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What would tea taste like if it was brewed in a rubber hot water bottle ?

Tea made in a hot water bottle; it's an idea which might make some people shudder, and yet it's something which a lot of us have considered, perhaps briefly, at some time. A rubber hot water bottle keeps you warm in bed, and a cup of hot tea would also help, and hot tea is made from hot water, and your hot water bottle contains hot water, so... And suddenly you've thought of it, using the hot water bottle in a dual purpose mode as a tea flask!

Now of course you'd have to be MAD to try such a thing, and obviously the problem is that the tea would by any sensible reckoning be DISGUSTING! Virtually everyone agrees on this, but it's one of those great untested things like going over the edge of Niagara Falls in a Zorb Ball, or checking to see if your curtains are fire-retardant. If you've bought a snazzy watch you might be quite proud of the boast that it's waterproof down to fifty metres and not feel the need to take a rowing boat out into the middle of Loch Ness and use a fishing rod and line to hang the expensive timepiece down into the abyss to the specified depth and see if it survives. See testing a watch in a water

Meanwhile, back on the speculative extreme tea tasting, the question has for many people remained a matter of faith rather than scientific fact. Tea which has been made and allowed to fester brew in a hot water bottle; what does it taste like? To find out, Zyra, being a mad scientist, has put this to the test.

When conducting a scientific experiment, it's good to have a control test wherever possible, which means having something unchanged to compare the results against. This isn't always possible in science, for example it's tricky in cosmology. But in this test, it being a matter of making cups of tea, it was quite possible to make a control-group cup of tea in a laboratory quality stainless steel teapot on the same day as the questionable batch of tea was made in a hot water bottle. Reference: Zyra's teacup has been upgraded

It's also important to try to be open-minded when performing scientific research. You should be able to imagine different outcomes, for example that the tea in this case tasted good/bad/foul/indifferent.

Experimental results: In comparison to a decent cup of tea made in the usual way, the tea which had been slooshing about in a hot water bottle and then poured into a mug with some milk and saccharin tasted... not too bad. Although the tea was quite strong and there was a quite distinctive taste to it, with a possible rubbery essence and indefinable odd quality, it was mostly ok. The hot water bottle tea did not taste as bad as some people had speculated, and was not much worse than tea made in some of the poorer tea machines or in some kinds of aluminium teapots cleaned in a particular way.

The tea brewed in the hot water bottle did however have a very long persisting after-taste, and there was a notable headiness to it. This suggests that some of the more tea-soluble essences of the inside of the rubber hot water bottle had permeated into the tea and were now sluicing around the bloodstream along the paths usually more accustomed to the flow containing alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and other blood additives.

I haven't compared the taste of tea brewed in different types of hot water bottle, but if I was going to buy a hot water bottle I'd probably have gone to Boots The Chemist. They generally used to have reliable goods available as I remember some time ago. I also haven't compared leaf tea in comparison to teabags, but I know the tea bags are quite difficult to extract from the hot water bottle, and may have to be just left in there to rot.

I don't doubt the quality of the hot water bottles at Boots the Chemist, but the shop has fallen out of favour with me since they expelled me from their affiliate program, so when it came time to replace my hot water bottle I went to Wilko. It's a quality natural rubber hot water bottle, made to British Standard, and considerably less expensive! Wilko also sell Lem-Sip and other over-the-counter medications, as well as housewares, cans of paint, electricals, xmas decorations, chocolates, buckets, and all sorts of other stuff. Plus they sell online and have a decent affiliate program too.

Other odd tea flavour experiments at Zyra's website include: tea from dehumidifier water, and tea mixed with coffee

Special safety note: This site recommends against the drinking of tea made in hot water bottles, and if you are silly enough to do this, then it is at your own risk!