The 4 essential tools every serious tea drinker needs
This post is a re-post from Old Growth Beverages' blog. In all transparency, Kenny and I are both involved with Old Growth Beverages but if you know anything about us, this also means that we love the product.
We are part of obsessive times. We obsess over details, we search for experiential - we want everything to be complicated, drawn out and mindful. It's part of a movement of slowing down and being in the moment, mindful of what is happening around you.
This obsession we have flows into everything we do. There are 4 main ways to brew coffee that turn into many new gadgets, machines, cups, scales etc. You can have an expresso maker, a Hario pour-over, or Aeropress, and you still haven't chosen beans yet.
Tea can be the same way. Different teas require different water temperatures. Black, dark and herbal teas like it hot; green, white, and oolong teas require water that's a little cooler. Here's a guide by Epicurious:
For dark (pu-erh) teas and herbal infusions (tisanes), use boiling water (212°F).
For black tea, bring the water to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it sit for 30 to 60 seconds (you're aiming for water around 200°F).
For green, white, and oolong teas, bring the water to a boil, take it off the heat, and wait for a minute or two—here you're aiming for tea somewhere in the 158°F to 185°F range.
Finally, for any tea that's really delicate—a particularly subtle white or green tea, say—wait even longer. You want water that's at about 140°F.
You also need four pieces of equipment:
A highly functional tea steeping vessel - something like a gaiwan or something that has an inbuilt strainer or a large removable infuser net
A variable temperature kettle
Scales - a weigh scale for the perfect leaf-to-water ratio
A cup created for tea (not coffee!)
There's nothing wrong with this - the list above is what you need if you want to spend your time making tea and being mindful or being in the moment when you prepare tea. There are times when this is a very enjoyable thing to prepare for you and your friends or family.
We think that there's a different list for tea drinkers that microground tea brings you. Instant tea or microground tea often conjures up a misconception of a quick and easy solution that isn't tasty, robust or rewarding.
What if your 4 essential tools for looked different?
A kettle or something to boil water
A scoop of your favourite microground tea
Your favourite mug
A magazine, blog article, or book that you've been dying to read
We're serious about tea, but also serious about removing barriers to great tea. We also think that time can be better serv
ed and we would love to see you spend your time savouring a great cup of chai or london fog knocking off an article you've been trying to find time to read.