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Richard Kilgore

Brewing Tea at Work?

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There have been several mentions in this forum recently about brewing tea at work by Wholemeal Crank and nakji. So I am curious about how everyone else brews tea at work --

* Tea bags or whole leaf teas?

* Infuser cups or tea pots?

* Tea brewing machine?

* Tea tables for gongfu cha?

* Or what?

Is it a rush job to get some caffeine into your system? Or a pleasure? Or a pleasurable break in the day?

Does drinking tea effect your work in a positive way?

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I used to drink Trader Joes Irish Breakfast tea bags every morning in a massive latte mug (required only 1 trip). I used hot water from the coffee machine at the office. It was not the ideal way to make a cup (small pot) of coffee, but it was good and extremely strong. The caffeine and good music got me through many days of serious data crunching.

Dan


Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I work long days, too long, really, and I need a pick-me-up in the afternoon and something nice to help make the evening until I can go home more pleasant. I get some caffeine effect, I suppose, but I think my brews are fairly weak, and depending on how much sharing I do with colleagues, some days I can nurse one quart thermos' worth for the entire afternoon and evening, some days I end up making a second, usually smaller batch, drinking less than 5 grams of tea leaves' worth for the whole day.

I use a plastic electric kettle, a small glass teapot, heat the water at my desk, and fill my stanley quart vacuum bottle up with multiple infusions of that day's tea. I also have a few mugs that I have been given as gifts (including one that is on permanent loan to my nextdoor neighbor who loves my teas). Mostly, I just drink from the lid of my thermos, and save the mugs for guests. And when I go down to my clinic, take the thermos with me to the workroom, and I sip tea between patients while I'm writing notes.

I think it's more about having an opportunity to enjoy tea than the caffeine lift. When I worked in a lab, I couldn't have any food or drink at my desk, and the only space I could call my own was a locker outside the lab. It was not convenient to brew or drink tea through the day. Now, since I spend more time at one desk or another, I can do it, and so I do.

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When I was working I brewed loose tea in a french press which was quicker and easier because of time constraints. At other times I would use a Melitta filter cone to brew right into the cup.

Hank


'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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I have big problems with this. I would love to drink more teas at work, but have not found a good way to do it. We are not allowed any sort of electrical heating device at our desk, so all my fancy water brewing stuff cannot be used. When I do drink tea it is usually a bag, with water heated in the microwave in the break room. I would love to have time in the afternoon to enjoy my loose teas, that would make a welcome break. I have a double walled cup from Republic of Tea that you can press down the plunger and it pushing the loose leafs to the bottem of the cup. The problem with that is that the leafs say seeping the bottem of the cup and can get quite bitter. But it is better than nothing at all.

I long for the day they invent a cup, microwavable, that opens from the top after you heat the water, can put the leaves in, steep, and let it drain to an attached cup that the top then screws off leaving you with a cup of perfectly brewed tea. If an instant read thermometer was on the side to get the correct tempurture, I wouldn't complain.


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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One additional benefit of my tea at work: my office does have an individual thermostat, but the temperature seems to vary from too hot to too cold with almost no just right in between. It is most often too cold. Plenty of hot tea helps keep me warm!

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I keep loose tea & standard bagged tea in my desk drawer. The loose tea gets brewed in a two-part infuser cup (if it is chunky) or placed into a fold-over bag (if fine). I use the hot water dispenser on the office spring-water cooler--it is set at the perfect temperature (to me--hell, I don't know what temp it is, I just know that it's drinkable very soon after dispensing...not too hot).


Edited by HungryC (log)

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My office has a supply of different Tazo tea bags in the kitchen, but I prefer to bring in my own Forté bags which have a nicer tea and more room for the leaves to unfurl. It's still not as good as loose leaf, but it's much more convenient for at work.

I do have a strainer that will sit in a mug for brewing loose leaf, but when I'm at work I tend to get busy and forget my tea so it goes cold. Therefore, I tend to brew it in my thermos tumbler, but with the lid off so it's not overly hot. Anyway, my tumbler is too deep for the strainer to work. So until I can find a nice mug with a lid, I'll keep using the bags.

Oh, and edited to add that I just use hot water from the dispenser on our coffee maker.


Edited by emmalish (log)

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Brought my thermometer today and determined that the hot water from the bottled water dispenser down the hall comes out at about 165°F, just right for green teas, so I made some snow buds with peach blossom tea--worked beautifully.

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Someone usually puts the kettle on so it will be boiling about the time I arrive for my shift. I take a couple of tea bags out of my backpack, make a pot in the brown betty I keep at work. I have a dutch tea cozy at work too to keep it warm.

If I have a medical student or resident working with me then I share and may make a second pot later in my shift.

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At the last place I worked, there were several of us who would have tea in the afternoon. There we'd make a full pot in the office brown betty, water heated with a proper kettle, and then kept warm with a cozy. Still, it was just made with tea bags.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I keep loose tea & standard bagged tea in my desk drawer. The loose tea gets brewed in a two-part infuser cup (if it is chunky) or placed into a fold-over bag (if fine). I use the hot water dispenser on the office spring-water cooler--it is set at the perfect temperature (to me--hell, I don't know what temp it is, I just know that it's drinkable very soon after dispensing...not too hot).

Would you please tell me where you got the cup? Is the cup microwavable?


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I use loose leaf green tea and a Bee House 22 oz. teapot.

I can't get boiling water from the hot water dispenser thingy, so I drink only green teas at work. I suppose I could bring an electric kettle to work, but I don't. I could also boil the water in the microwave, but the microwave is the enemy, so neva', neva'!

