Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to obtain 80C/176F water


You do not use boiling water for preparing most of Japanese tea.  Around 80C/176F is a good temperature.  Because, too hot water extracts a lot of bitterness and you don’t get the best flavor of green tea.  It is said that you should obtain 80C/176F water by cooling down the water once it has kept boiling.  Why is that?

Cooling down the boiled water takes time and it’s a kind of like troublesome.  You might want to skip that.  Can you just add cold water?  Or can you remove the kettle from the stove before boiling?  Some of you might have such wonders.

I think of two reasons for the cooling down water issue.  The first reason is that you can take away chlorine odors from tap water by boiling it.  (Check out the related entry >>> “Canyou take off chlorine smell for tap water by boiling?”)  In Japan, many people use tap water for tea, so this is quite effective for them.  I understand that some people say “I’m fine because I use bottled water” or “I have a water purifier”.  The other reason will work for those people, too.  You cool down the water by pouring it into the teapot and cups, which also makes them warm up.  So, you will always have the teapot in a stable temperature.  It helps you prepare your tea with a steady flavor always.  The warmed up teapot and cups also help the tea not to get too lukewarm during the preparation.  The served tea is still hot and nice.  I believe that these aspects can be quite beneficial for your tea.
 

Making 80C/176F water is not that difficult.  It’s easy!  Let take a look.
 


1.Pour the boiled water into the cups
This helps measuring the right amount of water.
Do not leave it for a long time at this point; the cups might get too hot to hold.

 

2.Pour the water from the cups into the teapot
Then wait for several seconds. Adjust this time by the conditions and for the result you want.


3.Pour the water back from the pot to the cups
That’s it!
 
 

The water in the cups is now about 80C/176F.
The empty pot is ready for you to put tea leaves on!

 
The result will differ by conditions such as the room temperature, servings, and the size and material of pot and cups.  If you want to have higher temperature, you can skip the first step and directly pour the boiled water into the pot.  If you want much lower temperature water, you can add another step using another vessel, yuzamashi or water cooler.  I believe that how to make 80C/176F water is crucial to prepare non-chlorine and steady flavor of tea, and helps to serve the exquisite tea in the best temperature!   It is not that difficult as you think.  Give it a try!


Check out my past entries for more information
- Can you take off chlorine smell for tapwater by boiling?
- Well boiled water makes delicious green tea

 

20 comments:

  1. Is it okay to let the water cool in the kettle and monitor the temperature with a thermometer? When the temperature reading is about 180 F, I pour the water into the pot for steeping.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for leaving the comment!! It’s ok to let water the cool in the kettle, but I think that it take for a long time. You have to wait. Transferring the water from the pot to cups is a lot faster to get it cool. Pre-heating the pot and cups also has some benefits. So, I recommended this method.

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  2. I have developed a perhaps inappropriate way to achieve the desired temperature. Given that I had a hard time finding a nice yuzamashi in Germany, I use three thick coffee mugs instead. So my ritual for preparing my tea (May Gyokuro and Kabuse mainly) is the following:
    (1) I fill my cup up to about 1/8 of it's volume
    (2) I pour this very small amount of water into the teapot, I fill the cup with hot water
    (3) I pour the small amount from the pot to the first mug, I pour the full cup into the pot
    (4) I pour the small amount into the second mug, I pour the large amount into mug 1

    and so forth until all water has seen all mugs. The result is that the small amount has about 40°C and the large amount hat about 55°C.

    Then I pour the small, rather lukewarm amount onto the tea, wait 2-3 seconds, then I add the warmer water and let it steep for about 1 minute.

    This is my ritual for the first infusion, and it always gives me a lot of pleasure.

    What do you think? How could I improve my ritual?



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    Replies
    1. Wow, you figured out the way to obtain the desire temperature water. That’s fantastic! However, I’m afraid to say that I could not quite follow the procedures that you introduced. I’m sorry for my English. Anyway, the important point is using boiled water and pre-heating the tea pot and cups. You achieve both aspects in your method. So, I think it is wonderful!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Dear Anonymous, Your tea ritual is as obsessional as Molloy's stone sucking: http://www.samuel-beckett.net/molloy1.html

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  3. Instant boiling and chilled water dispenser is Australias premier manufacturer of filtered boiling and chilled water units for use in private and commercial applications. Manufactured in Victoria and represented nationally.

