Trying to get into tea and having some trouble. So some questions I have for the tea-folk here:
1. I don't have a tea kettle so I just boil the water in a pot. Should it be legit BOILING to use it for tea, or is that too hot?
2. When you pour the water in the cup, is it normal for the bag to float to the top, and stay there? It seems strange, I would think that a lot of the tea leaves aren't being absorbed, but is this normal?
3. Are you supposed to stir the tea with a spoon before drinking, in order to disperse the tea evenly throughout?
1. I use water that is just off the boil
2. Teabags float. But please please dont use tea bags. You can pick up a decent teapot with a tea holder for $15 on Amazon. Get some loose leaf. Its a completely different experience.
3. I do
i just use a french press for tea. it works fine
Nothing incredibly wrong with teabags. They're convenience Introduce yourself to tea as you like it, and in whatever fashion. There's some guidelines to temperatures for different types of tea, of course, and steeping times, but since you're not doing anything gourmet here, give it a rest and develop a love for tea in the meantime.
Your next step in your enjoyment of tea (for sometimes use) is loose tea, and whatever kind of strainer you like, or even making whole pots at a time. After that, you might enjoy a kettle that has a temperature on it.
I like beverages in general. From around the world. From atole to mulled wine, love it all. I really adore tea, hot and iced, have a tin of 8-10 types going at any one time, plus a dozen varieties of convenient tea bags for caffeine needs, or when I'm sick and want some bigelow ginger-lemon while traveling for my carryon. I live in a tropical climate, and so I like my iced tea. I'll make a whole pitcher of jasmine, oolong, darjeeling, lychee, earl gray, cinnnamon orange, green, hibiscus...whatever mood strikes me. I might oversteep it in the fridge overnight. It's not wrong to do something that others might frown upon, same deal with coffee. You don't mind bitter compounds or more sugar. And, cream can be delicious in hot tea as well. It's heresy, but I only believe 2 rules firmly...use fresh water, and steep it however you want. Daily, if I'm not into my coffee that day, I might nuke a mug with cold water from the fridge filter tap with a teabag of irish breakfast tea while I shower, and then sip it lukewarm when I get out and wrapped in a towel, and while get ready for the day in my morning routine. Done. Caffeine handled. And, later I might bring out some first flush darjeeling and make some fresh shortbread to go with it. I might make a pitcher of lychee tea, and boil some pearls of boba for tomorrows car trip and my big car cup. Anything goes!
>1. I don't have a tea kettle so I just boil the water in a pot. Should it be legit BOILING to use it for tea, or is that too hot?
Different teas require different temperatures, from around 170 up to the full 212 fahrenheit. With regular black tea and herbal teas, full on boiling water is fine.
>2. When you pour the water in the cup, is it normal for the bag to float to the top, and stay there? It seems strange, I would think that a lot of the tea leaves aren't being absorbed, but is this normal?
The bag is full of powder, not leaves. Rip one open and see for yourself. This is because tea is sorted on screens, and the powder that falls through the screens is sold to be put into tea bags, while the bigger stuff is sold as loose leaf, which commands a higher price. It commands a higher price, incidentally, because it's better, and you should consider switching to it. Anyways, the bag is floating because when it gets wet, it stops allowing air to pass through it. Cloth does this when it gets wet. Since air can't pass through it, and there's air in it, it floats like a balloon. Indeed, you'll even notice it balloon up sometimes, as the air inside expands due to heating up.
>3. Are you supposed to stir the tea with a spoon before drinking, in order to disperse the tea evenly throughout?
Is only semi-accurate. The bag actually floats because tea floats.
And no, you don't need to stir the tea because the hot water still has convection and self-stirs in a sense.
Also, they make whole-leaf sachets which is basically a fancy term for loose leaf tea in a bag. Its the cheap shit thats "powder".
OP, if you get into tea or coffee, or sometimes boil water, an electric kettle is good. It boils water faster than a stove or microwave. I use one with a french press for my tea.
For herbal teas, steep that shit in hot water until it's as flavorful as you want it to be. Really can't fuck it up.
