Keeping tea warm at work.


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby futurebird » Feb 13th, '13, 14:54

I drink most of my tea in my office on campus. There I have a kettle and a Japanese iron teapot. I find, though that often the tea gets cold before I'm done drinking. I'd like some way to keep it warm.

Ideas:
-some kind of electric warming plate for the teapot (is there one that would work with my teapot? would I need a new pot?)
PRO: maybe less expensive?
CON: can't really have an open flame at work are there other options?

-get one of those electric automatic teamakers that keep it warm like coffee
PRO: simple
CON: I like using my teapot it's elegant and makes me smile.

-some kind of warming mug?
PRO: could keep the teapot
CON: Might be too much junk on my desk, could be ugly looking

-put it in a thermos
PRO: simple solution.
CON: not elegant, would it really keep it warm enough

-just toss out tea
PRO: always have fresh tea
CON: wasteful, forced to leave my desk, nearest drain is far away and I'm lazy


How do all of your pros deal with this???
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby AdamMY » Feb 13th, '13, 15:31

Might not be the solution you like, but I too have an office on campus and brew tea there, so I do know how this works. I found its best to brew one cup at a time, this may mean smaller teapot it may not.

Pros: You get to re-steep the tea as long as you are in your office often enough that day.

Cons: You do run the kettle more often, and each time you make a new cup it takes a little bit of time.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby teaisme » Feb 13th, '13, 15:52

what do you usually drink?
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby futurebird » Feb 13th, '13, 16:02

White tea and pu-erh. I might also start with ooolong more in the future.

ha ha how about this:

http://www.yankodesign.com/2011/04/08/tea-party/

I think it's so expensive it dosen't even exist yet.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Vermont Cathy » Feb 13th, '13, 16:50

I'm a newbie, but I have a Tea Forte steeping mug (http://www.amazon.com/Tea-Fort%25e9-Loose-System-Grass/dp/B003V05NQC/). It holds 12 oz, which is a pretty decent amount for me, and I have 2 or 3 mug-fulls a day (sometimes resteeping, sometimes not).

It's not as pretty as an iron tea pot, but not too bad.

If you do decide to try a thermos, yes it will keep it hot. I have a vacuum sealed L.L. Bean thermos, and if I fill it with tea for a hike, even out in the winter for many hours, I have to let the tea cool in the little cup before I can sip it. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/73390?feat=thermos-SR0&page=stainless-steel-vacuum-bottle-24-oz&attrValue_0=Stainless&productId=1218039
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Neist » Feb 13th, '13, 17:17

Kind of the nerdy solution here, but they make USB-warmed thermos, if you want to keep some tea in that. Not sure what temp it keeps it at, but its something. :)

That being said, I make tea almost exclusively at my office, and I do what Adam states. Small pot, many steepings.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Chip » Feb 13th, '13, 17:18

Another solution from a different PoV, brew smaller steeps. This way you can brew and finish the steep versus having to let it sit and wait.

It seems the longer TCers have been drinking tea, the smaller their steeps become. Although our reasons may be somewhat different, I did begin making my steeps smaller partly for similar reasons.

But likely the biggest reason is we began to drink better teas costing more and also found we could get the most from our teas with smaller steeps.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby laura99 » Feb 13th, '13, 18:43

I have two solutions I use at work. For tea's like black or herbal where I will brew a larger batch (around 10oz), I used a thermos mug like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Thermos-Nissan-12 ... ds=thermos

Its made to brew tea, but I don't use it for that. Tea can stay hot a long time in this mug, and the extra lid is great for when I want to transport something to drink later.

For teas that I want to brew in smaller batches, I use this thermos to hold the hot water. I can get 5 brews in my shibo without having to get up from my desk.

http://www.amazon.com/THERMOS-VACUUM-IN ... pd_sim_k_3

I am fortunate to have enough space at work for all this!
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Poohblah » Feb 13th, '13, 19:21

There are several good solutions. I believe all of these have been mentioned already but I think I would like to add that I feel these are the most reasonable options.

The most popular one, in my experience of talking with other people who have the same problem as you, is to keep hot water in a vacuum thermos, then use that hot water throughout the day to brew tea in a teapot, cup, or mug. Here is one example. Note in the description that it is a "double-wall vacuum insulation" type thermos. This is what you want - a double-wall thermos with a vacuum in between is just about the best insulation you can buy. I even have a friend who owns a model that has a small spout at the top. His model is designed to be used in exactly the way I've described here. This method is popular because you can take a thermos of hot water and a mug with you wherever you go, even without electricity.

