the perfect temp


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the perfect temp

Postby brienzee » Apr 14th, '07, 12:33

i'm just wondering what techniques you guys use to get the water at the right temperature for green teas. the best i can do at the moment is boil the water. then wait for it to drop to 180, checking the temp every few minutes.
this wont work for me in the long run, its such a hassle. i'm looking for a better way.
eventually i want to get an electric kettle with a exact temp control. anyone can recommend a good electric kettle?

thanks
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Postby Chip » Apr 14th, '07, 12:53

Hey brienzee,

A very easy and fast technique for not only bringing your water temp down for green tea, which by the way I use 170-175 for most greens, is to simply use the boiling water to preheat your brewing vessel. This will bring the temp down very quickly and it may take just a little practice.

But this is a traditional practice for warming the vessel and cooling your water.

I have an adjustable temp kettle from Upton, but geez, I almost never use the adjustment. I use it only for gyokuro which requires very low brewing temp. For all other greens, I just do not need it since using the above method brings the temp down very effectively.
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Postby Mary R » Apr 14th, '07, 13:32

Chip has a great technique, and I've certainly had great success with it. If you do really want a kettle with temperature control, though, I just happened to have a few listed in my bookmarks.

Adagio's utiliTEA has temperature control as does T-fal's Vitesse. The basic li'l $14 32 oz Rival Hot Pot has 7 different temperature settings as does the Toastess TMP-1B model. You might also want to check out Zojirushi hot water pots. They have a variety of models with different capacities and features. With most, however, you set the pot to stay at 208°F, 195°F, or 175°F. The heater will then hover around that setting--the pot has a digital display to let you know what the actual temperature is at any given moment. They might not be great if there are inquisitive small children about, but they look awful handy.

EDIT: Woo! This is my 100th post. Is this something I should be proud of?
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Postby TeaFanatic » Apr 14th, '07, 16:28

Yes you should be very proud of 100 posts! If only we had more people at that number, this board would be even more active!
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Postby Chip » Apr 14th, '07, 17:30

Happy 100th post to you
happy 100th post to you
happy 100th post, Mary R
happy 100th post to you....and many more...
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Postby Space Samurai » Apr 14th, '07, 17:52

I just use one of these, http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/product.php?productid=5209&cat=25&page=1, and a thermometer.

You couldn't pry it from cold, dead hands, but it can be a hassle.
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Postby Chip » Apr 14th, '07, 18:49

spacesamurai wrote:I just use one of these, http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/product.php?productid=5209&cat=25&page=1, and a thermometer.

You couldn't pry it from cold, dead hands, but it can be a hassle.


LOL, well, I can buy a lot of tea for 60 clams, but it is cool and I have wanted either a Tokoname or Yixing one for a long time.
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Postby LavenderPekoe » Apr 15th, '07, 15:34

TeaFanatic wrote:Yes you should be very proud of 100 posts! If only we had more people at that number, this board would be even more active!


This board was quite a bit more active at one point. Then we all got busy. :?
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Postby Space Samurai » Apr 15th, '07, 17:43

LOL, well, I can buy a lot of tea for 60 clams, but it is cool and I have wanted either a Tokoname or Yixing one for a long time.[/quote]

Sometimes I think I drink tea just so I can buy all the teapots and what not.

Some nights I'll be drinking my fifth cup of puerh, and I'll think, "Do I even enjoy the taste of this? I don't know, but it sure was fun to make."
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Postby brienzee » Apr 15th, '07, 18:36

thanks for your help guys.
i have been just boiling water then putting it in my cup to cool down.
i just got to get it down so i dont need a thermometer
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Postby Chip » Apr 15th, '07, 19:09

brienzee wrote:thanks for your help guys.
i have been just boiling water then putting it in my cup to cool down.
i just got to get it down so i dont need a thermometer


There are some teas though, that I would still never brew without a thermometer. Some folks can eye ball it. For instance, fine sencha or gyokuro, sometimes a few degrees makes all the difference.

And then some people never use a thermometer. I don't mind a thermometer (and digital scale, etc), kind of satisfies the mad scientist in me.
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Postby sygyzy » Apr 27th, '07, 16:52

Chip - I read your post 3 times and still don't understand it.

What do you mean by:

imply use the boiling water to preheat your brewing vessel. This will bring the temp down very quickly and it may take just a little practice.


Mary R - The T-Fal Vitesse is what I use. It is a variable temperature kettle and it does everything well except one thing. Check out my review on the Amazon page you linked.

I am a huge tea drinker and as you know, there are two key temperatures in the tea world: less than boiling (180F) and boiling (212). As far as I know, there are only two readily available variable temperature electric kettles on the market - the T-Fal Vitesse and one from Adagio Teas. I chose the former and have been using it for about 7 months.

I assumed that since water can't get hotter than 212F, the highest (most right) setting would correspond to that. So the middle had to be roughly 180. I've brewed dozens of cups of tea, some for guests, some very expensive with this assumption.

Today I brought in a thermometer and found the following:

Low - 175 F
Medium - 212 F
High - 212 F

This is outrageous! Why make a product that is not truly variable or accurate and sell it as such?
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Apr 27th, '07, 17:50

He means:

1. Boil water.
2. Put boiling water into empty brewing vessel, thus preheating it and cooling your water.
3. Pour cooled water into cups (or other empty vessel) a number of times, thus preheating your cups and cooling your water even more.
4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until water is at desired temperature.

You might need a thermometer at first to figure out how many passes you need do, but after you get a feel for the temp drops, you can ditch the thermometer if you want.

Having said that, I am guilty of just using a variable temp kettle and a thermometer to double-check. :oops: I have the Upton model which is nice, except that it is a virtual scale magnet. Hope this helps.
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Postby Chip » Apr 27th, '07, 18:03

Thanx for covering for me Scruff!

This is an age old technique for lowering water temp and also heating your vessels at the same time. It does require a little practice to get the technique to the point where you KNOW the temp each step of the way.

Also, it is rather traditional to put your dry leaf in the preheated brewing vessel to wake up the leaf...oh, and smell the leaf in the pot when you do this...very nice aroma.

That said, I still use a digital thermometer to confirm this for green tea, especially temp sensitive greens like sencha and gyokuro. But some more intuitive folks will never need to use a thermometer...I guess I am intuitively impaired.
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Postby Chip » Apr 27th, '07, 18:07

scruffmcgruff wrote:
Having said that, I am guilty of just using a variable temp kettle and a thermometer to double-check. :oops: I have the Upton model which is nice, except that it is a virtual scale magnet. Hope this helps.


Scruff, I have the exact same model. You must have some very scaley water where you live. I can just rinse mine out every 1-2 weeks with a vinegar solution and clean as a whistle.

I thought I would use the variable temp setting more...I honestly never use it except for gyokuro...just don't seem to need it otherwise. But I really like the unit. I think it will last a long time.
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