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  • Food Philosophy Editorial

The four "C"s of tea ++

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

Similar to valuing and appreciating the quality of diamonds, tea too has four “C”s that should concern any seeker, drinker and/or voyeur...
  • Cup

  • Clarity

  • Chemistry of and

  • Caffeine content

BUT the kind of water used is essential for brewing/steeping any high cup of quality tea, tisane and/or infusion. Preferably the water should be chlorine and/or fluorine free. In Europe, you find water with chlorium vs. in the States, there is florium in the water supply. In the case of chlorium, one should employ a simple Carbon Filter to re-move the chemical and in the case of florium, an Inverter is required to back-out the chemical substance. Alas both are chemical toxins preferably avoided!

Temperature and brew-time are keys factors in tea preparation. I have included four varieties of tea inclusive of the temperature and steep-time as well as a preferable time of day/night for consumption.

Single Origin Teas

Tea Types Temperature Brew-time Day/Evening

White Tea 60-70* C 2’-3’-8’ All Day

Green Tea 70-80*C 2’-3’ All Day; Morning

Black Tea 95*C 4’-5’ Morning; Afternoon

Oolong 85*C 5’-6’ All Day; Evening

Using the above as reference, one can experiment with different water temperatures and/or brew-time to re-discover your favorite pure origin or rare teas. A general rule to keep in mind, is that for every cup of Black Tea with a brew-time of 5’ minutes, the tea yields an approximate average of 35-50 ml of caffeine pending on the variety used as well as the length of brew-time.

Of course, certain Green Teas have more caffeine and/or tannins than Black, White and/or Oolong teas. In example, varieties like Fukamushi Ocha (green fermented Matcha), Imperial Sencha (Japanese ceremonial tea) and/or Gyrokuro (deep steamed Matcha) contain higher levels of various anti-oxidants and thus, require different brew-times.

Similarly but different Tisanes fair well with the same ideology of filtered water coupled with a longer steep-time. I advocate anywhere from 5’ to 8’ of steep-time for tisane. Of course, a shorter or longer period may be used as per one’s personal preference though its key is to retain as many of the ‘super nutrients’ in all the teas, tisanes and/or infusions.

Lastly but never least, Infusions are a lovely way to compliment pockets of your day and/or diet. These are botanical infused leaves, seeds, stalks and/or roots from various plants with specific nutritional properties. In short, I sub-categorize tisanes from infusions, by simply distinguishing the necessity to steep (in the case of tisanes) vs. the necessity to boil (in the case of infusions). Depending on your herb or botanical of choice, I usually use the following protocol.

(1) teaspoon of seeds; (2-3) tablespoons of leaves; (2) teaspoons of stems or stalks or (½ to 1) teaspoon of organic root to (1) cup of water into an Inox and/or tempered glass pot; bring to boil; remove from heat and allow to steep for (10-15) minutes depending on the recipe content.

(c) 2019 All rights reserved. @food.philosophy.reframe and @gfzaimis

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