Are you a tea drinker, and in that case, what sort of tea pots do you often use? Do you like a ravishing see-through glass tea pot, or a sensible and straightforward to wash metallic tea pot? There are many choices on the market for buy, produced from numerous supplies. Personally, I’ve seen tea pots produced from glass, ceramic, or metallic. For some, the tea pot is only a means to an finish, whereas for others, their alternative in tea pot is a crucial a part of their tea consuming ritual. Rising up, I used to be instructed that the tea pot material can change the flavour of the brewed tea, and I accepted it as a reality. Nevertheless, these observations are sometimes anecdotal. After I investigated the scientific literature, I might solely discover a number of research (that I can entry) on how the tea pot can have an effect on the tea being brewed in it. This text will discover some parts of tea pots which will affect the standard of the brewed tea.


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Porous floor of the pot

Clay tea pots are sometimes the specified material for tea pots in Chinese language tea tradition, particularly Zisha (紫砂, purple clay) and Zhuni (朱泥, vermillion mud) from the Yixing area. These clay tea pots are historically identified to soak up the flavour of earlier brews and launch them into the later brews. Via scanning electron microscopy, we all know that these clay tea pots have porous surfaces. 20% by quantity of the Zisha clay is crammed with 0.01-0.02 mm cavities.1 It’s believed that tea aroma could be trapped in these cavities and create extra complicated flavors in later brews. Liao et al. performed a examine the place brewed oolong tea had been saved in Zisha, Zhuni, ceramic, glass, stainless-steel, and plastic tea pots for five minutes, and their chemical properties had been analyzed after the storage.2 It was proven that tea saved in clay tea pots (Zisha and Zhuni) had decrease quantity of risky compounds, suggesting that the clay tea pots can soak up risky compounds liable for the aroma of tea. Nevertheless, just one compound confirmed a statistically important distinction, and whether or not these absorbed compounds could possibly be later launched into the subsequent brew isn’t investigated.

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Layer of oil from tea leaves

One other examine by Chung et al. discovered that well-used clay tea pots had been coated with an oily layer, consisting of fatty acids and linear hydrocarbon.3 Probably the most considerable ones had been palmitic acid and stearic acid, that are assumed to originate from the cell membranes of tea leaf tissues. Though we all know that these fat typically give a waxy taste, with out sensory evaluation, it isn’t clear if this oily layer can change the style of the tea brewed in these well-used tea pots. As well as, I can’t assist however begin to marvel if this oily layer will seal off the signature porous surfaces of those clay pots, stopping it from absorbing and releasing taste. A complete examine analyzing the chemical content material of the brewed tea in addition to the oily layer in tea pots produced from numerous supplies may assist us reply these questions.

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Migration of pot minerals

Along with aroma compounds and fatty acids, minerals can even have an effect on the style and well being advantages of the brewed tea. Liao et al. discovered no important distinction within the minerals and heavy metallic content material amongst brewed tea saved in Zisha, Zhuni, ceramic, glass, stainless-steel, or plastic tea pots.2 In one other examine, Petit et al. in contrast the metallic focus of tea brewed in stainless-steel, brass, and glass teapots.4 They discovered lead, nickel, copper, and zinc migrating from the brass tea pot to the brewed tea, and cadmium migrating from stainless-steel tea pot to the tea. Though the calculated metallic content material was akin to the provisional tolerable weekly consumption by the European Meals Security Authority, based mostly on a median of 300mL of tea consumption per day, customers may need to keep away from brass tea pots to scale back heavy metallic consumption.

Photograph by Manki Kim on Unsplash

Conclusion

It’s nicely accepted within the tea group that the tea pot material can play a job within the last high quality of the brewed tea, identical to water high quality, water temperature, and the tea leaves themselves can. Nevertheless, scientific proof remains to be missing to assist all of our anecdotal observations, specifically, how a lot risky compounds are trapped in clay tea pots, how a lot are launched into later brews, if we are able to inform the distinction by sensory evaluation, and lots of others. Extra analysis is required earlier than we are able to flip our years of observations into scientifically backed claims.

Reference

(1)         Liao Z.-H.; Chung T.-Y.; Shih Y.-E.; Hsieh S.-Ok.; Jiang P.-L.; Tzen J. T. C.; 廖子慧; 鍾澤裕; 施毓恩; 謝聖國; 江佩倫; 曾志正. Pot Nurturing (Yang Hu)-A Waterproof Movie Coating on the Floor of Zisha Teapots. 2014.

(2)         Liao, Z.-H.; Chen, Y.-J.; Tzen, J. T.-C.; Kuo, P.-C.; Lee, M.-R.; Mai, F.-D.; Rairat, T.; Chou, C.-C. Impact of Teapot Supplies on the Chemical Composition of Oolong Tea Infusions. J. Sci. Meals Agric. 2018, 98 (2), 751–757. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.8522.

(3)         Chung, T.-Y.; Kuo, P.-C.; Liao, Z.-H.; Shih, Y.-E.; Yang, M.-L.; Cheng, M.-L.; Wu, C.-C.; Tzen, J. T. C. Evaluation of Lipophilic Compounds of Tea Coated on the Floor of Clay Teapots. J. Meals Drug Anal. 2015, 23 (1), 71–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2014.05.005.

(4)         Petit, D.; El Houari, W.; Jacobs, Ok.; Baeyens, W.; Leermakers, M. Hint Aspect Content material in Tea Brewed in Conventional Metallic and Stainless Metal Teapots. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2013, 185 (11), 8957–8966. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-013-3226-z.


Ming Yin Kwong

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SMF Weblog Author

Ming graduated together with her B.S. in Chemistry at College of California, Davis. Internship alternatives with Mi Rancho and UC Davis Olive Middle made her realized her ardour for Meals Science. She determined to remain at UC Davis for her Ph.D. in Meals Science, with a analysis focus on tea chemistry. When she isn’t crushing tea leaves or growing HPLC strategies within the laboratory, Ming enjoys figuring out to steadiness the additional energy that she consumes, touring with family and friends, watching cooking exhibits, and enjoying video video games.





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