Not everyone has a thermometer on hand to check for the perfect 'post-boil' temperature. For those situations, here are some cool tips to help you get the best cuppa! You can boil your water and let it rest for the 'post-boil' times mentioned or just judge by eye according to the descriptions below:
Shrimp eyes - about 70-77 ºC/let water rest for 5 minutes post-boil - these are the first tiny pinhead bubbles you see. Some delicate green and white teas can be brewed at this stage.
Crab eyes - about 77 ºC- 82 ºC/let water rest for 3 minutes post-boil - look for streams of slightly larger bubbles accompanied by ghostly wisps of steam. Some Chinese green and white teas can be brewed at this stage.
Fish eyes - about 82ºC - 88ºC/let water rest for 2 minutes post-boil- larger bubbles about the size of fish eyes (hence the name) will be visible along with a greater amount of steam. Heartier green teas can be brewed at this stage.
Rope of pearls - about 90ºC-96 ºC/let water rest for 1 minutes post-boil - this is the steady streams of large bubbles you'll see rising to the top of the water. Black teas and Oolongs can be brewed at this stage.
Raging torrent - 100ºC - This water looks like rapids in a raging river, it is at this stage that the water can lose oxygen so care must be taken to not let this happen. Black Teas and Pu' erh tea can be brewed at this stage.
Bonus: If you're making a second cup of tea or brewing again, please use fresh water. Water that boils repeatedly loses some gases that can give your tea off colours and flavours