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ISO Standard for Preparing Tea (wikipedia.org)
175 points by polm23 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 130 comments

I am truly sorry but for anyone not drowning their tea in the alabaster ichor of the masses of Great Britain, 2g per 100ml of water is a bombastic amount of tea to brew and an infuriating statement to make from a standards body. whats even more ridiculous is that the 2/100 ratio is FREQUENTLY insisted upon by websites selling loose teas.

Try this experiment. meter out a 1 litre pot of water. now meter out 18-20 grams of loose green tea. what you brew (if you attempt it) will be flat-out undrinkable.

There has GOT to be something better than the ISO standard here.


I just tried to do this again with a green lower grade Xinyang Maojian and it tasted like the over-steeped dreck conjured up in an airport coffee chains platitude scrawled cardboard cups. the cup was rich, but the astringency was like trying to drink a cup of drywall. It was utterly wasteful for anything more than just testing and the comical amount of tea I used to attempt this left me with a sense of remorse. The tea I made sat tangibly heavy in my stomach.

It is a standard, and I guess I never stopped to consider what a standard means and thats what this standard does a particularly great job of doing. Yes, Starbucks adheres to this standard and if you buy a venti will gladly (sometimes reluctantly) give you four tea bags in the cup but for the love of god yank them out after a minute or two at most lest youre looking to start up your own tannery in the terminal. Its quite strange to think of a standard as something you shouldn't make a habit of.

It sounds like brewing tea in this way at home would be a misunderstanding of the standard:

> This standard is not meant to define the proper method for brewing tea intended for general consumption, but rather to document a tea brewing procedure where meaningful sensory comparisons can be made. An example of such a test would be a taste-test to establish which blend of teas to choose for a particular brand or basic label in order to maintain a consistent tasting brewed drink from harvest to harvest.

On the other hand, it's very strange to me that the type of tea is not specified. Pouring boiling water over anything other than black tea typically destroys the aroma completely, and green tea in particular turns bitter and extremely taninnous. Also, 6 minutes of infusion sounds extreme for green or oolong or white tea.

For green tea, the nicest taste I've gotten by far is from very short brews with medium temperature (~80C) water with large quantities of tea, drinking 2-4 infusions from the same leaves. I've never measured the quantity in grams, but after the tea expands, it would typically fill the brewing pot.

> For green tea, the nicest taste I've gotten by far is from very short brews with medium temperature (~80C) water with large quantities of tea, drinking 2-4 infusions from the same leaves.

The so-called gong fu method of preparation.

Yes, but didn't want to make it sound like "it's good because it has a Chinese name" or "it's good because it's traditional" - it's just a method that really seems to me to bring the best out of many teas: low astringency, 0 bitterness, wonderful floral or fruity aromas, usually lots of sweetness.

I’m gonna have to disagree here. The average coffee cup is 118ml and the average tea packet contains 1.5-2g of tea (from a quick google.) When I make morning tea I use a packet for 1 coffee cup of hot water, so that’s basically the standard. It is very drinkable, as I do it every morning. Any more water and it starts to taste like water as opposed to tea.

> The average coffee cup is 118ml

Average where? The most standard Ikea cup [1] that I can see in all the offices around here is 8oz, which is around 230ml. Personally, I drink coffee from that, but for tea, I always use some of the 10oz cups, which is more along the line of 300ml. A tea bag for 300ml is perfectly acceptable in my mind.

[1] https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/faergrik-mug-stoneware-white-60...

A coffee (espresso) cup is not a tea cup. I've lived both in and outside UK, and I've always seen a standard tea bag with a bigger 250 ml plus cup (imagine the ubiquitous red Nescafe one)

I've never seen anyone drink a teabag out of an espresso cup. You can, but it's non standard.

American coffee contains significantly more water than an espresso.

That cup cited is four ounces, an espresso is one ounce.

I apologize if this is too unsubstantive of a comment.

I primarily want to say how much I like the parent comment's writing. It is very evocative — "the tea sat tangibly in my stomach", eg, is the sort of description I'd expect in a well-written novel. Kudos nimbius.

