Measuring spoons


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Measuring spoons

Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:52

Please post your suggestions on measuring spoons. Specialteas.com uses very precise measurements that are beyond the precision of traditional measuring spoon sets. There are some adjustable models that don't exactly fit the bill (KitchenArt's adjustable, or this plastic Tea Measure (http://www.herbcupboard.com/s-tea-acc-4.html). How about a single spoon with graduations? Is it preferable to measure by weight?

Evan Draper
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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:52

I've always just used a silver tea spoon that I picked up at a thrift store. I usually just eye-ball it. Every tea is different, and sometimes I like a tea to be stronger, so I add more than usual.
I've always felt that unless you are doing a professional tea tasting, being absolutely precise is a waste of energy.

Marlene
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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:52

Well, professional was the ultimate aim....
And really, what wastes more energy than a tea enthusiasts' message board? To this end, tea represents luxury and exoticism. What distinguishes tea from other energy-wasting pursuits is its individual sensuality and economy. The cup is a highly personal experience, the most fleeting of indescribable sensual pleasures. Only the tangled causes, not the net effect, can be translated to another in ever-increasing precision; writing on tea is an exercise in persuasive literature rather than objective description. Yet a full pot of satisfactory stuff can be had in an above-average commercial setting for two dollars. For me, tea satisfies the highest flights of Proustian metaphysical fancy while still meeting democratic criteria of economy...

notwithstanding the transnational effects on laborers in the global tea industry.

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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:52

Evan--

I think you've just solved the dilemma in Plato's cave allegory:

Drink more tea-- it's the ultimate synthesis of the real and the ideal!

Remembering of Things Past,

Chris
Adagio Maestro
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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:53

Hey Evan man,
It was just my opinion. No need to get riled, no offence was intended. Have another cup of tea!
Marlene
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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:53

I found the best one to date--Kitchen Art, I believe. The damn thing's like, brushed stainless steel with the adjustable slider marking gradations in between a tablespoon and a teaspoon. All the others I had seen were teaspoon-to-smaller or tablespoon-to-larger. It's also six dollars at the mall, so I'm waiting for a special occasion. I still maintain tea preparing ought to be measured in weight also. I suspect it would reveal more consistencies in leaf-amount per cup than volume has. I would check it out, but I don't have any other excuse to buy a cool computerized scale. Doc, a little help?

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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:53

must agree with Marlene on this one. Drinking tea is sublime, silver spoons add a little je ne sais pas on the days you feel like it. Measurements are a guide, a starting point until allowing you to adapt to your own taste buds and different ways of drinking tea. I would warn against getting 'stuck' in measuring. Ideally we would travel to all of the countries to try the subtilties of the different variations created by different combinations and different hands. The subtilties is all part of the experience, adding another dimension to the variety of teas available.

Ileana
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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:53

OK folks, this is the light at the end of the tunnel. Just as I suspected, tea is universally measured by weight. Every blessed variety of Camellia sinensis can be prepared at the ratio of

2.25 grams of dry leaf to 6 fluid ounces of water.

This is why you use a scant teaspoon for those CTC's and several soup spoons' worth of whites. I found this information at www.uptontea.com. Their website was refreshingly stodgy, and I bought a scale as they insisted. (And then, surprisingly, they revamped their literature to be less stodgy.) Upton Imports doesn't sell scales, though; I could only find suitable models on websites that ostensibly offered them for weighing marijuana. I purchased the charming little Vector VX-10, which runs about $20 with shipping. Is it staggeringly inconvenient and unnecessary? Yes. Is it giddy fun? Oh yes. It just feels better to know there is a source that all these volume measures come from. I like to know that I can compare a CTC and an orthodox tea on equal flavor footing. No, I am not shackled to all this measuring apparatus every time I want a cup of tea. I just find it useful for developing a discriminating understanding.

As a postscript, standardized measurement is a vital component as tea-drinking becomes an increasingly commercialized endeavor. No one would argue that more or less than 2.25 grams per 6 oz produces an unacceptable flavor, but nobody wants to purchase "a few scoops" of tea without knowing how big the scoop is. Every morning I measure out portions of sliced meat that must weigh between .47 and .49 pounds. I am sure my cohorts at Adagio have analogous tasks.

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Postby teachat » Jun 8th, '05, 18:54

To maintain accurate standards for our teas, we used to use digital scales at Adagio. That is, until the office jokester Kyle changed them all to the metric system. Now, as I'm sure you know, they are utterly useless.

Thanks a lot, Kyle.

Your cretinous cohort,

Chris
Adagio Kilomaestro
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