As a lover of afternoon tea, and the official “tea guru” to your friends you will want to be informed on water’s contribution to good tea.  The good news is I have done all the work for you and here are some simply tea tips about how quality water enhances tea’s flavor. That way, when someone asks you this question, you can provide them with the information that they need, as well as establish an element of trust in your knowledge.

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

First and foremost, it is common knowledge in the world of tea that the better quality of water you use to make tea, the better the flavor of the tea will be. When you prepare tea, you must realize that water is more than 98 percent of the drink. Even if you are brewing one of the most exquisite teas in the world, if your water is not good, the beverage will not be either. If you use water that has minerals in it, it may give you the best tasting tea.

One thing you can do is consider the area in which you live. In many urban places, water quality tends to be less than perfect. Therefore, in these situations you would want to use filtered water that does not contain any chlorine. You can use a Brita or Pure filter to achieve this effect. These filters will get rid of the water’s TDS, or Total Dissolved Solids. On many bottled spring water beverages, you will see that there is a pH of 7 and a TDS of 30. This is satisfactory for brewing tea.

Whatever the case, never ever use distilled water to make tea! It does not have any minerals in it at all.

Not only must you use quality water in your tea, but you must also make sure that the water is heated to the proper temperature in order to get the best flavoring. Because teas have oils, polyphenols, and caffeine in them, the hotter the water you use, the more quickly these things – along with aroma and flavor – disappear.

So, when you brew white tea, the temperature of the water should be 140 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For green tea, the water temperature should be 170 to 180 degrees. Oolong tea needs water that is 190 to 205 degrees, while black tea should be brewed above 200 degrees. And finally, Pu-erh tea should be brewed just below the boiling point. Preheating your teapot can result in the best cup of tea. All you need to do is rinse it out with a cup of boiling water for a few seconds before you steep the tea.

This will prepare it for the steeping process, and not cause the water to boil or heat up too quickly.