10/14/2011 12:38 pm ET | Updated Dec 14, 2011

How to Prepare Tea

The Splendid Table®'s How To Eat Supper By Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Dear Lynne,

Green tea is my new antioxidant. Then I saw on the package, "use 170ºF. water." Come on, how do I know if the water is 170ºF? Why not good old boiling water like my regular tea?



Dear Jeannie,

Each type of tea is processed in different ways so each one brews best at different temperatures. With green tea, water hotter than about 170ºF. overwhelms its delicacy. Since with new ventures simple guides work best, here is what you need to know:

Green teas: When the water starts to steam, it is around 170°. Steep this tea for 2 to 3 minutes.

Oolong teas: When the water barely begins to bubble it is around 185°. Steep 2 to 3 minutes.

Black teas: Have the water at a full boil. Steep the tea 4 to 6 minutes.

Herbal teas: Same as green tea. Steep herbals for 3 to 4 minutes.