Feb 18th, '08, 10:00
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Easiest way to make green tea w/o special equipment?

by dstaley » Feb 18th, '08, 10:00

I've seen a lot of people talking about the painstaking process of achieving that perfect temperature for green, white, and oolong teas. Since I can't get a hold of a UlitiTEA kettle, what would be the best possible way to achieve the temperature? Would heating in a microwave and constantly checking the temperature do? Or should I just heat to boiling and then allow to cool with a thermometer and wait until it is near 180 degrees?

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Feb 18th, '08, 10:22
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by Space Samurai » Feb 18th, '08, 10:22

I recoment your last option. I do not reccomend using a microwave.

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Feb 18th, '08, 12:03
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by Wesli » Feb 18th, '08, 12:03

Microwaving works, but I'd say go with the stovetop.

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Feb 18th, '08, 13:14
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by forkyfork » Feb 18th, '08, 13:14

If you choose to go with a microwave, heating water for about 1:30 usually puts it at about 180 (and 2:00 is about peak time for boiling). I recommend buying a thermometer though, just to be sure. You can get a meat thermometer for $5 at walmart. In fact, my local one just put a bunch of them on sale.

There's been and endless debate about whether microwaved water is significantly worse than kettled water. All I know is that when I'm in a bind (i.e. not at home), I will gladly take microwaved water w/ tea bags over nothing at all.

Although I do love my UtiliTEA kettle :)

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Feb 18th, '08, 13:46
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by TimeforTea » Feb 18th, '08, 13:46

I just recently purchased a book from amazon's used section (I don't think this book is still in print), called "The Green Tea User's Manual", by Helen Gustafson. In it, she outlines each type of green tea, and then how to brew it using water from the stove, in which she calls "The Standard Pot Method". What I found helpful, was that she describes the 3 types of temperatures to look for:

1) When the bubbles look like tiny "Fish eyes", this is 160-180 degrees
2) When the bubbles break the surface or cling to the sides of the pan, this called "String of Pearls", and is 180-190 degrees
3) Finally, large bubles breaking the surface is "Turbulent Waters", at 190-210 degrees (not used for green teas)

Hope this helps.

A note for microwave users... I've read from other tea chatters who have no problems with microwaving water from the microwave. The only thing that could be an issue is if the odor from food previously heated in the microwave effects the odor/flavor of your tea.

I bought my mother in law something called a "One-Shot" from Walmart, because she kept burning the bottom of her tea kettles. It's a small, white, plastic appliance that heats a cup of water. You use your cup instead of a coffee pot to catch the hot water.
Last edited by TimeforTea on Feb 19th, '08, 00:34, edited 1 time in total.

Feb 18th, '08, 17:56
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by dstaley » Feb 18th, '08, 17:56

Well, I'm new to full-leaf tea, and my resources are limited, if that.

I do notice that using microwaved water feels/tastes/smells funny. Just because I'm addicted to microwaved foods xD

But I am going to try and see if I can find a ceramic kettle at WalMart or something. Hopefully, I'll buy a UtiliTEA kettle. (Also, what heats it? Would it work for a dorm room that doesn't have a stove or microwave or anything of that sort?)

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Feb 18th, '08, 18:45
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by scruffmcgruff » Feb 18th, '08, 18:45

dstaley wrote:Hopefully, I'll buy a UtiliTEA kettle. (Also, what heats it? Would it work for a dorm room that doesn't have a stove or microwave or anything of that sort?)
The utiliTEA kettle is electric, so all you have to do is plug it in.

Feb 18th, '08, 19:43
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by Pentox » Feb 18th, '08, 19:43

On that note i've even seen those little plastic electric kettles for like 12 dollars.

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Feb 19th, '08, 00:36
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by TimeforTea » Feb 19th, '08, 00:36

Pentox wrote:On that note i've even seen those little plastic electric kettles for like 12 dollars.
So have I. I've seen them at Target, Walmart, and the A&P for about $19.

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Feb 19th, '08, 02:00
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by Wesli » Feb 19th, '08, 02:00

Yes, and those things are also a very bad idea.

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Feb 19th, '08, 10:02
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by Mary R » Feb 19th, '08, 10:02

Wesli wrote:Yes, and those things are also a very bad idea.
Aw, the plastic construction might be a questionable thing...but I think there are worse things in the world.

If it's all you can afford or are willing to spend, the ubiquitous Proctor Silex Walmart Special will get the job done. Prop an instant read thermometer in the spout as it heats and you've got a pretty darn serviceable tea rig for just about $20.

Feb 19th, '08, 13:52
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by Pentox » Feb 19th, '08, 13:52

In a limited environment it's really hard to do any better for that kind of money though. Personally I think they're better than microwaving. *Pats his Zoji*

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Feb 19th, '08, 13:59
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by olivierco » Feb 19th, '08, 13:59

Wesli wrote:Yes, and those things are also a very bad idea.
+1
Hot water in plastic is not a very good idea.

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Feb 19th, '08, 14:11
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by scruffmcgruff » Feb 19th, '08, 14:11

olivierco wrote:
Wesli wrote:Yes, and those things are also a very bad idea.
+1
Hot water in plastic is not a very good idea.
I tend to agree with Mary. While not ideal, I wouldn't necessarily say it's a "very bad" (or other synonymous phrase) idea. I've imbibed hot water from a plastic electric kettle many times, and my health has not noticeably declined.

Pricking yourself with used needles is what I would call a very bad idea-- drinking water boiled in food-safe plastic is much less so.

Feb 19th, '08, 14:15
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by Pentox » Feb 19th, '08, 14:15

Scruff McGruff wrote:...
Pricking yourself with used needles is what I would call a very bad idea-- ...
Awh, but it's so much fun!

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