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Thread: Vessel for hot liquid.

  1. #1

    Vessel for hot liquid.

    I want to make a vessel for steeping tea. What are my options? What woods / treatments work best. I did once own a yerba mate cup made of wood (not a gourd) and it worked for a year. I think it was just bare wood and I'd like something that would last longer. Bonus points for wood that might add a hint of flavor into the brew.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Greater Hendersonville NC
    Simplest solution: find a ceramic or metal container of appropriate shape. Turn a single or multi-piece wood vessel to surround it. Otherwise, maybe whatever wood species are used for wine/whiskey/scotch barrels.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Fort Pierce, Florida
    Whiskey and wine barrels are usually oak. IIRC, Its the tannin in the oak that provides the flavor, and teas often have high tannin content. I'm not sure if that is what provides the vanilla flavor or a separate chemical.
    Retired - when every day is Saturday (unless it's Sunday).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Escondido, CA
    Nathan I have been thinking about the same thing. My wild guess is that a year is really good. I am making mugs for my son and his family for the Renaissance Faire. My wife would love one for coffee or tea, but I have no expectations of being able to do that without a liner.

    Having said that, I am using white oak because of its closed cells, and Wipe-on-Poly allowing very long cure times. I want it to soak into the wood as much as possible before it cures. I still think that with hot drinks the expansion and contraction would damage it, so a year for your Yerba Mate cup is not bad.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  5. #5
    Birch burl is traditionally used for the Finnish kuksa cups. Noggins are another variation on the same theme. Though traditionally hand carved, one could easily turn something similar (for example, you might check out the walnut porringer in my album). There is some long boiling process they go through to keep the wood from moving involving salt water or coffee or vodka, then oil on the outside. Popular among bushcrafters for their coffee or tea, so you should find some good suggestions searching those terms.
    A woodchick can chuck wood

  6. #6
    Interesting suggestion.

    Also I found this -
    The wooden mate
    Wood is a popular material for mate cupas mainly because the flavour can be enhanced. Wooden mates usually give a richer enhancement to the taste, sometimes sweeter, as opposed to the gourd which is bitter.
    Why should I cure my wooden mate?
    Wooden mates are very prone to splitting, especially the palo santo wood. Curing the wood will help to seal the natural poresand increase the product life.
    How do I cure my wooden mate?
    1. Seal the pores
    Spread oil or butter around the inside walls of the mate cup
    2. Cure
    Fill the mate with old, used yerba tea leaves and leave for a few hours. If you don’t have any used yerba, you can use split teabags, or soak some fresh yerba in water and use that. It is important that the yerba/tea is just wet, DON’T LEAVE SOAKING IN WATER, this will often lead to the splitting. Some people add alcohol to the wet yerba (any alcohol will do) – this is optional. After it has been left for at least a few hours, clean thoroughly to remove the yerba and oil.
    3. Ready for use!
    You can now prepare a normal mate. Over time the gourd will absorb more and more flavour

    Could it really be that simple?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Clark View Post
    Bonus points for wood that might add a hint of flavor into the brew.
    After some brewing, the flavor from what you are brewing would overwhelm any flavor that the wood might originally have added, especially if you use oak, which is the classic whiskey/bourbon/wine barrel. Kentucky bourbon barrels can only be used once, so they are sold on to other users who take advantage of the flavor left by the bourbon. I think asking for flavoring to be added by the wood will only reduce the life of the vessel since it would require bare wood, and, if you use oak, the brew would soon permeate the wall of the vessel and overwhelm the oak. I think the suggestion of an impervious liner is your best and longest-lived option.

  8. #8
    I just read that Carob is used for some yerba mate cups to sweeten and enhance the flavor. I have no idea how long that works.

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