I like transportation. I like things that can move me from point A to point B. I like to drive, ride, and sail, and fly. I think it would be fun to use all modes of transportation for a month. Mix it up, change things, rotate the method of transportation. I would have a bevy of options, from the out of this world to the down to earth and practical. However, unlike various modes of transportation that I do not own, I do have a collection of tea steeping vessels. I am not recommending a specific tea steeping method over another one, but merely comparing machines and modes of steeping.
Things That Go And Things That Steep
The connection struck me while my family and I were looking for a used car. I am afraid we never did take our online search seriously. The selection of cars kept expanding and expanding. We got carried away with the absurdly and extremely high priced cars. I morphed the search into campers, motorcycles, boats, and trains, and even a sundry plane. That started me thinking “yes… I would like one of each and rotate my mode of transportation per day!”
A revelation hit me that in real life, I actually do rotate certain things daily. I want to point out that I am not alone in rotating items daily. Case in point; people rotate clothing daily, people rotate what to eat daily. What to listen to, watch, or read are often rotated daily. Confession time: I do that with teapots and teacups and mugs. Yes, I will rotate my tea ware daily along with my selection of tea. I have been truly blessed to have family and friends spoil me with new “tea time toys”, some of which include tea cups and steep ware. For this blog though, I am going to keep my comparisons to just teapots, or items that steep, and things that go.
Super Sonic, Sleek
A space shuttle can travel in orbit approximately 2,400 miles per hour (mph). A TGV, or Train à Grande Vitesse can reach up to 357 mph. The Concorde supersonic airplane can reach speeds of 1354 mph, and the Boeing 787 airplane can reach 484 mph. Those all are extremely fast speeds. A Keurig can brew tea within roughly 20 seconds. That is an extremely fast brew time for tea. When using a Keurig, keep in mind that it brews quickly and at extremely hot water temperatures. There are some teas that would brew well in a Keurig, and there are several teas that I would not recommend brewing in a Keurig.
For example, black teas, Pu’Erh teas, and herbal teas could be choices for brewing in a Keurig. Smaller CTC (cut-tear-curl) black tea leaves or broken leaves, with tea dust and fannings would work well in a Keurig. In addition, herbals and Pu’erh teas can be brewed in boiling water and often herbal blend pieces and Pu’erh teas are small enough to fit in a Keurig cup.
I would not recommend brewing an Oolong in a Keurig, because of the enormity of the leaf compared to the small Keurig cup. To me, an Oolong tea is one of the more complex teas to produce and roll into small tightly furled balls. This tea has large leaves and an intoxicating orchid aroma. When the leaves are stuffed into a Keurig, this does not allow the unfurling of leaves or allow time to enjoy the aroma while steeping. I also would not recommend brewing a green or white tea in a Keurig. The water temperature will be too hot for these teas. The near boiling temperature of 192 Fahrenheit could cause an undesirable bitterness in the cup.
Super Fast, Options in Boost Energy
Super fast NASCAR racing cars can zoom around a track with speeds upwards of 200 mph. A Chinook helicopter can travel at a top speed of 188 mph, and a Cessna airplane can fly at 152 mph. There are even several motorcycles that can reach speeds of 200 mph. While these speeds are fast, they are not as fast as the supersonic planes or trains that are built for maximum speed.
An electric iced tea maker or an electric hot tea maker can steep tea fairly quickly, but not as rapidly as a Keurig. There are numerous models of iced tea makers that can steep 1 -2 quarts of tea in approximately 5-10 minutes, depending on the strength selected for the iced tea. That is the equivalent to brewing 8 cups of tea simultaneously in 10 minutes. Now that is fast brewing!
Average Speed, Utilitarian
Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting to drive this speed but most ordinary model of cars have an average top speed of 120 mph. A dirt bike, a specially designed motorcycle for riding over rugged terrain, can travel approximately 55-70 mph. The average motor boat can travel approximately 92 mph. These speeds are more of an average speed, one that we are accustomed to traveling. The speed of a car, motor boat or a dirt bike will transport you to where you need to go in a swift manner.
Teapots are comparable to the common speeds that we frequently use when traveling. The teapot can steep tea as quickly as 1-2 minutes depending on the tea that is being steeped. For example, a white tea can be steeped as little as 1 minute. In addition, a teapot can steep a black tea for the longer period of recommended time, 3-5 minutes.
Sailboats can travel 17 miles per hour. A rowing team, or a crew team, can travel approximately 14 mph. Professional cyclist pedaling on flat ground can reach a speed of approximately 25 mph. While these speeds are certainly faster than walking, they are not necessarily the most expedient form of transportation.
There are several forms of steeping tea that are not the most hastened form of making tea. One example of a slow and methodical form of steeping tea is using ice cubes. The Japanese often utilize this specific method to steep green tea. This method is called Kōridashi. Simply stated, green tea is placed in a steeping vessel and ice cubes are placed on top of the tea and allowed to slowly melt. While this method of steeping green tea may take several hours to
complete, it creates a creamy mouthfeel and a vegetal, non bitter, green tea in the cup. Cold brew refrigerator steeping, and sun teas (leaving tea leaves in a jar out in the sun to steep) are other examples of a slow form of brewing tea. Another disclaimer: It is not recommended to steep tea out in the sun due to an unwanted likelihood of bacterial growth.
Your Choice In Steeping and Transportation
There are many choices in how to brew tea. There are extremely fast ways of making tea and there are hours long methods of steeping tea. Just like there are various forms of transportation that can expeditiously or slowly transport you from one location to another. The choice is yours.
Have fun steeping,
About The Author
Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea. No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!