Microwave Oven Not An Ideal Way To Heat Water For Tea

There are numerous reasons, including safety concerns such as superheated water and electrical arcing, and other concerns, which make microwave ovens a less-than-ideal way to heat water to prepare tea. RateTea.net explores these issues.
By: Alex Zorach / RateTea.net
June 3, 2011 - PRLog -- Tea connoisseurs generally avoid using microwave ovens to heat water for tea, and tend not to recommend this method of heating water.  There are several reasons for avoiding this method, the biggest of which are safety and standardization.  RateTea.net has issued a new resource outlining safety concerns and other issues pertaining to heating water for tea in a microwave.

Safety Concerns With Microwaves:

The two biggest safety concerns surrounding microwave ovens that are most relevant to tea drinkers are superheating of water and electrical arcing.  Superheating of water occurs when water is heated above its boiling point, and explodes violently in a process called "eruption", which can cause severe burns.  Superheating is most likely to occur when using distilled water heated in a glass vessel.  Arcing is usually a result of metallic objects being present in the microwave; arcing can result from a tea drinker inadvertently microwaving a tea bag containing a metal staple, or attempting to heat water in a ceramic mug or teapot containing metal trim.

Other Concerns:

Standardization is a less serious issue, but one that precludes giving simple universal instructions on brewing tea in a microwave.  Because different microwaves require different amounts of time to heat water, using their maximum power setting, it is impossible to give standard instructions on the amount of time required to heat up water for tea.

Energy use for cost and sustainability is one other concern; for heating water for tea, microwaves tend to be less efficient than even a typical electric stovetop.

Read the full article, including a Mythbusters video of superheated water:


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RateTea.net is an online community where anyone can rate and review teas. RateTea.net lists loose and teabag teas, and has a database of teas and articles about different styles and varieties of tea, tea-producing regions, and other tea-related topics.
Source:Alex Zorach / RateTea.net
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