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Heating water - microwaves vs kettle?

  1. Dec 4, 2007 #1

    dst

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    I don't know whether this is appropriate for this sort of forum, but what would be the difference between microwaving standard tap water and boiling it in a kettle?

    Not just any water, but hard London tapwater (eek), with all sorts of delicious impurities.

    There's a marked difference in taste between the two, that's for sure. I assumed microwaving would be better because of the lack of limescale but I was proven wrong. Why?
     
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  3. Dec 4, 2007 #2

    Danger

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    I've never actually tried to compare them. If by lack of limescale you mean in the microwave dish, then you should realize that the minerals that cause it are still in the water. The stuff deposited in a kettle has been removed.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2007 #3

    dst

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    Well, I descaled my kettle with a sharp knife just before and washed it all out. The idea is that fine particles of limescale get into the boiled water when poured into the cup, but that doesn't add up with the microwaved water tasting like filth in comparison.

    Microwaved tea is just disgusting - and that's another one. Microwaving without milk then adding it will just absolutely destroy it, whereas microwaving afterwards will change the taste slightly but not destroy it.

    6000+ years of physics and nobody knows how to make the perfect cuppa?
     
  5. Dec 4, 2007 #4

    Danger

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    I reheat old coffee in the nuker all the time, and it tastes fine. Tea, on the other hand, simply has to be done in a scalded pot from a kettle. Anything less is blasphemy. (But so is adding stuff, to my mind...)
     
  6. Dec 4, 2007 #5

    dst

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    Coffee, doesn't have any milk to get spoiled. By "fine", do you mean "different but irrelevant" or "same taste"?

    What is it about milk that hates microwaves?
     
  7. Dec 4, 2007 #6

    Danger

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    That's a good question about the coffee taste; I don't know for sure. Ours never tastes quite the same way twice, so it's hard to remember what yesterday's was like the first time around. It's still good, though, as opposed to reheating it in a pot on the stove.
    I was unaware of microwaves hating milk. Can't stand the stuff, so I've never tried it. Maybe it has to do with it being a colloidal solution rather than a strict liquid. I'm sure that someone with more of a chemistry background can clear that up.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2007 #7

    russ_watters

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    How exactly are you making the tea? Do you boil the water in a teacup, then put in a teabag or put the teabag in first? You should boil the water first, just like when you use a pot.

    And you aren't boiling the water in a not-necessarily microwave-safe plastic container, are you? If you are, you could be tasting the plastic...
     
  9. Dec 4, 2007 #8

    dst

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    Water straight into a ceramic mug.

    I tried with just plain water, result: Nasty. I then tried with the teabag in, result: Double nasty.

    No plastic involved. I think this is more chemistry oriented to be honest. Another difference, microwaving milk on its own causes no problems (using low energy + long time) but do the same for milk in tea and the milk itself is destroyed, per se.
     
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