A Graphic Problem

Written By: Charles - May• 09•17

Beltane                                                                        Rushing Waters Moon


Gong fu cha requires specific temperatures for different sorts of tea. Black teas like pu’er, lapsang souchong, iron buddha require water temperatures of at least 203 degrees F. Unfortunately, these are some of my favorite teas. Unfortunately is easy to understand from this simple graph. We’re at 8,800 feet above sea level, call it 9,000 for this instance. Follow the line and you’ll see the problem.

Oolong teas require water temperatures between 194 and 206 F. I haven’t tried oolong yet, but it’s obvious that its needs are right at the cutoff point for our elevation. Water boils at around 195 F up here.

If any of my engineering oriented friends have an idea about how I can get water to the higher temperatures, barring use of a pressure cooker (too clunky), I’d love to hear it.


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One Comment

  1. Tom Crane says:


    1. I will bring some water to a boil down here in the MidWest, immediately place it in a VERY GOOD thermos container and ship it to you FedEx. Alas, when you open the container it will revert to ambient pressure (and hence temperature).
    2. Seal up the loft REALLY well, like with duct tape around all the windows and doors. Then, and you may need Jon’s help for this, extend a line from an air compressor into the loft, carefully sealing the point of entry. Turn on the air compressor and let it run. . . For a very long time. For your loft is large and the pressurized air is comparatively small. Nonetheless, as you continue to monitor the internal airpressure in the loft you will see that it will rise. Several inches water column pressure increase will be necessary, but when you reach the equivalent of, say 2000ft MSL, turn off the compressor (because by then the noise will be making you frustrated and angry) and then quickly get to the task of heating the water. DO NOT let the pressure in the loft decrease during this process or you will have to turn on the noisy compressor again. Finally, enjoy your tea.
    3. Remember the age in which we live! That chart which is destroying your dreams and your tea ceremony is only an opinion! Find another chart which gives a different opinion about the relationship of altitude and pressure. Then enjoy your tea ceremony with a knowing smugness: YOU were right and the OTHERS were not. That makes you a better person.
    4. Buy a pressure cooker. Remember though, once you open it to reveal your perfectly heated water the ambient pressure will once again cause the water temperature to revert to it’s stasis point (if you insist on using the chart with that opinion).
    5. Buy a condo in Andover. Make tea. Have a ceremony. Go home.

    More solutions are possible but some will involve shifts in dimensions or consciousness and it is not clear that your are contemplating that kind of ceremony.

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