Green teas should be steeped in water that has stopped boiling for 6 minutes, and should only be steeped for 2. Otherwise it gets bitter.
As other people have noted, ditch bags. If you're just making tea for yourself, get a re-usable metal/plastic/whatever pod that you can fill with loose tea and submerge in the water. The idea of teabags is nice, but they don't have the variety or quality of loose teas (and the floating is an issue).
False, green teas steep at 165-180 degree water for 3-5 minutes. Any hotter or longer it tastes like bitter grass.
Also, if you buy loose leaf teas in 1lb bags, its generally cheaper than buying the expensive shit in stores.
I know about superheated water, I wasn't planning on using distilled water for my tea. I mean in terms of taste, how does one hot water differ from the other? It's the same molecules and the same temperature in the same structures. I don't get the practical difference.
>how do i heat up water?
>does my water taste different if it has been heated over a gas stove versus solar stove?
>is artisan water from the umbojoo jungle worth $8 a liter?
welcome to /ck/
1. Walmart sells a temperature based tea kettle for 40$. Save the money and get it.
2. Yes this seems to be the common thing even when using your own made teabags. As I do believe the tea is lighter than the water itself but I may be a tard.
3. I choose to but I don't think this matters much.
Made tea this evening and sort of forgot to leave it on a heat source, leaving me with cold tea. Was about to throw it out when I decided to make Iced Tea.
Holy shit... why haven't I been doing this my entire life. It was so fucking great.
Tea went into a pot and reheated, mixed in less then a quater of a cup of sugar, Lime juice and freshly squeezed orange juice. cooled it off when it was at a brief boil then into the freezer for forty minutes. Made a full liter of it. I am never buying store bought again.
>Should [the water] be legit BOILING to use it for tea, or is that too hot?
Depends on the tea.
>When you pour the water in the cup, is it normal for the bag to float to the top, and stay there?
If you're using bags, dunk it a few times and it will sink. The same would happen if using loose tea, which is why loose tea is stirred so as to get it to sink. Or, if using a press, the plunger is pushed down just enough to completely submerge the tea.
And not that you asked, but if you're using bags, you want to lessen the brew time considerably as the tea in bags is generally made up of fannings and dust. Neither is necessarily bad but has the benefit (or curse) of having a far greater surface area than loose tea IE water gets in and out of it much, much faster, brewing more quickly.
>I would think that a lot of the tea leaves aren't being absorbed, but is this normal?
>Are you supposed to stir the tea with a spoon before drinking, in order to disperse the tea evenly throughout?
>tea first or water first?!
It's like the Butter Battle: it really doesn't make a hell of whole lot of difference which way you do it, although I'm a tea first sorta person.
Some think that tea holders are bad because they disallow tea enough room to expand. Many people use disposable fill-it-yourself tea bags for loose tea. I use neither myself, actually. I either use a press pot or a brewing pot then decant the brewed tea into a serving pot. If I'm using a brewing pot, I put a strainer over the serving pot before decanting.
Depends on the tea.
OP here. thank you guys so much for your helpful answers, very insightful and interesting. sounds like i could benefit from saving up to get a tea kettle, though money is kind of tight right now.
Here's how I do it:
1. Place two teabags in a mug
2. Fill mug with water
3. Microwave for two minutes
4. Let sit for several minutes
Running water over the teabags when filling the mug usually keeps them submerged. Then lifting them out and dunking them back in again a few times.
1. Different types have different brewing times and temperatures, look it up the information is widely available. I use a glass electric kettle so you can see the size of the bubbles which you can use as a guide to water temperature. Alternatively you can use an instant read digital thermometer to make it easier to temp the water.
2. Prebagged tea tends to be the cheapest stuff possible, the particles left over from processing called dust and fannings are all swept up and put in the tea bags. Because of their small size they tend to overextract and be tannic and bitter. It's possible to get whole leaf teas prebagged but you need to look for those specifically. In any case I prefer to use loose leaf tea in the pot and a separate strainer so they leaves can fully open instead of being clumped up in a tiny infuser.
3. I don't stir because the leaves fully open and fill the entire pot and I pour it through a strainer which agitates it anyway.