In Search of Better Boiled Water

I think there are two reasons that I’m such a tea nut and love doing my Tea Reviews. The first reason was a trip to London in 2004 where I was exposed to good tea for the first time and got hooked. The second was due to this bit I saw on Good Eats where Alton Brown went in to the depths of food geekness in talking about tea. It was a good show, but it was his “recipe” for the perfect cup that really got me hooked on tea and as any reader of this site knows, it’s a bit of a passion for me.

One thing that Alton went on and on about was the need for perfect water when making tea. I had been somewhat taking this for granted because I brew at home or get a cup where they boil the water properly. It wasn’t until I tried using the hot water in the office water cooler that I realized how important it was to have good, properly boiled water. I would rather be tired and un-caffeinated than drink tea made that way because really, it sucks.

It wasn’t until recently at one of my sometimes offices where I pointed out the fact that the coffee drinkers get all these fancy coffee pots, $500 espresso machines, and what not, while the tea drinkers are stuck with the crappy hot water thing on the water cooler that makes me prefer Starbucks. So, after much hassling, I managed to have them get an electric tea kettle. Specifically, this on from Sunbeam. The only catch (which I didn’t think of as an issue at first) was that it’s made of plastic. This probably isn’t a big deal to most people seeing as how nearly every damned thing is made of plastic these days, but really it makes a difference. While this pot will actually get the water to a rolling boil, there is something never quite right with it. Tea doesn’t steep as dark as it does at home and there is always this slight air of plasticness to it that I don’t quite care for.

All things told though, I greatly prefer this over the water cooler and it is a lot better than spending $2 every time I want a cup of hot water and Indian leaves. Still, it’s not great and short of having a gas burner with a proper Chantal kettle (god I love these) in the office, I believe this is the best I will get. Quite obviously, I need my own company and office…