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[Comments] (7) Weak Tea: In the novel I'm working on now, a character brews tea from tea bags that have been around the block more than once. I described the resulting tea as "the color of lemonade". Then I started wondering if that was an accurate description. What does tea look like when you reuse the leaves over and over?

An experiment was carried out in which I brewed the same tea leaves in a pot six times, steeping each pot for five minutes. The results are in the photo-montage below:

The "C" glass is the control glass, which contains water (i.e. zeroth-generation tea). I stopped the experiment after steep #6, because glasses #5 and #6 came out the same color, and because I was out of transparent glassware.

Conclusion: I don't think "lemonade" is accurate; I'll probably go with "apple juice" or "piss".

PS: I drank only the first pot of tea.

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Posted by John Dowdell at Fri Aug 17 2012 18:25

Different types of teas respond differently to repeated infusions. Some don't like it at all. Others, such as Pu'er, thrive. Here's a good entrypoint to the culture:


Posted by Yatima at Fri Aug 17 2012 23:47

Claire, a fan of Look Around You and tea, reports: "That's pretty cool."

Posted by Mike at Fri Aug 17 2012 23:58

"The color of flat champagne."

Posted by Rachel at Mon Aug 20 2012 04:26

what a cheapskate

Posted by Leonard at Mon Aug 20 2012 08:20

Rachel, they're in space and they ran out of tea.

Posted by Ben Heaton at Tue Aug 21 2012 04:26

They should have bought two.

Posted by kirk at Mon Aug 27 2012 09:26

My workday routine is to reuse my large cup from my morning iced coffee as a iced water vessel throughout the day, but I put in a single lonely tea bag in the morning. Needless to say my "ghetto sun tea" is just the tiniest bit flavored, since not only is it the same bag in a large cup but the water is way too cold for proper diffusion.

So, pale.


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