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"A scientific approach to tasting tea."
Ian Bersten has examined the traditions of making tea and their origins and shown that with a new simple filter, a fully flavoured tea can be made without bitterness. His Book, ’Tea- How tradition stood in the way of the perfect cup’ is the first exposition how the flavour and bitterness of tea can be simply separated to make a new smooth brew which can be the basis of hot, ice tea, tea lattes and many other tea drinks. It highlights the difference between traditional tea brewing based on hot water, larger leaf and five minute brewing and a new idea which is based on boiling water, very small leaf and thirty second brewing.
The book emphasises the use of the palate to determine quality rather than the raft of opinions that make up the hype on which the traditional tea industry is based. It shows how scientific logic supports the conclusions of the palate.
Over several centuries the tea industry developed traditions for brewing tea based on opinions which confirmed each other. The net effect was that there was a lack of a scientific approach to tea brewing. Black tea was brewed in teapots and was either under flavored or bitter or both. If the tea was brewed with bitterness, the solution was to add milk and sugar. Another solution was to use tea bags which never produce a full strength tea. The public, told that BOP - Broken Orange Pekoe was the best grade of tea, believed it was a flavour when in fact it was a leaf size..
Green tea was brewed with large leaf tea using water under boiling point which meant it was almost impossible to make the tea bitter. The tradition of using large leaf tea and judging flavour by colour blocked consideration of further possibilities. Using the Tea-Cha filter 650 cups of tea can be made compared with 200-300 in traditional methods.
Ian Bersten has been in the tea and coffee industry for forty years. Born in 1939 in Sydney, Australia and trained as an economist, he spent four years travelling the world. He began his own business in 1968 and was surprised at the lack of precise information about both coffee and tea. The search for the key factors in making various types of cups of coffee led him to investigate the history of roasting and brewing by collecting the largest collection of patented tea and coffee makers in the world plus a large collection of books and literature. The result was two major books, Coffee Floats Tea Sinks in 1993 and Coffee, Sex and Health in 1999.
His personal belief system is based on facts and not on opinions. This philosophy has been applied to the tea industry which is demonstrably based on tradition. For forty years he worked in the coffee industry and is now in the business of making a better cup of tea.
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