Separately, I fully agree w/ the above point about a 2:100 ratio being well too much. The tea shop from which I buy generally recommends ~2g loose for a 175ml cup, but I still find this to be too strong at anything except a minimal brewing time. I tend to use about 1g/cup, ie a bit over 0.5% by weight.

Look into Chinese tea infusion methods in particular the gongfu tea ceremony[1]. They stuff a tiny clay teapot pretty much full of tea leaves and do several very short infusions. The first infusion is usually undrinkably bitter and thrown out. Everything after that tastes great though.


I think the gongfu style preparation works great for whole leaf teas, but maybe not so well for Japanese or Indian teas. As far as I can tell, there's no one-size-fits-all method of brewing tea.

I brew in this style and the reason you toss out the first steeping sometimes is not because it’s overbrewed, but because some methods of leaf preparation require the leaf to hydrate and open up before you can get a decent brew. So the thrown out first brew is bland hot water. Teas that benefit from this are pu’er packaged into cakes and some oolongs rolled into balls and other tightly formed shapes

Interesting. I always thought it was because of various chemicals used on the tea; we always called it the "cleaning brew."

There definitely could be multiple reasons people would do this to their tea. I try to avoid teas prepared with chemicals.

You can't pick and chose which bits of the standard to apply!

> meter out a 1 litre pot of water. now meter out 18-20 grams of loose green tea. what you brew (if you attempt it) will be flat-out undrinkable.

You've ignored the maximum size of the pot.

> If a large pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 310 ml (±8 ml) and must weigh 200 g (±10 g).

> If a small pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 150 ml (±4 ml) and must weigh 118 g (±10 g).

Depends on the tea, but I use 4g/125ml water and steep around 10 seconds for the first infusion. If I were to attempt the same with the stuff they put in Lipton tea bags, it would match your description perfectly, but if you use quality teas from China, it’s a whole different experience.

There are 3 essential dimensions of steeped tea preparation: leaf quantity, water temperature, and steep time. 2g per 100mL isn’t outrageous at all and if it tastes strong, you need to reduce one or both of the other two parameters.

This standard has nothing to do with drinking tea for pleasure. It exists so that professional tea tasters can consistently get the same taste twice from the same set of leaves.

Professional tasters have to suck the tea onto their tongues from a spoon, taste, then spit out the tea. See for instance this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9BoEfwQiJc

Tom Scott did a video on this, preparing and consuming a cup of tea to this standard: https://youtu.be/nAsrsMPftOI

“Half As Interesting”, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mAcJRFfAL0

Because of course he did. :D

"The protocol has been criticized for omitting any mention of prewarming the pot.[6] Ireland was the only country to object, and objected on technical grounds.[7]"

Very proud of Ireland today!

Indeed. And the Irish spend more per gram of tea than any other country in the world. It's a good strategy: Pick something relatively cheap and then get the best of it.

What kind(s) of tea are generally drank in Ireland? Black tea like Darjeeling?

I have to wonder if there is a statute saying Irish Breakfast is formulated to disgust the Queen or something/differentiate itself from English Breakfast

Ireland is the best country with France to opposed the UK.

The original standard (from British Standards Institute) is here: https://www.mus-ic.co.uk/images/blog/2006-04-27/bs_6008.pdf

And, somewhat more complete and well defined than the wikipedia summary.

N.B. the PDF above references bsonline.techindex.co.uk, but that domain seems to have lapsed. The current BSI and ISO standards require purchase, and can't be linked to directly (that I can find).

I love tea. I hate talking to other people who love tea. Here's the recipe for tea: tea, hot water. You can experiment with leaves and blends and temperatures and vessels. You can put whatever you want in it. I don't care if you take your tea with mustard. Use the combinations you enjoy.

If there are so many variables, why not talk to people to learn the results of those experiments? The alternative is to make all those experiments yourself, which will take a lot of time.

I like coffee myself. I noticed that I usually prefer drip coffee, but there was a lot of inconsistency in how good my drip coffee was. So I talked to people, but mostly read people explaining what variables affect the taste of coffee.

