ISO 3103 is yet another standard published by the International Organization for Standardization. It contains instructions on how to make a perfect cup of tea. It was written in 1980 by ISO Technical Comittee 34, Sub-Comittee 8.
It was not written to provide a standard worldwide method for brewing tea, but instead to eliminate many variables involved with tea brewing to ease the "examination of organoleptic properties of the infused leaf."
To maintain consistent results, the following are recommendations given by the standard:
- The pot should be white porcelain or glazed earthenware and have a partly serrated edge. It should have a lid that fits loosely inside the pot.
- If a large pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 310 mL (±8 mL) and must weigh 200 g (±10 g).
- If a small pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 150 mL (±4 mL) and must weigh 118 g (±10 g).
- 2 grams of tea (measured to ±2% accuracy) per 100 mL boiling water is placed into the pot.
- Freshly boiling water is poured into the pot to within 4-6 mm of the brim.
- The water should be similar to the drinking water where the tea will be consumed
- Brewing time is six minutes.
- The brewed tea is then poured into a white porcelain or glazed earthenware bowl.
- If a large bowl is used, it must have a capacity of 380 mL and weigh 200 g (±20 g)
- If a small bowl is used, it must have a capacity of 200 mL and weigh 105 g (±20 g)
- If the test involves milk, then it can be added before or after pouring the infused tea.
- Milk added after the pouring of tea is best tasted when the liquid is between 65 and 80°C.
- 5 ml of milk for the large bowl, or 2.5 ml for the small bowl, is used.
Criticism and CompetitionEdit
Although it is designed to rid experiments of any inconsistancy, it contains many in and of itself. Instead of defining exact standards for use, it gives general numbers that, after the effects predicted by chaos theory, could create different results. In order to solve this, more exact measures must be created.
In 2003, the Royal Society of Chemistry published their own guide to making the idea cup of tea. However, instead of appealing to standardization and monotony, the guide is to be used as a reference when boiling tea for personal enjoyment.