Getting that desired temperature

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Jun 28th, '08, 16:57
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Getting that desired temperature

by taitea » Jun 28th, '08, 16:57

Maybe this doesn't matter, maybe this does. But if a certain tea works best at, say, 180 F , do you let the water boil first and then drop down to the proper temperature, or is it better to use "un-boiled" water that has just reached 180 F ?

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Jun 28th, '08, 17:07
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Re: Getting that desired temperature

by chamekke » Jun 28th, '08, 17:07

taitea wrote:Maybe this doesn't matter, maybe this does. But if a certain tea works best at, say, 180 F , do you let the water boil first and then drop down to the proper temperature, or is it better to use "un-boiled" water that has just reached 180 F ?


Good question!

I usually go to a full boil, then use that water to preheat the teapot (and sometimes a cup or two). By the time I've returned the water to the kettle, it has usually cooled to just about 180 degrees. This approach ensures that when you do put the tea in the pot and add the hot water, the tea will actually brew at the correct temperature.

But I have no idea if this is "better". I just think it's easier :D

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Jun 28th, '08, 17:16
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Re: Getting that desired temperature

by Chip » Jun 28th, '08, 17:16

chamekke wrote:
taitea wrote:Maybe this doesn't matter, maybe this does. But if a certain tea works best at, say, 180 F , do you let the water boil first and then drop down to the proper temperature, or is it better to use "un-boiled" water that has just reached 180 F ?


Good question!

I usually go to a full boil, then use that water to preheat the teapot (and sometimes a cup or two). By the time I've returned the water to the kettle, it has usually cooled to just about 180 degrees. This approach ensures that when you do put the tea in the pot and add the hot water, the tea will actually brew at the correct temperature.

But I have no idea if this is "better". I just think it's easier :D


Yep, I boil and use the water to preheat as well. If I don't, I know the water will drop too quickly when I pour it into a room temperature teapot.

I have a variable temp adagio kettle, but virtually never use the feature.

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Jun 28th, '08, 18:00
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by Wesli » Jun 28th, '08, 18:00

I boil the water and use the thermometer to know when it's at a good temp.

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Jun 28th, '08, 18:59
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by scruffmcgruff » Jun 28th, '08, 18:59

Personally, I am ambivalent. If I remember to turn off the kettle before it boils, I'll do it to save time, but I often forget. :) That said, some people are absolutely vehement about their methods.

The boil-first side likely gets their argument from tradition, when boiling water was needed to make it safe, but it is now a moot point in most of the Western world. The no-boil side usually claims that boiling removes oxygen; I don't know if this is true, but maybe. Water that has been boiled over and over again does taste a bit flat to me, but I don't think one boil will hurt. Then, sometimes people will bring qi into the equation, at which point I become completely lost. :)

(Of course, not all people who boil/don't boil think along these lines, these are just the classic arguments when people debate the issue)

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Jun 29th, '08, 00:33
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by Smells_Familiar » Jun 29th, '08, 00:33

I always boil. Unless I'm gongfuing, I'm normally in a different room than the kettle when it's heating and I rely on the sound of it's whistle to let me know it's time to get my butt in there. I need the boil for that. Also, nowadays I'm trying to ween myself from the thermometer and boiling the water gives me a temp. refrence point. After it boils I can pretty much accurately guess what temp the water is by how much time has passed. So, I need the boil for that too.

Come to think of it, I've never heard of a tea master not bringing the water to boil, and I'm sure their reasoning goes beyond safety. Besides, if the reason you're boiling water is to kill bacteria, I've always been told to allow the water to boil for a full ten minutes before using it for cooking. I've been going backpacking and doing things outdoors every chance I get since I was 15 and I've had my share of clogged water purifiers. It's kinda common knowledge among backpackers that boiling water for a full ten minutes is a good idea...unless you want to spend the rest of your trip on the toilet (ie. hovering over a hole in the ground). Maybe the 10 min. boil for water from a questionable source is misinformation, but I've never wanted to test myself to see.

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Jun 29th, '08, 01:00
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by scruffmcgruff » Jun 29th, '08, 01:00

From what I've read and heard, the ten minutes thing is just an extra, though unneeded, precaution some people take exactly for the reason you mentioned. :)

Very little can survive in water that hot, especially if it has adapted to live in the much colder temperatures of its natural environment. When the insides of a cell boil, even for an instant, it's lights out.

I know this isn't a truly academic study, but it is pretty compelling anyway:
http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/ ... oil-water/

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Jun 29th, '08, 08:06
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by Sydney » Jun 29th, '08, 08:06

I boil, then use the boiled water for preheating.

I arrived at this method through just plain old experimentation, in which I've found that 95% of the time it's what get the job done for me with less fuss than other methods.

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Jun 29th, '08, 11:25
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by Space Samurai » Jun 29th, '08, 11:25

I boil then let it cool, too. Possibly just so I can use my yuzamashi. It works into the routine, let the water cool while I preheat the pot, measure out the tea and so forth.

But like Scruff, I don't worry to much if I've reached a full boil or not. As soons as I hear the bubbles, I pour.

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Jun 29th, '08, 14:03
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by britt » Jun 29th, '08, 14:03

Right now I'm using the cheap version of the Zojirushi (Mr. Coffee). The water is steaming but well under boiling. Although I use only spring water, it probably is a good idea to bring it to a boil first. Another thing is that although the less-than-boiling water has worked very well for sencha, it may be too cool to get the best out of the darker oolongs.

I planned on picking up a real Zojirushi when I did my grocery shopping at the Asian market this morning, but I sidetracked over to the hot food area to grab a rack of fresh barbecued ribs and forgot all about the hot water dispenser. Maybe next week.

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Jun 29th, '08, 16:44
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by Thirsty Daruma » Jun 29th, '08, 16:44

I used to boil and wait, but just end up getting impatient.

Now I set the kettle to boil, set up my tea stuff and leaf, and by the time I do the kettle has reached a certain pitch that I've measured to be roughly 180F for greens.

Yeah, I'd rather own a Thermapen, but those are pricey.

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Jun 29th, '08, 17:08
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by witches brew » Jun 29th, '08, 17:08

I start with boiling water because I enjoy the sound of a whistling kettle. Half of the water goes to preheat the pot, and the other half is poured into the yuzamashi to cool. The quick version goes kettle-->yuzamashi-->cups-->pot. By preheating the cups also, the water is cooled that much quicker.

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