DISPATCH — Brewing

TEA DYNAMICS: WATER TEMPERATURE

Brewing Temperature

Water temperature, along with how much tea leaf we use, how long we steep it, and the quality of the water we use, is one of the only variables we have control over when brewing tea. It is often stressed in general tea information that one should use the right temperature for the right kind of tea. But let’s look at water temperature in simple terms: entropy. More water temperature = more heat = more energy. More energy in the extraction solvent = more extraction from the tea. When we consider the energy (heat) lost to the air, the teaware,...

Read more →


TEA DYNAMICS: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE STEEP TEA?

Brewing

‘Gongfu’ or ‘gongfu cha’ has come to loosely define a kind of tea brewing methodology, and is often the preferred method for many Chinese/Taiwanese teas. But why? What makes it good? Let’s investigate what actually happens when tea is steeped, from a viewpoint of physics and chemistry. Once the tea leaves are immersed in water, a simple process of osmotic diffusion occurs; chemicals and compounds on the surface as well in ruptured cells within the leaf slowly diffuse into the water, moving across the concentration gradient, from high to low. As the water surrounding the tea ‘fills up’ with compounds...

Read more →