A lot of people have asked me some very good questions about tea. Many of their questions have been similar, so I thought it would be good to post my answers on the blog, since you might be curious about these questions as well.
One of the most asked questions is about water temperature. "What temperature should I use to brew my tea?"
My answer is to try out different ones and figure out what you think will make the most delicious tea. However, ANY GOOD OOLONG TEA CAN HANDLE BOILING WATER. I am not suggesting that you always have to brew tea with boiling water, or that you have to use a boiling temperature at all. I notice I often use non-boiling water to make my Taiwanese Oolongs because boiling water burns my tongue.
I heard that there is some debate over water temperature for Taiwanese Oolongs. Some people strongly believe that Taiwanese Green Oolong can't take boiling water. That's not what I see in Taiwan. Most Taiwanese people I've met use boiling water. Some people use a very specific temperature for Oolongs and insist that theirs is the only correct temperature. I respect their decisions for their own tea, but they shouldn't say other people are wrong. Each person should brew the way that makes the tea taste best for themselves.
I often hear this statement when I visit farmers and tea people in Taiwan, " Tea is alive. We have to be flexible with it". Weather changes all the time, so how can we use the same method to make our teas?
Try out different temperatures! You will be surprised to see what the same tea can offer you.
Feel free to comment on this. And if you have more questions about Taiwanese Oolongs, send them to me.