From Granny’s kitchen to the lab…
From Granny’s kitchen to the lab…eteaket leading the way in tea brewing technology.
People have been brewing tea for hundreds of years – ever since the first leaf apparently fell into a Chinese Emperor’s cup in 2737 BC. However, the way we brew tea can be very different and can have a massive effect on the final cup.
Traditionally in China, most tea was drunk from a Gawain – the leaves are reinfused and the liquor is sipped from tiny cups. You should fill the cup just over half way. Apparently the rest of the cup is filled with friendship and affection. It’s polite to empty the cup in three swallows. This process is an art unto itself and provides welcome time for reflection in this chaotic world.
In Britain however, we’ve long relied on our trusty old faithful teapots. In the good old days when tea was properly valued (and kept under lock and key), we let the precious leaves float free in the pot giving them time and space to release their flavour and goodness. Then we discovered the tea bag. Like lots of things designed for ‘convenience’ and to speed up our lives it was perhaps a bit of a poisoned chalice. As a whole, tea quality took a massive downward slide. Tea became greatly undervalued and there were huge issues as estates were unable to pay workers properly. Consumers got used to the 18 second dunk and hid the bitter, tasteless brew with tonnes of milk. Thankfully, within the past few years there’s been a growing demand to say enough is enough. Give us back our Proper Tea.
Since 2008, eteaket have been on a mission to make people as passionate about leaf tea as we are. By using whole leaf tea, taking care to brew it properly and caring about where tea comes from everyone is better off.
Brewing proper leaf tea is simple. All you need is 300ml of freshly boiled water per 1 tsp (3g) of tea leaves and an infuser of some sort. Be sure to let the water cool for a few minutes if you’re using green or white tea to avoid bitterness. Let the leaves steep for around 3 mins then remove the leaves and enjoy the revelation of an awesome cup of tea.
Then try the magic tea press where you can watch the dancing of the leaves. There are numerous other ways to brew tea like cold brewing, ice brewing, tea drippers etc which we’ll explore in other articles.
As innovators of the tea world, we like to be at the forefront of brewing technology. There’s been a lot of scientific brewing going on in coffee world recently. We thought it was about time to take tea to the next level. So began our experiments with Syphons and with pretty amazing results as we showcased at our recent Tea Brewing Event in our central Edinburgh Tea Room on 22 March 2016.
The Hario Coffee Syphon (we’ve nicknamed it the Tea Syphon) blows the quintessential kettle and teapot right out the water.
Until now Syphons have almost always been used for coffee. They’ve been around with the 1830s and work using vapour pressure. Essentially you heat water in the lower chamber then when it’s boiling seal in the top chamber. The vapour pressure and expanding air displaces the water up the stem to the top chamber which agitates the tea leaves. Reduce the heat and brew the tea for about 50 seconds depending on the tea. If you brew for longer you get a rounder, smoother liquor but less aroma. When the heat is removed, the pressure in the lower vessel drops back down and gravity and atmospheric pressure pushes the water down into the lower vessel, through a fine strainer and away from the tea leaves. The tea is then ready to be poured from the lower chamber.
With its state of the art halogen lamp heater, this piece of kit does wonders to enhance the flavours and fragrance of tea and infusions. It’s pretty extraordinary to watch too.
Eteaket’s brewing event was a big success. We demonstrated all these brewing methods and our guests sampled each brew. We also introduced our brand new Sea Buckthorn Fruit Infusion which we’ve been working on with Queen Margaret University. This blend was brewed in all its glory using the Tea Syphon and guests were also able to try it as a non-alcoholic tea beer.
The conclusion of the evening was that tea is an extremely special beverage with so much to offer. It can calm you when you devoted a little time to savouring the leaves Chinese style in a Gaiwan. It can cheer you when you share a pot with friends. It can wow you when brewed with Tea Syphon and give you flavours you never expected. While there will always be a place for the trusty teapot, we’re excited for the future where innovative developments are a plenty. Eteaket is leading the way in brewing technology. Watch this space for more innovative and exciting developments.
© eteaket ltd 22 March 2016