I learned that what I don’t like is something that coffee lovers usually like. Taste sometimes described as “strong”, with a certain level of bitterness. I like my coffee with the least bitterness possible.

So I read that light roasted beans create a less bitter coffee, great one variable solved.

Also, specialists recommend that before pouring the whole water, you just wet the ground coffee on the filter and wait 30 seconds. This initial hot water allow the air to escape from the ground coffee, so when you pour the rest of the water, the absorption of the coffee by the water is more efficient. This is one of the things that will bring more bitterness out of the coffee. So I purposefully don’t do this. I put all the water at once, counting that the absorption won’t be as efficient.

So my recipe is: light roasted beans, with fast pouring water. I would have never learned this if not learning from other coffee lovers, even if they have different tastes than mine.

Perhaps your method of dumping the water works fine for you, but it is a very inconsistent method. There's a video on Youtube[1] of a "coffee brewing champion" who uses this method sometimes, and admits you are essentially playing roulette with your brew. But it can lead to more varied flavor profile from cup to cup.

You may be better off grinding coarser, and not skipping the initial "bloom" phase. When not simply dumping water into the brewer, there are of course many other variables to tweak to try and achieve a tasty cup.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miuPSjazpyw

Thanks for the video, it was awesome! Essentially this is what I do. Good to know a “champion” using it too!

Fine grinding because the brewing time is short and fast pouring without initial “bloom” (just learned the term).

I am ok with this level of inconsistency. I believe that I don’t have the trained palate to even notice it. When I mentioned inconsistency earlier it is because I did not know anything about coffee so I would arbitrarily use dark, medium, light roasts, different quantities even. Btw, I will try to be more exact using this 1 to 12 proportion he mentioned in the video.

About trying coarser grinding, I don’t grind it myself, I buy ground coffee. I could to find a place that grinds at the counter, but there is no such shop close by. I also optimize my coffee for laziness :)

If you don't like bitter, but also don't like strong, the key is to brew strong, then dilute. This affects the bitterness/ result more than blooming (pre-wetting).

Then different roasts can be brewed independent of bitterness and strength. The last flavors to leech are the most bitter.

But most people don't know any of this type of knowledge, they just know how they do it, and want to tell you why it's the "right way."

That's why talking to coffee and tea drinkers is often insufferable.

On the otherhand, talking to people with actual knowledge to share can be enjoyable. There's just not an easy way to screen for it.

I am all for sharing. The problem is this tendency for people to use language that implies their way is "correct" - or worse, "Authentic" as if authenticity has ever made anything taste better by default. I've been told everything from I "haven't really had" tea if it wasn't served properly from a seasoned Yixing pot. Tea fans are gatekeepers of the worst sort.

On the contrary, knowledge of aesthetic standards is something that is sorely lacking these days. Thousands of very thoughtful, very intelligent people have spent time thinking about things like the proper way to drink tea.

Perhaps instead of brushing them away with a middlebrow dismissal, open your mind a little to the possibility that the world is more complex than you think it is.

Edit: to add to that, for anyone that is curious. There is a pretty rich history in writing on tea, especially in China and Japan. Food aesthetics is also becoming a bigger subfield in philosophy too, usually categorized under everyday aesthetics.





This comment sounds very snobbish to me. If OP likes his tea simple without ceremonies, reciting poetry, or measuring temperature of water to 0.1°C precision it gives you no logical reason to claim he's not smart, or enlightened enough.

OP is allowed to do so. But if he/she insists that anyone who recognizes further depth to the topic is wrong or stupid, then responding to that doesn’t make me a snob.

I re-read the comment in question with great attention, and found nothing OP insists on except for being left alone with his tea. Quote: "Use the combinations you enjoy"

I can't upvote this enough.

I love _something_. I hate talking to other people who love _something_. ...use the combinations you enjoy.

Bless the parent comment.

You dislike talking to others about things you have a mutual love for, but you’re happy talking to others about things you have a mutual hate for.

There’s a name for that

All the comments in this thread remind me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZK8Z8hulFg

It seems more ironic to me, that the parent likes talking about how much they hate talking about it.

