Hand pouring a kettle of boiling water into a mug
Food - Drink
Chinese Tea Connoisseurs Have A Playful Way To Make Sure Water Is Hot Enough
When it comes to brewing tea, the temperature of your water is crucial, and in China, tea lovers have a creative way of knowing when water is the perfect temperature for brewing.
Most tea is best when brewed with water that is between 140 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning your tea or brewing a tepid, flavorless cup.
To check the water temperature, some Chinese tea connoisseurs use clay tea pets, which are ceremonial figurines that spout water when it reaches the right temperature.
These figurines come in all shapes and sizes like animals, vegetables, mythical creatures, or the playful favorite, a naked figurine known simply as “pee-pee boy.”
Tea pets are prepped by a quick dunk in room temperature water before the brewing liquid is poured over the top. If the temperature is right, the pet releases a stream of water.
The tea pets work due to an air pocket in their upper chamber. When hot water is poured over the top, the air pocket expands forcing out the tepid water in the bottom half.
The water temperature can be estimated by observing the duration and power of the stream of water from the figurines, making them a sufficient sensor for tea brewing.