Last Updated on 02/07/2021 by Desmond
Tea lovers often got an annoyance: when a set of teaware after a long-time using, a layer of the ugly stain will form on the surface. Some people thought that this tea stain could prove they really love tea and deeply believe it can improve the tea flavor. Actually, this view is wrong. Tea stain not only looks ugly but harm the teaware and may have adverse effects on health. To clean the teawares properly and prevent the tea stain from developing is very important.
What Is Tea Stain & How It Form?
Researchers showed that the tea stain form by the tea polyphenols oxidation and combine with a few metals ions(Mg and Ca.) Tea stain typically shows brown because of the theaflavin and thearubigins. It will easy to attach to the surface of teawares and hard to remove only by water-scouring. The longer the time, the more tea stain accumulation, and it will be harder to clean after it dried.
What Does Tea Stain Influence?
Ever a rumor said that tea stain contains heavy metal include Cd, Pb, As, Hg, and will cause poisoning; that is alarmism. These heavy metals will not be created out of thin air, unless the leaves or water has already been polluted.
Still, suppose the tea stain accumulated on the teawares not be removed. In that case, it exactly will have a bad influence on the tea flavor and health.
In China, some tea lovers deliberately like letting the tea stain accumulate to create a thick layer; they called it “tea mountain,” and this situation often happens in the Purple Sand Teapots fans group. They thought that the tea stain is the essence of the tea, and after it accumulates enough amount, they can get the full aroma like tea when they only add hot water in the pot without leaves.
It is ridiculous! When we were having green tea at an ordinary time, the infusion will turn into dark yellow once we can’t finish it quickly. That is the same reason tea polyphenols are oxidated, and it will become a tea stain after drying. Green tea contains more natural tea polyphenols, so the tea stain looks more yellow and easier to form.
If you ever drank this oxidized green tea, you may very understand how strange it tastes like. Hard to imagine what it feels like to use the teaware full of the tea stain to make tea, but I’m sure that it’s absolutely not a good effect on the tea flavor.
Tea polyphenol itself is a kind of beneficial nutrient, but it lost the nutritive value after it oxidizes. Except for the bad effect on the flavor, tea stains also harm human health in two ways.
Because tea stain contains metallic compounds of Ca and Mg, over intake will influence the digestive system. Fortunately, tea stain is not easy to dissolve in the infusion; they will more stubbornly attach on the teaware. So this side effect is minimal.
Even though tea polyphenols are oxidized and lost nutritive value, it is still an excellent nutrient source to many microorganisms. Once the teawares got a thick tea stain because of incomplete clean, various bacterias will develop and lead to a sanitation problem. These bacterias will enter the body with tea and bad for health.
How To Remove Tea Stain
For your health and not to waste the tea flavor, we should thoroughly clean the teawares every time after having tea to prevent the tea stain from growing. To the stain which accumulated a long time, we should choose the proper clean way according to the teaware’s material.
How To Clean Metal Teawares
The tea stain is alkaline; theoretically, using something acidic will be easy to neutralize and remove. To the ordinary stainless steel teacups, kettles, and infusers, we can steep them in coke or lemon juice for about 5 minutes, then remove the stain with a toothbrush. Toothpaste and food-grade baking soda can also play an excellent effect.
However, acidic liquid also will corrosion the metal. The expensive ones like a silver teapot or cast iron teapot should avoid cleaning in this way. The acidic liquid may be left on the surface, corrosion them and affect the beautiful appearance.
Even though we remove the tea stain and rust on the expensive metal teawares with the specialized wiping cloth, it still may make some abrasion. So what we more should do is to do the maintenance job well, prevent the stain from forming.
How To Clean Ceramic Teawares
Typically, ceramic teawares mean pottery and porcelain. Two different materials got a large difference in the clean methods.
Porcelain wares got super high strength and a layer of glaze on the surface, smooth and compact. Most Chinese Style and British teawares are made from this material. It can be resistant to acidic liquid corroding and ordinary hairbrush wiping. The smooth surface of porcelain or bone China teawares can lower tea stains’ adhesiveness, making it easy to be clean out; just one sponge dishrag can easy to remove the tea stain.
Pottery teaware mostly refers to the purple clay ones. Tiny small pore full on the surface and make it got excellent thermal insulation and air permeability. But due to it hasn’t covered with the glaze, tea stains will easy to accumulate in these pores. Even though clay wares also resistant to acidic, no matter the natural detergent or not, it may leave the smell in the tiny pores and affect the tea flavor.
So, to clay teawares, the best way is the same – do not let the tea stain form, clean and dry it up with a soft cloth every time after using. If the tea stain has accumulated a lot, remove it out carefully with only water and a soft brush.
How To Clean Glass Teawares
The way to remove tea stains on the glass teawares is the same as the porcelain ones, and it’s effortless. It is worth knowing that if the tea stains have been accumulated a long-time, they may osmosis into the glass and make the transparent body turn into ugly yellow.