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  4. Hello Kohei.
    I stumbled across your blog by accident looking for something else, but tea is always worth a moment to stop and read. You are quite correct about boiling off chlorine, but I believe that simply letting the water sit out for a while, much like decanting a wine, will reduce the chlorine as well. My aunt had lots of sulfur in their water, and it stunk like rotten eggs...they learned to put the water in plastic bottles (I think it was gallon sized ones like for milk) and set it in the sun for a day. Sulfur was gone, and water was drinkable. If I wanted to get all geeky, I could mention something about partial gas laws and how things diffuse into and out of water, and everyone's eyes will glaze over...

    Anyway, I love your blog and wanted to know what you think of what I was told when I was learning how to brew tea (not specifically Japanese, just tea...I enjoy Earl Grey and Chi spice varieties mostly). I was told to only bring the water up to a light simmer, never to a rolling boil, because the boiling would drive the (dissolved) oxygen out of the water, and the oxygen was responsible for releasing the flavor of the tea. I've never tried a comparison like you did, but I'm curious what you think.

    As for my "ritual" I must confess I need to spend a bit more time on developing something elegant, like yours, but I usually warm an extra cup of water and pour half a cup into the (coffee mug) cup, swirl it around, dump it out, pour half a cup in again, swirl it again, and dump it as well. Finally I add the tea and water to steep. I also watch carefully for my Earl Grey, if it steeps too long, say more than about 4minutes, I say that I've "burned" my tea...it has a harsh bitterness quite distinct from the more mellow taste when I stop the steeping sooner. Does this sound crazy, or does it fit with your experience?

    By the way, I always filter my water for chlorine first, and warm it from being chilled where I keep it in my refridgerator for drinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I let water sit out overnight and I used the water to replace one in an aquarium. I used to do it when I was a kid. I remember it when I read your comment.

      Regarding the degree of boiling, I have heard two opposing theories for Japanese tea. One idea is supporting your opinion and the other is opposite. I think that the degree of boiling will have some effects to the taste of brewed tea, but the impact is limited. Some other factors have much bigger impact. I don’t know myself which water makes better tea, but I kind of like the well-boiled water so far. I’ll be glad if you check the three blog posts that I listed below. They are not exactly the same topic that you are referring but I did a test on similar issue. I hope that you will find it interesting. My English was not good in the past entries, sorry.
      http://everyonestea.blogspot.jp/2010/02/air-brews-delicious-green-tea.html
      http://everyonestea.blogspot.jp/2010/02/air-brews-delicious-green-tea-2.html
      http://everyonestea.blogspot.jp/2010/02/air-brews-delicious-green-tea-3.html

      I think that “Amount of leaf”, “Water temperature” and “Brewing time” are the three most important factors for preparing tea. As you said, if you infuse tea for a long time, it will get bitter and strong. It can happen with Japanese tea as well. One minute is about the basic brewing time for most Japanese green tea.

      You seem to have a lot of interest in tea, and are exploring and enjoying it. I’m happy talking to a tea enthusiast like you. Thanks for leaving a comment!!

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  5. Agreed we have just bought Best water purifier in Mumbai Our house had both kids and elderly alike often being infected with water borne infections. This was despite us using canned water which is certified and is understood safe to drink.

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    Replies
    1. It’s interesting to know that you have canned water in Mumbai. In Japan, water is usually bottled. Anyway, it is the best choice to buy canned water if you can afford it (^-^)

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  6. Tap water is actually treated with fluoride so it’s good for the teeth. However, aside from the smell of chlorine, what I don’t like about tap water is the taste. So, tea or not, I’d rather go for filtered to avoid the risk of contamination. Collene @ QH2OInc.com

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    Replies
    1. I agree. The water with chlorine doesn’t taste good.
      I didn’t know that tap water is good for you teeth. Thanks for the info!

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  7. Boiling Billy hygienically filters your water to give you piping hot coffee or fresh brewed tea in an instant, or cool, clear and refreshing water to quench your thirst after sport or on a hot summer's day.
    http://www.boiling-billy.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Boiling Billy applies the Venturi Principle of water pressure. There aren't any moving parts so it's maintenance free. It's our way of harnessing nature's technology. When there aren't any pumps, solenoid valves or electronic taps, there are fewer breakdowns and, importantly, less energy is consumed.. http://www.boiling-billy.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Boiling Billy applies the Venturi Principle of water pressure. There aren't any moving parts so it's maintenance free. It's our way of harnessing nature's technology. When there aren't any pumps, solenoid valves or electronic taps, there are fewer breakdowns and, importantly, less energy is consumed.
    http://www.boiling-billy.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Programmable electric kettle is a good gear for obtain such temperature.

    ReplyDelete
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