DISPATCH

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 →


WATER AND TEA, PART I.

Water

“I hate how every tea blog article about water starts with a quote from me” - Chinese scholar Lu Yu, ca. 1652. Let’s talk about water. Look around you. Water is everywhere. It’s powerful stuff, especially when combined with tea leaves. The purpose of this article will be to: Investigate what we can practically do to improve tea via water Examine some common water related myths There have been numerous discussions about water across Facebook, blogs, and forums. But we need to go deeper. Water is important. Aside from the quality of the tea itself, it is the number one biggest...

Read more →


PROLOGUE

  Welcome to the first dispatch of this little project. These transmissions will attempt to increase the quality, conciseness, and accessibility of tea related information available in the greater sphere of knowledge. There are some questions to be asked; some to hopefully be answered. New concepts to be explored or developed further, with the ultimate aim of improving the collective experience we all have of tea. Some potential topics of discussion: The state of the tea industry, particularly puer tea, including issues around transparency, accessibility, quality, and the future. It's no doubt there is a few issues in this department...

Read more →