Tea gave us the notion of "null hypothesis" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_tasting_tea

What an interesting read. Thank you for sharing.

Ah, I see you are a student of Rikyu.

茶の湯とは ただ湯をわかし茶をたてて のむばかりなる事と知るべし

Tea is naught but this; First you heat the water, Then you make the tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know.


> Use the combinations you enjoy.

Sure, but I think if you experiment enough you will converge on the kinds of brewing methods that are considered standard. Take for example gyokuro or certain kinds of sencha - it's quite objective to say that they shouldn't be infused in boiling hot water.

Or take smth like the delicate, flowery, fragrant Li Shan - would you mix it with milk, sugar, cinnamon etc.? Or flavor it with bergamot or jasmine? Sure you could, but you would objectively cover the flavors of the tea itself.

> You can experiment with leaves and blends and temperatures and vessels.

Don’t forget about the steeping time.

If anyone here is developing a network-enabled ISO3103-compatible automatic teapot, be sure that it responds to invalid coffee requests with an HTTP 418.

This standard is not for you.

People here are missing the purpose of a standard. No matter the details, it serves as a standard way to brew and conduct tasting for tea traders and professionals. Nit picking whether this or that is fine but unless something drastically changes (such as dynamic range of tastes), it won’t matter much. Whether it follows tradition in your specific region is also irrelevant. This isn’t the “right” way to brew either nor does it try to.

Ironically, the bickering here is exactly why a standard is needed. It is proving its point.

It would be interesting to check if the aroma of a proper home brewing tea has any relationship with the aroma you get by brewing tea for 6 minutes with boiling water. From my experience, for many teas, the moment you've poured that boiling water over it, you've lost all aroma that it could have given off.

It wouldn't surprise me if this standard was responsible for the terrible tea you usually get at a supermarket, especially in green tea. If the brewing method basically makes all green tea taste bitter and tanninous, the blandest, weakest teas will rise to the top, as they will be the least bitter when brewed in boiling water. Much better teas, that would have beautiful flavors if brewed in colder water, would never be favored.

> it serves as a standard way to brew and conduct tasting for tea traders and professionals

No trader or professional dealing with gyokuro is using this method. The method's usefulness is limited to a very specific set of teas, which should be explicitly called out in the standard.

If curious, two small past threads:

ISO 3103:1980 (ISO standard for tea making) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1138824 - Feb 2010 (5 comments)

ISO 3103: an international standard for brewing tea - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=95457 - Jan 2008 (7 comments)

Vessel masses are considered, but room temperature is not, which makes steeping and cooling times meaningless. When winter and summer room temperatures vary by over 15 degrees Celcius, techniques must vary.

For those who are brewing ISO standard tea, it's safe to assume they are doing so inside a QC lab with climate control set to 20 degrees Celsius, and without a leaky roof or hurricane force wind over their heads.


You realize that not all homes have thermostats, right?

Where I live our summers are cool enough and our winters warm enough that there is no need for climate controlled homes.

This has the concequence of widely fluctuating internal temperatures, especially in homes that are poorly insulated which is usually the case for older homes.


I lived in Seattle for 12 years, no air conditioning, it'd be lucky to break 70f in winter, and may be 75f+ during summer morning tea brewing period.

So 5 degrees F, which is about a sixth of the variance described by gp

5 is a minimum swing, The swing could be as much as 20-25 degrees, during summer, I would regularly wake up to an apartment in the low 60's and it would be 85 by the afternoon.

It's almost as if there are other countries besides US. We have -40°C winters and +40°C summers here, and if you don't have central heating (which most homes don't have), you can easily get a daily temperature difference of 20°C or so.

It's almost like the US has hot and humid climates, too.

That is too cold a temperature for a hot and humid climate. If you don't believe the flesh saying this, then consider that it invites condensation and costs far more to maintain that temperature than it's worth.

Ask a chemist about how one must interpret "room temperature" should the paper be suspected to be submitted from Russia or former USSR nations

Douglas Adams on making tea: https://h2g2.com/edited_entry/A61345

I'm sure he'd have enjoyed the notion of an ISO standard version (perhaps this is the very fluid the Nutrimatics machines deployed?)

