Tea Hacking: College Edition

2 Feb
With a bit of hacking, your bag of blah can taste like it came from the Queen's own pot.

With a bit of hacking, your bag of blah can taste like it came from the Queen’s own pot.

Tea is a high-maintenance lady. Delicate whites need to be coaxed into flavor, greens require careful monitoring to escape bitterness, and blacks can’t be left to their own devices for too long, or else you’ve got a steaming cup of oh-god-why-did-I-even-bother.

This lady takes time and patience, and of course, that’s the one thing we college kids don’t have. We’re bounding between classes and projects and rehearsals and meetings, and when we’ve got a moment to breathe, it’s just long enough to hide under the cozy-but-kind-of-itchy blanket of procrastination. (Hi Tumblr. Hi Facebook.)

If tea is gonna get us through all that, then our cup of leaf juice needs to be fan-freaking-tastic without the load of prep time. Even when you’re on the go, grabbing a quick one from the café turns out to be not-so-quick as you nurse a scalded tongue, waiting just to be able to take a sip. It’s like tea refuses to be chuggable; that instant Tazo from Starbucks doesn’t come with instant gratification.

But some of us don’t take “No” for an answer. Busy students, you can have your tea and drink it, too. How? Tea hacking.

You can get a butt-spanking cup of good tea with the standard college fare. All you need are teabags, a tea-juice-holder (eco-friendly mug, not-so-eco-friendly-but-it-works-in-a-pinch paper cup, etc), and some hot water from the dining hall tap (the kind that could boil your face alive).

Usually colleges have cheap stuff, namely Lipton and Bigelow, and the standard paper cup is 12 oz. The rule of thumb here is 2 doubles, 2 halves. Double the bags, double the flavor. Half the water, half the time.

Step 1: Put in two bags and fill the cup halfway with your stupid-hot water.

Step 2: Fill half of the remaining space with regular room temperature water.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Why does this work? (Warning: math ahead!)

Mass-produced teabags are meant for 1 standard-measure cup, which is 8 oz. Your college’s paper cups are 1.5x bigger than that. So putting in 2x the tea with .75 the amount of water will yield max flavor at a drinkable temperature.

Pretty nifty, huh?

From here, you can develop your own hacking style. Play with ratios. If you don’t have room temperature water and the only option is the freezing stuff that comes from the soda machine, go with 3/4 hot water and a big shot of cold.

Have tea-hacking tips of your own? Share ’em in the comments!


2 Responses to “Tea Hacking: College Edition”

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