User avatar
Dec 7th 08 10:07 pm
Posts: 8065
Joined: Jan 8th 08 11:00 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Southern CA
Been thanked: 2 times

Bamboo Charcoal - How often do you replace it?

by Victoria » Dec 7th 08 10:07 pm

I use bamboo charcoal in water kettles I own at home and at work. But both were gifts. I was going to ask where to buy it, but I since have found it on eBay - now my question is - how often do those of you that use it, change it?

User avatar
Dec 7th 08 10:46 pm
Posts: 2299
Joined: Oct 23rd 06 11:46 pm
Location: Seattle Area

by tenuki » Dec 7th 08 10:46 pm

Roughly every couple months. Be careful of the ebay charcoal I've never found food grade good quality there. Besides Stephane, who has always included free charcoal with each of my orders

edit: not true, see below
(I've had the best luck at this place. I usually get 10 or so of their cooking packs and it lasts me a year including gifts. However I'm probably going to try their 1kg of pieces this time. )

You have to make sure it's food grade, there are places that make bamboo charcoal that isn't. It also has to be activated.
Last edited by tenuki on Dec 8th 08 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dec 7th 08 11:48 pm
Posts: 8065
Joined: Jan 8th 08 11:00 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Southern CA
Been thanked: 2 times

by Victoria » Dec 7th 08 11:48 pm

Thanks for the link. Min purchase is kinda high. I'll place an order after the first of the year. The only stuff I have is from you and Stephane. I know it needs replacing.

I was looking at this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0135529593

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 12:14 am
Posts: 1598
Joined: Jan 11th 07 9:13 pm
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

by scruffmcgruff » Dec 8th 08 12:14 am

I was wondering about this too, Victoria, so thanks for asking. :)

I got mine from Teacuppa. No idea if the price is reasonable or not, or whether it even works, but I have it now and I might as well use it.
Tea Nerd - www.teanerd.com

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 3:56 am
Posts: 2299
Joined: Oct 23rd 06 11:46 pm
Location: Seattle Area

by tenuki » Dec 8th 08 3:56 am

Victoria wrote: I was looking at this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0135529593
That looks fine. It all seems so pricey to me that I'm serioiusly considering trying to make my own. The link I gave you the shipping is high too, so count on maybe 50+ bucks for a 35 dollar mimum order. What'ya gonna do, 17 bucks for 10 peices sounds ridiculous too and teacuppa is charging 12 bucks + shipping for 5, yikes.

But for my water I can definitely tell the difference, done several blind taste tests and it's unmistakable.
Do something different, something different will happen. ( Gong Fu Garden )

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 3:12 pm
Posts: 504
Joined: Nov 3rd 08 6:46 pm

by Janine » Dec 8th 08 3:12 pm

You can buy the purifying bamboo charcoal at Japanese markets or supermarkets. There is a kind of a chain called Mitsuwa - if you live hear one, they usually have them.

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 4:34 pm
Posts: 2299
Joined: Oct 23rd 06 11:46 pm
Location: Seattle Area

by tenuki » Dec 8th 08 4:34 pm

The link I gave above is not an option anymore. I just got a message from him saying the shipping charges would be more than the order and to check out his canadian partner at http://www.northwestimprovisedbambootec ... index.html. That ebay store is looking better and better Victoria. :)

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 4:51 pm
Posts: 504
Joined: Nov 3rd 08 6:46 pm

by Janine » Dec 8th 08 4:51 pm

I forgot to add:

Red Circle Tea sells it. They are highly reputable tea sellers - I would recommend anything from them.

I don't see a link on their website
http://redcircletea.com

But you can write to Sina and just ask about it (I've bought it at their tea tastings)

sina@redcircletea.com

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 6:05 pm
Posts: 8065
Joined: Jan 8th 08 11:00 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Southern CA
Been thanked: 2 times

by Victoria » Dec 8th 08 6:05 pm

Red Circle does have it listed - shipping to me was $4.50 so this seems like the best
place for now:

http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/t ... aware.html

They say it lasts 6 months - but that is probably typical rate of use. not for
us. Every two months sounds good to me.

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 6:10 pm
Posts: 2299
Joined: Oct 23rd 06 11:46 pm
Location: Seattle Area

by tenuki » Dec 8th 08 6:10 pm

If I keep ordering from Stephane every couple months I won't have to worry. lol.
Do something different, something different will happen. ( Gong Fu Garden )

User avatar
Dec 8th 08 6:17 pm
Posts: 8065
Joined: Jan 8th 08 11:00 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Southern CA
Been thanked: 2 times

by Victoria » Dec 8th 08 6:17 pm

I like that logic!

User avatar
Dec 9th 08 4:12 am
Posts: 504
Joined: Nov 3rd 08 6:46 pm

by Janine » Dec 9th 08 4:12 am

Victoria wrote:Red Circle does have it listed - shipping to me was $4.50 so this seems like the best
place for now:

http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/t ... aware.html

They say it lasts 6 months - but that is probably typical rate of use. not for
us. Every two months sounds good to me.
Hi Victoria, I'm glad you found it on the website. Sina & Carnie are extremely nice. If you would like to, I'd feel free to write and just ask how they use it if you are interested. They always have it at their tea tastings (in the water storage container).

User avatar
Dec 9th 08 4:52 am
Posts: 8065
Joined: Jan 8th 08 11:00 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Southern CA
Been thanked: 2 times

by Victoria » Dec 9th 08 4:52 am

I just keep it in my water kettle. I'm not looking to increase my dependency, hahaha. It's bad enough I'm already thinking I need a bamboo pillow cover and a bunch of it by my computer to run electromagnetic interference for me.

User avatar
Dec 9th 08 6:21 am
Posts: 1051
Joined: Jul 7th 07 5:37 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Portland, OR

by ABx » Dec 9th 08 6:21 am

If you're saying that the activated charcoal works better, then that pretty much settles it for me that it's just charcoal adsorbing what charcoal does, and nothing to do with the fact that it's bamboo shaped.

When you reduce stuff to a pure carbon structure then it starts trapping particulates and some chemicals like chlorine. Activated charcoal is where they pressurize it while it's burning, which creates a whole bunch of tiny little bubbles, creating intense amounts of surface area that adsorb even more. When you put it in the kettle then it's going to bounce around from the boiling, cleaning the water as it passes through it.

So why not just get some good grade water filtering carbon? It would be a whole lot cheaper and it would probably adsorb even more. You can get a nylon mesh bag to put it in. You just need to make sure to rinse out the dust before you put it in, and make sure you get the good grade pellet stuff rather than the irregular chips that turn to mush.

I suppose you could also run your water through a Brita twice, but the charcoal itself may be removing more of something that the Brita cartridge isn't getting with it's ratio of charcoal to ion exchange resin.

User avatar
Dec 9th 08 6:43 am
Posts: 2299
Joined: Oct 23rd 06 11:46 pm
Location: Seattle Area

by tenuki » Dec 9th 08 6:43 am

in my experience it _adds_ ?sweetness?, ?thickness?. I britta my water before using it. but the problem with seattle water is it's too soft. the britta doesn't do anyting but make the water taste crisper (and not like clorine). I should get a water chemistry kit to see what's happening, but I can taste the difference. My target taste is basically Fiji bottled water, but don't want to buy that all the time due to carbon footprint issues so I've been playing around trying to find a cheaper compromise. I have a number of theories, but so far too lazy to test them since I have a reliable method to get close to the taste I want.
Do something different, something different will happen. ( Gong Fu Garden )