favorite Chinese green teas is Dragon Well. You can find it both bagged and loose-leaf.

If you just want a good cup of Chinese green tea to try then I suggest Buddha Teas Organic Dragon Well Green Tea Bags. It has a great flavor and is a great introduction to Chinese green teas.

green tea leaves on a white background
The Perfect Brewing Temperature Varies Greatly From Tea to Tea

Factors That Affect Brewing Temperature

Where the tea is grown factors in as well and even within the same region, the individual types of green tea can play a huge factor in what temperature you need to use.  Let’s look at what the ideal temperature is for each of the major regions that produce Chinese green tea.

Chinese green tea typically has a higher brewing temperature than most green teas, especially ones from Japan.  As mentioned the temperature range should be 76°C (170°F) to 82°C(180°F).  But again this can vary depending on the type of Chinese green tea.

For Example, Chinese Dragon Well Green Tea is best steeped at 80°C(176°F) to 85°C(185°F).  So already we are out of the general guidelines for Chinese green tea. 

And this is the issue.  There are so many varieties of green tea from so many regions it is tough to find the perfect temperature.

Even among the same Chinese Green Tea type the individual sellers sometimes have different temperatures suggestions.  But I will try and touch on as many as I can.  There is, of course, some leeway for each of these ranges.

You can find a handy Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion tool right here.  For reference, the boiling point at sea level is 100°C.  The one common theme is that green tea should never be boiled.  It literally burns the leaves.

A couple of green tea types get close to that boiling point but I cannot think of one that ever hits it as the recommended temperature for brewing.

Suggested Brewing Temperatures For Chinese Green Tea:

  • West Lake Dragon Well Tea – 80°C to 85°C
  • Bi Luo Chun – 80°C
  • Huangshan Maofeng Green Tea – 68°C to 79°C
  • Taiping Houkui Tea – 71°C to 79°C
  • Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea – 85°C to 90°C
  • Lu Shan Yun Wu Tea – 76°C to 82°C
  • Nanjing Rain Flower Tea – 70°C to 80°C
  • Chun Mee – 76°C to 82°C
  • Gunpowder Green Tea – 70°C to 80°C
  • Lu’an Melon Seed – 90°C to 96°C
  • Cloud Mist Green Tea – 80°C to 85°C

These are some of the most popular modern types of Chinese green tea.  Be sure to always check the specific brewing instructions from the store that you bought your green tea to be sure you get an accurate time and temperature for steeping.

Typically there will be more exact instructions on the best temperature to steep any given Chinese green tea accompanying the tea that you have purchased.

Using that as a starting point you are going to be able to find your perfect temperature for any Chinese green tea you try.

Experimenting With Your Own Tastes

You never want to burn the leaves when you are brewing a cup of Chinese green tea, but there is room to experiment.  Most of these teas have a suggested range for brewing the perfect cup.  One may be perfect for you might not work for someone else, and vice versa.

This is one of the great things about green tea and really tea in general.  You can customize it perfectly to your individual tastes. 

The closer you get to the high-end range the bitterness will increase slightly.  For some, that is a welcome bite to their green tea but for many, it ruins the taste of the green tea.

One other thing to be aware of when you are steeping your tea is that low temperatures can be just as bad as if the water is too hot. 

When the water is under temperature then the full flavor of the green tea is diminished resulting in a watery tea that has lost a lot of its wonderful flavor.

It is a balancing act to get the right temperature for your cup of Chinese green tea.  The important thing to remember is that these are just suggestions.  What ultimately matters is what you want from your tea.

Your tea should reflect exactly how you want it to taste.  That goes for any type of tea, not just green.  Find your sweet spot and enjoy one of the earth’s most incredible gifts on your own terms.

Cooling Off

The temperature is such an important part of brewing a perfect cup of green tea.  The bitterness that many people complain about when it comes to green tea can often time be dealt with by simply steeping it at the proper temperature.

It is something that is so often overlooked.  Many people simply boil a pot of water and then dump it over a tea bag or an infuser with some lovely green tea leaves in them.  You can almost hear the agonized screams of those verdant leaves as they burn in the boiling water.

Their revenge is a bitter brew that many people simply think is the way green tea tastes.  But it is not.  It is as simple as pouring some water into a cup and let it sit for a few minutes.  It is a night and day difference.

Hopefully, this little article has helped you with your Chinese green tea preparation and help you get the exact temperature you need to brew a perfect cup of satisfying Chinese Green tea.

Thanks for stopping by and as always have a wonderful day.