Monday, February 11, 2013

Guest Post: How long to cool boiling water for tea

With us today is Adrian, also known as Badger. With an undergraduate in astrophysics and mathematics, he decided to put his talent towards helping us make a great cup of tea! When he's not slaying Sicilian Dragons or risking everything on a King's Gambit on a chessboard to get to the princess, he's randomly bouncing around the realms of books, games, and other hobbies. Oh, and he does enjoy a good cup of tea. 

So here's Badger, answering the question, "If I accidentally let my water boil, how long should I let it cool before using it so it won't scorch my tea?"

Many of us have started a pot of water boiling and just forgot about the water until it is boiling, which more than likely scorches the teas as they are steeping. I know I have forgotten about the water to the point where the water evaporated from the pot! What can I say, besides chess is exciting? So I applied some of my schooling to find how long to wait after removing the pot from the burner for better tea-steeping temperatures, since most everyone has some form of timer/alarm now.

Assumptions: 1) boiling water in an open pot, 2) Room Temperature is ~70 degrees Fahrenheit.

NOTES: Temperatures for the teas were taken (read as "borrowed") from the blog on steeping teas. An open pot was assumed due to complications of a tea kettle retaining more heat than a pot, since the only openings are the spout and the lid (or in some models, they are the same).

The calculated times are only approximate since they do not take into consideration the specific heat of water (how well water retains heat).

White Teas: 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit, 6-7 minutes

Oolong Teas: 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.5-5 minutes

Black Teas: 190 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, no more than 3.5 minutes

Green Teas: 140-170 degrees Fahrenheit, 7-14.25 minutes; 160 degrees Fahrenheit, 9.25 minutes.

If you have any questions about my methods, feel free to email me at, and I will be more than happy to tell you about the methods I used. I will make another post with more accurate results taking into consideration the specific heat of water, and then on to the TEA KETTLE!!! :)


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  2. Thank you for sharing your experiment! Now I just need some sort of constant to add/mulltiply for when a closed tea kettle is being used!

  3. I googled exactly this and yours was the first result thanks ��

  4. Nice post! Drinking organic green tea daily gives you lots of health benefits. I personally found it beneficial in weight loss, in purifying blood, stress and fatique

  5. For healthy life just take green tea for refreshment & start your days with energetic & full fletched. Green tea is the best and healthier drink for all people of all age.

  6. I didn't know the habit of tea could do that good....

  7. Thank you for this fantastic post. I have a question. If you are researching a tea kettle to buy, what factor do you look at. Do you consider only the price or the manufacturer or the consumer reviews on the product? Thank you.

    1. Personally, I look at the reviews of things in the price range that I can afford/plan to pay, and also what I want it to do. For example, if all I want is a boil, then any kettle will do. If I want an electric kettle with temperature settings, I check out the reviews and go with the least expensive best-reviewed model (with at least 100 reviews).