The second option is to buy a hot plate. These are basically individual electric stove top burners that you can plug in to an outlet. Your office may have rules regarding such devices, as they can be dangerous if left on accidentally. You can turn it on low and keep your teapot on top. As long as the heat is low enough, those consumer-grade iron "teapots" will be safe and keep the tea warm. Don't let the teapot sit on the hot plate while it is empty, as the pot can get too hot and that can damage it.

Of course your last (and in my opinion, best) option is just to buy an electric kettle and keep it at your desk. If your tea gets cold before drinking it, then likely you're brewing too much at once, and instead you should brew more frequently and less at a time. I think this is a refrain you will never stop hearing from teachat ;) Of course if you're moving around a lot during the day, it's cumbersome to take the kettle with you all the time.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Vermont Cathy » Feb 14th, '13, 09:46

I was one of the first to point out here that tea (already steeped) will stay quite hot in a thermos (too hot to drink), but for just keeping the water in the thermos for future brewing - I'm wondering about teas that should be brewed at or near boiling (208-212). Will the water in the thermos stay THAT hot?

Guess I could do an experiment.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby debunix » Feb 14th, '13, 11:21

I use a thermos regularly when I can't be at my desk by the kettle.

Pro: simple, easy, and while my chosen Stanley steel thermoses aren't the most elegant, they're functional and generate some interesting conversation.

Con: many teas do not 'hold' well in the thermos--even if the thermos is quite full and well sealed, the tea liquor inside oxidizes, and delicate white teas, most green teas, and many oolongs can't take that without turning unpleasant. Most mellow puerhs and deep roasted oolongs, and some really nice green oolongs, can stay delicious in the thermos--some deep roasted oolongs that might be a bit dark or bitter up front when started gong fu style actually work especially nicely in the thermos for a few hours.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby laura99 » Feb 14th, '13, 12:05

Vermont Cathy wrote:I was one of the first to point out here that tea (already steeped) will stay quite hot in a thermos (too hot to drink), but for just keeping the water in the thermos for future brewing - I'm wondering about teas that should be brewed at or near boiling (208-212). Will the water in the thermos stay THAT hot?

Guess I could do an experiment.


I used the hot water in a thermos method for brewing these types of teas often with success. It helps that my thermos allows you to just open the cap partially and pour - holding in the heat. I usually keep going until the last pot full, which would not be hot enough for something that required near boiling.
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Poohblah » Feb 15th, '13, 02:27

Vermont Cathy wrote:I was one of the first to point out here that tea (already steeped) will stay quite hot in a thermos (too hot to drink), but for just keeping the water in the thermos for future brewing - I'm wondering about teas that should be brewed at or near boiling (208-212). Will the water in the thermos stay THAT hot?

Guess I could do an experiment.
It would certainly stay close to boiling for quite some time. Half an hour, definitely, but I don't know about several hours.

But if you really need such fine temperature control at such a high heat anyway, you really should be considering more sophisticated tools than a thermos filled with hot water.

debunix wrote:Con: many teas do not 'hold' well in the thermos--even if the thermos is quite full and well sealed, the tea liquor inside oxidizes, and delicate white teas, most green teas, and many oolongs can't take that without turning unpleasant. Most mellow puerhs and deep roasted oolongs, and some really nice green oolongs, can stay delicious in the thermos--some deep roasted oolongs that might be a bit dark or bitter up front when started gong fu style actually work especially nicely in the thermos for a few hours.
Deb, I have a stainless steel double-walled vacuum tea tumbler and I've noticed similar issues. However, I find that when brewing with a tea tumbler, the far greater issue is that, due to the excellent heat retention of the SS/vacuum wall combination, teas tend to cook, especially greens. I have to start with a lower temperature of water than I usually do if I'm drinking grandpa-style out of such a tumbler. Also, since I have to wait forever before the tea is cool enough to drink, it helps to start out with cooler water... :roll: But otherwise it's fantastic and I love it. Plus I bought in in Chengdu so it has sentimental value :mrgreen:
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby debunix » Feb 15th, '13, 02:44

Ah. I usually brew the tea at whatever temp and pour it into the thermos without the leaves. No worries about cooking the leaves!
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Re: Keeping tea warm at work.

Postby Poohblah » Feb 15th, '13, 05:23

I understand. I was trying to point out that using well-insulated tea tumblers brings additional problems, and that I have also noticed the same problem with oxidation that you have.
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