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Different teas call for different water temperatures and steeping times.

Included in this chart are resting times (after the water has come to a boil), and an old-fashioned guide to the look of the boiled water.

BLACK TEAS
(not including Darjeeling)
205 to 212 degrees
3 to 5 minutes
No resting time

A constant stream of large, swirling bubbles.

DARJEELING
200 to 205 degrees
2 1 / 2 to 4 minutes

1-minute rest
Bubbles are connected to one another in a steady stream.

CHINESE GREEN
170 to 180 degrees
2 to 3 minutes

3-minute rest
Water bubbles the size of crab eyes, vertical wisps of steam.

JAPANESE GREEN 160 to 170 degrees
30 seconds to 1 minute

5-minute rest
Pinhead-size bubbles, barely visible steam.

WHITE
180 to 190 degrees
3 to 5 minutes

2-minute rest
Pearl-size bubbles, good amount of steam.

OOLONG
180 to 200 degrees.
3 to 5 minutes

1-to-2-minute rest
Pearl-size bubbles, good amount of steam.

HERBAL/TISANES
212 degrees darjeelin
5 to 10 minutes
No resting time

A constant stream of large, swirling bubbles.

Source: “Modern Tea: A Fresh Look at an Ancient Beverage,” by Lisa Boalt Richardson (Chronicle, 2014)