Sunday, June 05, 2016

Cooling the Water

It's HOT here in the Pacific Northwest.  We've had temps hovering around 100 degrees for three days. That's intense - especially for June and for a region where a fair number of folks don't have air conditioning. 

In these hot temps, I still drink hot tea. I choose teas that do best with cooler waters, often greens and especially Japanese greens, like sencha (ironically, in the photo above, I'm not drinking a Japanese green).

There are several ways to cool the water: Take it off the heat before it reaches a boil, let it sit off the boil before using, or - as shown above - use a cooling pitcher. The cooling pitcher (yuzamashi) is a common feature in sencha sets (also in Korean tea sets).

I'm not using a thermometer, so I'm guessing at the temperature.  I sense that it's cooled to around 160 degrees.  After pouring the cooled water into the pitcher, I generally pour off at about 30 seconds, adjusting on the second brewing, as appropriate (usually a wee bit longer).

I confess: I've brewed some senchas really poorly, and more times than I care to admit.  It's always because I've been distracted. This is a tea that requires your full attention.

Below: I'm decanting straight into my teacup, but it's also possible to use the water cooling pitcher as a serving vessel.  Note that the tea will continue to cool in the wide-mouthed vessel, so at this point (the tea is done brewing), you want to serve quickly.

You don't need anything fancy to cool the water.  You can even use a Pyrex measuring cup.

Experiment and find the right process for making yourself a great cup of green tea with cooler water.


Angela McRae said...

I still drink hot tea in hot weather as well, and I am rather surprised to hear it's much hotter there than it is here in Georgia (just 81 degrees in the middle of the afternoon)! Wow!

Margie said...

What a cool post (no pun intended)! This is the first time I've seen a cooling pitcher. Neat! At home, I use a variable temperature kettle for the green teas. At the office, I just wait for the water to cool. Hope you get a respite from the heat soon!

TeaNecromancer said...

I too drink hot tea in hot weather, though we are lucky to not have those nasty high temperatures...yet.

Also that teaset is glorious!

Marilyn Miller said...

I guess I most often avoid green teas because of the cooler temperatures. Love your photos that you share here with the red and sharing of the Korean set.

Antiques And Teacups said...

Wasn't the heat brutal! Just too hot! But, we still drank hot and green. Just saw an article that actually hot teal cools you in hot weather. Interesting brewing facts. Will try that. Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea.

Teafan said...

Great advice!