Friday, February 25, 2011

Using The Word "Brew" For Tea

The word brew is a funny word. It is used in the context of beverages with several different meanings. Brew, alone, usually conjures up images of beer or coffee before tea. You can even verify that this is a widespread mainstream phenomenon by typing "brew" into google image search: there are many pictures of beer, a few of coffee, and none of tea.

However, once you're in the context of tea, the word brew is used liberally. As of writing this post, a google search for the phrase "brewing tea" yields 112,000 results, whereas "steeping tea" returns the more moderate 27,000. What is interesting, however, is that the more general "preparing tea" returns 179,000 results.

How do you feel about using the term brew for tea?


  1. I believe it is not entirely accurate. I think that steeping or preparing tea describes the process more accurately.
    Brew used to have its connotations to beer, but when coffee came onto the scene the term was adopted. Now the same term has been adopted for just about any plant or organic matter prepared in water!

  2. Hello Alex
    Ta for visiting GPB.
    Lookie here. A whole blog dedicated to the appreciation of tea with a whole list of other tea fetishists listed on your blog roll there.
    Real neat.
    As to owls. They are a strange and intriguing creature. We get the odd one here too.

  3. Brew: "To prepare a drink by boiling or infusing"
    According to that definition I guess it is accurate enough.
    However I don't particularly like the term. I tend to alternate it with "steeping" when I write a blog post, because I can't just brew and brew and brew.
    As to "preparing tea" that sounds ominous. I'm preparing my tea for what? ;)