It is very different from how we make it in india

Note that the standard is not for how to make a good tea, but just one suitable for sampling tea leaves (and provide some instructions to do it the same way every time)

Masala is one of the best things I've tasted in my life, and definitely the best tea preparation

How do you make it in India?

Each state, each family, each district, probably has their own version.

The tea can be salty (J&K), incredibly sweet with thickened milk, with spices (cardamom, ginger among others), brewed with bhang (wet cannabis leaf), boiled with milk, leaves spices and sugar at the same time, or with each ingredient added in some specific order..

The possibilities are limited only by one's imagination, and my imagination often falls short of reality. :D

Indian tea or chai is heavily spiced and often boiled in milk instead of steeped in hot water.

They do almost like Frappuccino without modern technologies

For your perusal, MIL-C-43205:

                                      4 August 1986
                                      30 December 1980


              COOKIE MIX, DRY

  This specification is approved for use by all
  Departments and Agencies of the Department of Defense.

    1. SCOPE

    1.1 Scope.  This document covers cookie mixes for use by
        the Department of Defense as an item of general issue.

    1.2 Classification.  The cookie mixes shall be of the
        following types, as specified (see 6.1):

        Type I    - Chocolate
        Type II   - Sugar
        Type III  - Oatmeal



Where did the British(?) idea of milk in tea come from? When I lived in Britain I was surprised to see that people put milk in tea almost without asking as if “tea” meant “tea with milk”. When they had colonies with tea plantations I assume it’s not common in Asia so when Britain had colonies people didn’t drink tea with milk there when the Britons arrived? Is it like UK Indian cuisine, an “adaptation” to the local taste?

"Asia" is sometimes perhaps too broad of a category for different cultures it contains. Milks don't work for East/Far East Asia teas such as Chinese or China-derived Japanese tea, but teas from Southern/Central/Western Asia such as Indian, Mongolian, Tibetan or other nomadic cultures are either best with milk or use specific fermented milks or butters as parts of preparations.

Despite its sometimes bad reputation, Nepalese and Tibetan butter is really tasty. And quite nutritious, more resembling some kind of broth / soup.

Where did the idea of tea with only a spoon of milk came from? I am from Pakistan working in Britain and I absolutely despise the British tea. Kadak Chai in McDonald's Qatar is the closest to the tea I have bought outside my country.

Tea is our social drink and made by boiling nearly same amount of water and milk with loose tea. It's never fruit flavored, just tea.

Better than how they consistently fail to read water lines on rice cookers[1]

1: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/cursed-bbc-food-rice-v...

Reference 11 on this might have some information. It looks like a trade group in India promoted less milk, in order to sell more tea.


(And hopefully someone from Pakistan can recommend somewhere in Britain with good chai.)

1 cup water, 1 cup milk, 3 teaspoon tea, 3 teaspoon sugar. Boil for few minutes to dissolve the color and taste into tea.

Taste depends a lot on tea itself. I have used Lipton Yellow Label (loose tea, available on Amazon) most of my life. Process differs a bit for tea bags.

I have yet to find a place of Pakistani tea here in UK.

So I take it in (at least) Pakistan there was a culture of having milk in tea before the British colonial era?

I dont know the history of tea in subcontinent. We have one more form of Tea called Doodh Patti (Milk Tea) where tea is added directly in milk, no added water.

The book referenced on Wikipedia is on Library Genesis [1], and I found it so interesting I'm not sure which bits to quote.

> At the beginning of the twentieth century, the majority of Indians did not know how to make a cup of tea and were reluctant to drink one. Now that India is both the world’s major producer and consumer of tea, this seems incredible. It confounds the myth that the British acquired their love of tea from their Indian subjects. In fact, it was the British who introduced tea to the Indians. Although they barely changed the way Indians eat, the British radically altered what they eat and drink. While the introduction of a wide variety of European and American vegetables to India was an inadvertent by-product of British rule, the conversion of the population to tea drinking was the result of what must have been the first major marketing campaign in India. The British-owned Indian Tea Association set itself the task of first creating a new habit among the Indian population, and then spreading it across the entire subcontinent.