I just fill the tea pot with hot water (it's about 185 F when it comes out of the hot water dispenser thingy) to warm it, then empty, then refill, then walk back to office, trying not to spill hot water on anyone. When water temp cools to about 165 F, I drop in my basket of loose green tea, steep for ~3 minutes, remove basket, and drink.

The teapot gets far too many comments/questions, especially when I'm walking back to my office. :unsure:


Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I keep loose tea & standard bagged tea in my desk drawer. The loose tea gets brewed in a two-part infuser cup (if it is chunky) or placed into a fold-over bag (if fine). I use the hot water dispenser on the office spring-water cooler--it is set at the perfect temperature (to me--hell, I don't know what temp it is, I just know that it's drinkable very soon after dispensing...not too hot).

Would you please tell me where you got the cup? Is the cup microwavable?

The cup is not microwavable--as I mentioned before, I use hot water out of a botted water dispenser. I bought the cup at Red Blossom Teaon Grant Ave. in San Francisco's Chinatown (a wonderful place to buy & taste teas, BTW). You can buy an infuser cup onlinefrom Red Blossom. I like the kind with a lid, as you can use it as a coaster for the infuser part while you're drinking.

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I'm about to make a cup now. I don't really have time (!) to do it, so I don't do it as often as I like, but I like to have a cup of tea in the morning and in the afternoon.

I use a green loose leaf tea from Tea Source. Put it in a stainless steel tea ball -- I don't like the taste of tea bags. The hot water comes from the hot water tap here. It isn't boiling; I've never taken the temperature but it's perfect for tea.

I use a regular Gary Larson cartoon mug. I am currently lusting after a big mug with a lid.

My neighbor drinks an endless stream of naked Earl Gray. I have to have milk and sugar in my Earl Gray and I think that would be over the top here.

We once had an afternoon break guy who came around with a cart and rang a bell and you could buy coffee and pastries from him. I understand some offices in England do this; the tea cart.

Terribly civilized but I wouldn't be able to control myself.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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We are lucky enough to have an electric kettle (a rare enough thing in Spain) which we fill up with water from the dispenser, as the tap water is horrible. Three of us go for tea at about 17.00 every day - two black teas and an Earl Grey. We always use teabags, for convenience, but there'd be no problem with a tea pot if we wanted, I suppose. It is purely for relaxation - the Lavazza coffee machines would take care of the caffeine if that was what was needed! The tea (and coffee) is provided by work, but luckily they buy English tea instead of the Spanish stuff, which is very weak.

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Today I had just looked at the clock,seen it was nearly lunch, and was about to grab my tea kettle and start up on the afternoon thermos of tea when a colleague knocked on the door and came in with her teacup, looking for tea.

It is a nice social thing to share with my fellow tea fanciers.

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I keep loose tea & standard bagged tea in my desk drawer. The loose tea gets brewed in a two-part infuser cup (if it is chunky) or placed into a fold-over bag (if fine). I use the hot water dispenser on the office spring-water cooler--it is set at the perfect temperature (to me--hell, I don't know what temp it is, I just know that it's drinkable very soon after dispensing...not too hot).

Would you please tell me where you got the cup? Is the cup microwavable?

The cup is not microwavable--as I mentioned before, I use hot water out of a botted water dispenser. I bought the cup at Red Blossom Teaon Grant Ave. in San Francisco's Chinatown (a wonderful place to buy & taste teas, BTW). You can buy an infuser cup onlinefrom Red Blossom. I like the kind with a lid, as you can use it as a coaster for the infuser part while you're drinking.

Very nice! I am going to have to order one!


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Here's my set-up:

3931559006_382750ddc7_b.jpg

I've just gotten my first order from Norbu tea, consisting of the Fall '08 Tie Guan Yin Oolong and the Imperial Dian Hong, the latter of which you can see in the ingenuiTEA pot. That Toastmaster kettle is designed like the kind you find in Europe, with an extensive curled heating element at the base, and is lightning fast. (Yard sale score.)

I've been going back and forth between tap and spring water, and haven't quite figured out which is better for what. Ditto with the scale: I just brought it from home in the hopes of finding a simple way to measure out the leaves.

In an ideal world, I'd be channeling Thich Nhat Hanh and taking genuine, relaxing, contemplative breaks when I brew and drink my tea. However, as the director of a preschool, I'm rarely afforded the luxury of two calm seconds in a row, so I do my best to inhale, taste, and enjoy as I can.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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There is a fairly new and very well made tea appliance that produces an excellent pot of tea and is compact enough to be acceptable in a work environment where coffee makers are allowed.

It is yet another product carrying the Adagio name and in my experience they do not offer anything that is less than the best;

It is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adagio-Teas-triniTea-Electric-32-Ounce/dp/B0011O1XOQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1253298575&sr=8-5

I gave one to my daughter last Christmas and after several months of daily use, she rates it as "excellent" and is sufficiently picky about her tea, that I consider that a ringing endorsement.

The tea is maintained at the correct serving temp - less than that of automatic coffee makers.

It is not cheap but when you consider the cost of a water boiler, if other than the most basic, and a tea brewing device, it is not exorbitant. As a gift, I thought it was a bargain, compared to what I have paid for other, less satisfactory, tea appliances.

P.S. The Zarafina tea maker is not at all satisfactory. Note that originally it was priced at 179. then reduced to 149. and so on. Poorly made, inconsistent timing, not a good buy.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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