Monday, 28 December 2009

Temperature and Time

A lovely little tea company called Suki Tea have been nice enough to email to me their tea bible and inside tells me the temperatures and times required for brewing tea. I promised Suki Tea i would not publish any of there information but roughly speaking temperatures range from 70C to 100C and times can range from 1 min to 5 min.

What is important to tea?

Obviously water and tea but more precise is the temperature of the water and the time the tea leafs are brewed for. If the temperature of the water is too high the leafs cook in the water and the tea becomes bitter. If the temperature is to low then the leafs don't unfurl properly giving weak tea. The period of time you leave the tea in the water for also has an effect on the tea, to long and the tea becomes bitter, to short and the tea is weak.
There are four main tea leafs that I want to look at white, green, oolong and black and each come with a temperature range and brew time.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Ideas

One hundred ideas were generated from the brief but three were taken forward for development.

The first idea is a new method of stirring your tea. A ball in your cup stirs your tea as you swirl it like a fine cognac.
The second idea is a matt that glows when a teacup is placed on it. This glow slowly vanishes as the brew time goes on and disappears when the time is up.
The third idea is based on a pattern slowly appearing on a cup as the hot water is added and the pattern fully appears when the brew time is over.

Setting the scene and the brief

The beginnings of tea drinking in early China has been shrouded in spiritual myth and legend, grabbing the imagination and interest of many a great Chinese poet and scholar. When this magical elixir was first discovered by the British East India Company in the 1600's it was exported to Britain.IT could only be found in the high courts, in the homes of the wealthy or as a high priced exotic beverage in coffee shops For nearly three centuries the pursuit of this commodity gave Britain one of its main characteristics, changed laws and even caused war.

As you read this 165 million cups of tea will have been drunk in the United Kingdom in the last 24 hours. As a drink tea is easy to make, bang a bag in a cup and add hot water.

But are we doing this great drink justice?

The majority of these cups will have been a morning brew as we rush to prepare ourselves for the day, or to be guzzled down during that five minute work break. All with minimal thought and effort being made n the key components for making a cup of tea. Is this how the chinese poets will have envisioned this once magical elixir hat inspired them so?

I find myself using tea more and more as a refuge, taking pleasure in the time taken to brew that perfect cup of tea. Looking back to when tea was a pleasure not a convenience.


To enhance the consumption of tea by making users more aware of the complexities in tea - how they brew it and ow they drink it, by using modern technologies and traditional ideals.