Anyone Else Make Tea This Way?
Some background: I switched from coffee (and Coca Cola) to tea almost 20 years ago. Started with loose leaf cheap black teas, then Darjeelings, then Pu-erh and Lapsong Souchong, and ended up falling in love with Chinese green teas, like Lungching and many others.
But what I always hated was the morning prep. Put water in kettle, heat to boiling, briefly cool, pour over tea in pot, steep, wait to cool to drinkable temperature. I felt like my morning was half gone before I could drink my tea.
Then, a couple summers ago, I bought a 2 1/4 quart Rubbermaid pitcher with a strainer top and started making sun tea. Suddenly I had tea ready to drink first thing in the morning.
When the sun went away, and even a whole day of steeping outside led to a thin greenish liquid, I was faced with a real problem – how could I make tea without going through the half hour morning ritual? In desperation, one day I put the leaves in the bottom of the Rubbermaid pitcher, got my tap water as hot as I could, and then filled the pitcher with hot water. Lo and behold in a couple of hours, I had tea just as good as the sun tea. Since then, even in the winter, I can make good tea which will be ready to drink the next AM. It is also helpful while traveling – no need to find boiling water or someplace that actually serves decent tea.
Does anyone else do this or am I just weird?
It might just be because I grew up in LA, but I can't bring myself to drink hot tap water. Cold tap water, depends on where I am. But hot tap, always a no no.
I always keep a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge, though. I make about a quart of really strong tea with boiling water, then add cold water to it and pop it in the fridge. If I want it hot I can heat up a cup quickly, but usually I just drink it cold all day long.
My husband has succeeded in convincing me that hot tap water is to be avoided for drinking. He says that the hot water picks up more crud from the pipes (as it takes more stuck-on food from dishes) than cold. I have no idea if this is based upon fact. Would appreciate any info. I figure that Phoo D could almost as easiy heat up a pot of water and make her "sun tea" that way.
The reason you shouldn't drink hot tap water is that the insides of a hot water heater contain metals that can, and do, corrode - and that you may end up ingesting. The hot water may also dissolve the lead soldering that may be in some non-PVC pipes.
I'd suggest two things - one, don't brew your green tea with boiling water (it's too delicate for boiling water); bring the water to a a point below boiling and use that to steep your green tea (black tea is fine with boiling water). Two, get an electric water kettle, which heats water really quickly. I have one that can be set to different temperatures to accomodate different teas - it's great.
Looks like they also had a tea brewer (out of stock till Oct.) that could regulate temp and steeping times for different teas. Now I know what to ask for for my next birthday!
What about heating your tea to nearly boiling in the microwave, that way it doesn't have to come to a full boil. I love black teas, and was recently given an electric kettle. It's wonderful. Fill it with water the night before, tap the button in the a.m., and minutes later it's done. Get some of those paper cups and lids at Costco, or Sam's Club, and take the tea out the door w/ you.