[1] http://library.lol/main/5677300D17F8B79988D323EDE13C2FA2 (Start at book p187, which is p208 in the PDF.)

It came from the 17th and 18th centuries where the china cups weren't quite as strong. The heat of the water would often crack the cups, milk was used to cool the tea and stop the cups breaking.

Isn’t Orwell on Tea some sort of troll?

I like some elements but the bit where you heat the porcelain before putting the water in it is a recipe for disaster surely!

I put a bit of hot water in the pot and stick in the microwave for a couple minutes. Works great.

Nope. No mention of microwave in there.

To save you the hassle of reading the piece ... Orwell advocates heating your dry porcelain over a naked flame before pouring actual rolling boiling water in. I haven’t actually tried this because I’m very risk averse.

I think this piece takes on a slightly different tone if you imagine a George Orwell’s tongue firmly in his cheek. I read it as a wry take on the sophistry of the English class system ...

Thanks. I read the Orwell link, but hearing porcelain on a flame terrifies me also, so I was trying to suggest a safe alternative.

On his tone, I get the impression that Orwell really IS this concerned about the right way to make tea. I agree with him about putting milk in last.

I go in coffee shops all the time and see signs advertising that their tea or coffee is fair trade, USDA Certified Organic, etc. but I have yet to see one that says "ISO 3103 compliant!" Just another thing to add to my pipe dream of one day owning a small business.

When going to college I lived with my aunt. Coffee was too expensive, so we drank tea.

I looked up how to brew tea in her old Encyclopedia Brittanica. The most useful bit of information I gleaned was that 3 minutes was the optimal steeping time. You want to maximize caffeine while keeping the bitter tannins to a minimum.

I also found that drinking lots of tea caused muscle twitches. I did some research at the library and the cause, I determined, was that tannins also hinder the absorption of B vitamins. So take B vitamins if you start to have eye twitches, etc. Or drink less black tea.

That is a rabbit hole.

My personal advice if someone likes to care:

Get a "professional" tea cupping/tasting set. No taste altering filter methods required. My best tea related purchase ever.

Quality loose leaf tea from all over the world to develop your taste buds. Please consider that 2g/100ml is too much tea. Don't fall for hyped teas. Find tea shops willing to prepare a sample.

I got this one from a very accomplished tea master during a class he gave:

Low dosage and boiling water and long steeping. Take sips inbetween. Drink it hot or let is sit for an hour. The taste profile changes with temperature. Good teas will taste good. Bad teas will taste bad. This procedure is simple but unforgiving.

> Low dosage and boiling water and long steeping. Take sips inbetween. Drink it hot or let is sit for an hour. The taste profile changes with temperature. Good teas will taste good. Bad teas will taste bad. This procedure is simple but unforgiving.

I've usually preferred, and seem recommended, the opposite: high quantities of tea, medium temperature water, multiple short steeping. For good teas, the taste changes with every steeping, with the best aroma often being the second or third. For some teas, the first stepping is un drinkable (especially Pu Erh).

Especially for more delicate green teas, pouring boiling water over them will make them bitter, so I would never recommend that. If your tea is ever bitter, even the tiniest bit, that is the fault of your brewing method: either your water was too hot, or the ratio between tea, water, and steep time was too much.

A rabbit hole. As I said. Some specialty teas could use a gentle steep. You are right.

I like my method. Easy to use.

Bitterness is not inherent to tea. I don't accept this in teas.

Agreed, it's all a matter of preference, and likely depends on tea as well.

But have you really been able to brew green tea with boiling water without having it become bitter? I've tried with a few teas and never succeeded.

I have few green teas left. Preference shifted to black teas and dark, roasted oolong teas.

Still have Hubei Cui Lu and one green from Anji region. Another yellow tea. Neither has bitterness.

I did have bitter green teas as well. Not much going on for them. Even if carefully prepared. Eventually drank them.

