“Would you like to come over for tea; with the missus and me? It’s a real nice way to spend the day, in Dayton, Ohio on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Nineteen Hundred and Three.
Randy Newman Dayton, Ohio 1903
Back in the day, Dad used to say to me; “Zulu……..would you make us a nice strong cup of tea please?” By strong, he meant; boil the water in the kettle a little longer, let the tea brew a little longer, and heat the cup! We had many a cups of good strong tea. Eventually, as a curious and creative teenager (translation; lazy and unconvinced) I began to wonder from the standard protocols; I began to “nuke” tea in the micro; a.k.a, the microwave oven, a.k.a, the Radar Range. Regardless of my shorten steps, I became convinced that by preparing in the microwave, I was brewing, and heating the cup at the same time, thereby making a superior cup of tea. I became a disciple of this manner and on occasion would share my view and “preparation art” with anyone who would listen, and a few who would not.
One day during “said” discussion with a woman who for academic purposes we shall call Lisa, on the best way to make tea, I decided to gather my thoughts and procure some empirical data on the subject. With a box of tea bags and new digital thermometer in hand, I set out seeking enlightenment. My experiment was fun, revealing, and so far shared with a few others who also found it interesting (if you click on the chart, it may grow larger). This is what I found;
No surprise the 3 cups of water boiled at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. The cup boiled in the microwave (red line) started at a little higher temperature.
2. The kettle-boiled water (green line) poured into a “heated cup” cooled off at a rate almost equal to the microwaved cup; slightly cooler.
3. The kettle-boiled water poured into an un-heated cup (blue line) cools off dramatically in the first two minutes, and continues to be cooler than the other two, nearly reaching equilibrium temperature after 12 minutes.
The bottom line? Space Tea (microwaved) is the best cup of tea, followed by kettle-boiled water in a heated cup and third is the boiled with an unheated cup.
You may now have one of two comments concerning tea; something I like to call the “cradle of civilization.”
1. “Zulu; this is brilliant! Thanks for passing this along; bring on the black, the green, the mint and peach flavored.” I say; Come on over, sit awhile, and let’s talk of the world!
2. “Zulu; you’re a crack pot with way too much time on your hands!” I say; go ahead and drink cold tea……and I don’t mean iced!
Not everything “old school” is better!
Dennis, excellent! But you didn’t include, in your fine testing, the purest way to make a cup of tea! Start with fresh cold water (more oxygen). Warm the POT with hot boiled water (you must make a pot of tea!). For black tea, do not over-boil the water. Well, that’s what Twinings says, anyway. 😉
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Zulu ………you do have way too much time on your hands.
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