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I recently bought a small glass teapot. I want to use it at work. On the box there's a warning that 80 degrees Celsius is maximum for this teapot.

I know that you shouldn't brew green tea in too high temperature, as it makes tea more bitter, hiding the real taste we're after. I want to prepare black tea in my teapot. How will the taste change I infuse it in 80 degrees or less?

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    'Taste worse' is subjective. There's only one way to find out if it tastes good to you or not... – ElendilTheTall Nov 26 '15 at 11:09
  • It's generally held that you can't get a decent cup of tea up a mountain. This is because at the top of Everest water boils at 72 degrees Celsius. Generally opinion seems to be about 90 for black tea, 80 for green, 75 for white. It is all subjective though, but in most peoples opinion NO. – user23614 Nov 26 '15 at 11:58
  • @ElendilTheTall I changed the question to remove subjective part. – MatthewRock Nov 26 '15 at 12:13
  • @user23614 I believe the temperature has some background - the exact temperature was chosen because of certain taste/minerals/substances being released at certain temperature, rather than personal preference. I edited my post to ask for the change of taste, rather than "better taste". – MatthewRock Nov 26 '15 at 12:14
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TFD's answer is true: the most likely change is the reduction in some astringent flavors.

I would just add that people have been brewing black tea for iced tea for many years at or near room temperature (e.g., the traditional "sun tea" method), or even in the refrigerator ("cold-brewed" tea). The flavor notes which come out are different, but a lot of people still find the tea produced to be acceptable or even preferable to "hot-brewed" tea.

Granted, these processes are used mostly for tea meant to be consumed at cooler temperatures. But my point is that those who insist that black tea must be brewed as close to 100C as possible are just brewing one possible "version" of tea from those leaves. In my own experiments, I've found that certain black teas taste good when brewed at lower temperatures for a long time, though others end up "unbalanced" in some way. (Sometimes, they simply taste "weaker" for some reason, even when still brewed longer to take into account the lower temperature. Sometimes this can be fixed by adding more tea leaves per cup; other times this still creates an imbalance.)

I could cite a number of studies which show the various amounts of certain chemical components in tea and how fast they dissolve at various temperatures. But those really won't take into account the balance of individual flavor components in a particular black tea. In this case, I think it's really a matter of personal judgment to see whether your particular tea tastes fine to you brewed at a lower temperature.

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    Would you mind providing these citations either in answer, or in comment? I am interested in reading them. – MatthewRock Nov 26 '15 at 16:40
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    @MatthewRock: There are literally hundreds of articles appearing in food science, nutrition, and industrial process journals. You can find some of them by searching in something like Google Scholar (though many are behind paywalls). I wasn't thinking of any studies in particular; most of them tend to deal with one or two specific substances. As tea is considered a "health" beverage by some, many studies are interested in maximizing amount of X in industrial brewing. If there's a more specific question you'd like to answer or chemical you're interest in, I can see if I can dig up a reference. – Athanasius Nov 26 '15 at 17:06
  • This is fine. I can search myself, thanks for the name of site. – MatthewRock Nov 26 '15 at 17:08
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Tea brewing is a time + temp equation, and different tea types brew at different rates

Some compounds in the tea (many of the astringent ones) dissolve out much slower in cooler water, and this is why many people brew tea at 80°C to 90°C. Some people like the astringent taste and brew closer to 100°C

This is probably all unrelated to the warning sticker, which is there probably to absolve the manufacturer from any legal claim should you hurt yourself with the teapot! Normal food safe glass has no problem at these temperatures?

  • I also find it hard to believe that the glass would be this indurable, but on the other hand I am working in IT, and I wouldn't be too happy if glass suddenly broke and tea spill all over the place, so I'm asking first. Plus, I would like to know how it really changes. – MatthewRock Nov 26 '15 at 12:46
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Iced tea will always be sweeter if brewed (steeped) cold. Use the same amount of tea as you would to make the same amount of hot tea, and let it brew for over 1 hour, but not more than 2 hours. In 2 hours it will have started to draw the astringent components of the tea. Just over 1 hour cold brew is my sweet spot for the most refreshing unsweetened tea.

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