Teas at the office - how do you provide for temperatures?


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Teas at the office - how do you provide for temperatures?

Postby Memphislawyer » Dec 20th, '11, 11:17

Ok, debating whether I need to get a thermometer to help me if I want to do anything other than steep teas that allow boiling water (typically black from what I know) to be used. I have a Teavana mix that needs 175 to 180 for 1.5 minutes and have a meat thermometer I got at Walmart, but that set up is at home. At the office, what do you good people do?
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Re: Teas at the office - how do you provide for temperatures?

Postby hopeofdawn » Dec 20th, '11, 11:35

Eyeball it. :D

On a more serious note--since I have no control over the temp of the hot water coming out of the dispensor, I try to do my best to control the steeping time and other factors--for greens, for instance, I'll do shorter steeps with the lid off of my thermos to cool the water more quickly, and for roasted oolongs/blacks, just the opposite--longer steeps, lid on to preserve the heat. A little bit of experimentation to see what you like and you should be able to get pretty good results, I would think.

Of course, I also don't take any really delicate/finicky teas to work to brew, either. No gyokuro at the office for me!
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Re: Teas at the office - how do you provide for temperatures?

Postby debunix » Dec 20th, '11, 13:02

I brought a temperature-controlled kettle to the office, and use that to brew my tea. If I did not have that option, and in some places where I don't have it, I will occasionally heat water to a boil in one pitcher in the microwave, fill a small cup with cool water, and mix them to get roughly the temp I want with a digital thermomter I keep there. Mostly, though, I just brew teas that are resilient enough to be tasty across a wide range of brew temps (e.g., oolongs and shu puerhs).
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Re: Teas at the office - how do you provide for temperatures?

Postby beecrofter » Dec 20th, '11, 13:54

The temperature of the water can be determined by timing, as well as the size and the sizzling sound made by the air bubbles in the kettle.
At 75-85 °C, the bubbles formed are known as "crab eyes" and are about 3 mm in diameter. They are accompanied by loud, rapid sizzling sounds.
At 90-95 °C, the bubbles, which are now around 8 mm in diameter and accompanied by less frequent sizzling sounds and a lower sizzling pitch, are dubbed "fish eyes".
When the water is boiling, neither the formation of air bubbles nor sizzling sounds occurs.

At high altitudes water boils at lower temperatures, so the above rules cannot be applied.

Source- Gong fu cha artikle at wiki
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Re: Teas at the office - how do you provide for temperatures?

Postby wyardley » Dec 20th, '11, 14:42

I mostly make oolongs and pu'ers at the office; if anything, I find it's difficult to get my electric kettle quite hot enough a lot of the time -- I think the auto-shutoff in automatic mode may be around 185 F or so, so to get water really hot, you have to use the manual controls.

As far as more delicate teas, there are a lot of ways to use your senses to guess the water temperature (as mentioned above) - not only the bubbles, but the appearance of steam from the spout, letting it cool and testing the temperature with your fingers (carefully!), and so on.

I think the tendency is to slightly overestimate how hot water is, and most things that you'd use to heat water in a workplace environment may not get that hot, so I'd try just using water that's as hot as you can get it, and then see how the results are.
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