Tea and the microwave
Just read the ‘teamuse’ article that ‘K S’ suggested above. It was VERY informative, explaining much of the physics involved in microwaving water. ‘teamuse’ concluded that, considering the difficulty in determining temperature, inferior taste, and danger involved, that one should slow down and use the kettle.
I would reiterate the ‘danger’ warning: I have heated a mug of water in the microwave ( to what I thought was under boiling – not visibly boiling at any rate), tossed in a PGTip triangle bag, and had it immediately erupt. Scary!
The mug itself can get extremely hot in the microwave. I have experienced a situation where the mug was hotter than the tea – burning my lips on the rim before even getting to the tea.
STUNNING Microwave vs Kettle Experiment
I’ve always assumed that I was saving time when using the microwave; thought I would find out exactly how much time.
Equipment: 1300W microwave, 14oz ceramic mug filled with 12oz cold water
Stainless steel whistling kettle containing 12oz cold water, largest coil on electric stove which heats entire surface of kettle.
Procedure: almost simultaneously placed mug in microwave, punched in 3min on highest level, and pressed ‘Start’ ; and placed kettle on coil and turned onto high.
Results: Water boiled in microwave mug at 2min, 30secs; kettle whistled at 2min, 40secs.
Conclusion: 10 seconds!! Never using the microwave for tea again!
A friend uses a Kuerig without the nasty k-cups for instant hot water. I use a hot water dispenser at work – faster than the office microwave. I can bring water to a rolling boil in my home microwave in 1 min 45 seconds. No explosions (yet) but after much experimentation the full taste is not there. I give up. Your mileage may vary.
The beverage button runs 1 min 40, just shy of boiling. Others had mentioned 3min so for my experiment I set the timer. Fortunately I was watching or I might have had a real mess. My mug is 10 – 12 oz depending how close to the top I go.