I'd love to read the linked ISO document but it's hidden behind paywal :(


I would like to discuss the after brew process. Can anyone explain why they put the teabag in the sink and not directly into the rubbish? There must be reasons behind this.

To reduce dripping before carrying it over to the wastebin. At least that's why I do it.

But you could hold the mug/pot over the bin.

I could if I weren't also prone to overfilling the mug so carrying it around needlessly was a bad idea :)

Unless the bin needs a spare hand to open it.

To prevent the rubbish containing a pool of water in it.

The Book of Tea is a really awesome work on the Japanese Tea Ceremony and historical tea culture. Originally written in English, too.



Interesting, are there also standards available on other forms of tea, for instance green tea (with water at 70 degrees C instead of 100 so that the tea leaves don't burn), matcha (powdered green tea), or chai?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FJQ0TdsMxI Based on this article this video is accurate AF.

It is mentioned in the Royal Chemistry Society link [1] not to use pre-boiled water, since it has been degassed and will taste ‘flat’. This is true in my experience. I also tend to shake the tea vigorously if making it in a thermos to introduce some enlivening aeration. Admittedly, I only bother with these embellishments if making tea for others.

[1] https://web.archive.org/web/20140811033029/http://www.rsc.or...

My first thought was to think that the standard was ridiculous. Obsessive formalization of the mundane. But that's a hasty conclusion.

Why does this standard even exist? The Wikipedia article mentions something about maintaining consistency of blends and harvests, but can somebody elaborate? If I was managing a tea plantation, I might certainly be interested in something like this, but why would I use the ISO recipe, rather than some plantation-specific technique?

You're a tea plantation. You get visited by a tea buyer. She wants to compare your tea with the teas she has tasted at the other places, and thus expects you to prepare it exactly the same as everyone else.

A relative had a job brewing tea with this method. I think the purpose was quality control and consistency checks for a supermarket.

It doesn't matter if it tastes good or bad. It just needs to be consistent, so the professional taster can analyse it.

Is there anything like this for coffee?

The Specialty Coffee Association has standards for cupping coffee, which would seem to be equivalent to these for tea.

If you can read Norwegian the Norwegian Coffee Associationhas a lot of information: https://kaffe.no/6-gode-tilberedningsregler/

They run the European Coffee Brewing Centre (ECBC) that tests coffee brewing equipment (this one is in English): https://www.ecbc.no/about-ecbc/

Is there anything like this for intercourse? We could then scientifically compare.

i recently discovered many teabags which appear paper are plastic lined.

you can easily check for yourself by burning one momentarily and smelling the smoke.

psa for tea lovers trying to avoid endocrine disruptors.

I wonder if Gell-Mann Amnesia effect applies to ISO standards.

You can clearly see how the standard is some weird compromise, disconnected from how people actually make tea, and not really helpful in making a good cup of tea.

Why would you assume that other ISO standards are robust instructions that should be followed to the letter, and not more of this?

Tea and milk go together like coffee and lemon.

taste is in the tongue of the imbiber

Has life been made complex under the pretext of perfectionism? Yes, and here is your example.

Heat water, make tea, savor every drop, live happily.

how does a standard for people in the tea industry to compare products make your life complex?

I just dump a tea bag with sugar and top up with milk. No fancy stuff. I couldn't care less about any standards. I think someone has a bit too much time on their hands.

Working to make consistent tea products is "too much time on their hands"?

you are taking me too seriously. I just take what i'm given and don't second guess it. If i don't like it, i move on.

This is how I make it:

1. Start boiling water on my trusty electric kettle

2. Open the Cardamom premix[0] sachet and pour half[1] its contents into the cup

3. Pour half-cup boiling water, mix and enjoy.

[0]: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Bazaar-Bakri-Instant-Cardamom-C...

[1]: full sachet with full cup of water is too sweet (except maybe for Indian palettes pre-trained with sweet stuff)

Wagh Bakri’s Masala loose leaf tea is so good!

what about the milk? I'm not surprised you getting downvotes.

Milk is included in the pre-mix. Haters gonna hate :)

don't worry. I appreciate you

That’s not brewing tea.

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