My Tea Is Buzzing!

ChasFink

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I just made myself a cup of tea with a Twinings Earl Grey teabag. There was a distinct buzzing coming from the cup which became louder when I took out the teabag, but I thought it was just air escaping from the tea leaves packed together. It's been a few minutes, but the cup still buzzes quietly. Any thoughts?
 

EnolaGaia

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I just made myself a cup of tea with a Twinings Earl Grey teabag. There was a distinct buzzing coming from the cup which became louder when I took out the teabag, but I thought it was just air escaping from the tea leaves packed together. It's been a few minutes, but the cup still buzzes quietly. Any thoughts?
Have you moved the cup to another surface or placed it on something soft to eliminate the possibility there's some external vibration causing it to buzz?
 

ChasFink

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Have you moved the cup to another surface or placed it on something soft to eliminate the possibility there's some external vibration causing it to buzz?
Yes. It continued even while I was holding it by the handle and moved to another office. Definitely coming from the cup. It gradually decreased in pitch, then stopped. My best explanation is that there is at least one tiny hole or crack inside the cup, and this was the sound of air escaping/liquid entering that opening.
 

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Yes. It continued even while I was holding it by the handle and moved to another office. Definitely coming from the cup. It gradually decreased in pitch, then stopped. My best explanation is that there is at least one tiny hole or crack inside the cup, and this was the sound of air escaping/liquid entering that opening.
Just in case the buzz is a preliminary noise your cup is making in order to communicate with you: tell your cup you hear it, you like your cup, you are waiting for more communication, etc. Or, it may just be a small crack and that buzzing is a warning the cup is getting ready to crack into two. Or maybe....
 

Sollywos

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I used to have a mug that did that, it was coming from the handle joint. The buzzing alerted me to hold the mug carefully lol. The handle eventually fell off when I forgot to go easy washing it up. It's now being used to store left overs in the fridge. :)
 

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I used to have a mug that did that, it was coming from the handle joint. The buzzing alerted me to hold the mug carefully lol. The handle eventually fell off when I forgot to go easy washing it up. It's now being used to store left overs in the fridge. :)
Good advice - I've had that happen, too. However, this cup is in quite solid condition, and I'd hate to see it go. It has its own little spoon for stirring in the handle. (And yes, I removed the spoon to see if that was where the sound was coming from.)

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I just made a cup of Lapsang Souchong. Made a kind of tinkling at first, then settled into the buzz. I wish I could record this, but it's so quiet the ambient room noise would drown it out.
 

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I just made a cup of Lapsang Souchong. Made a kind of tinkling at first, then settled into the buzz. I wish I could record this, but it's so quiet the ambient room noise would drown it out.
!!! OK, so it is now determined that it is your TEA communicating to you, not the cup. Please try Twinings English Breakfast and report back to us.
 

JamesWhitehead

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Yes, once water gets under the glaze, all kinds of sound-effects are possible as a new brew creates interesting expansion and release . . .

The thing to worry about is a sudden failure of the handle and lap full of scalding tea!

I had a close escape. Almost a replay of the appalling bamboo-handle-teapot-affair of 1992! o_O

The most talkative mugs are the insulated ones, if they have been through a few total-immersion baptisms.

They witter on for hours. Sometimes, a change of external temperature will cause them to resume their mutterings in the early hours of the morning. I love mine enough to take it to bed . . . :nods:
 

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Just in case the buzz is a preliminary noise your cup is making in order to communicate with you: tell your cup you hear it, you like your cup, you are waiting for more communication, etc. Or, it may just be a small crack and that buzzing is a warning the cup is getting ready to crack into two. Or maybe....
I came here to say the same thing I reckon it's a hairline crack.
 

ChasFink

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!!! OK, so it is now determined that it is your TEA communicating to you, not the cup. Please try Twinings English Breakfast and report back to us.
I'm taking the day off tomorrow so it will have to wait until Monday. I might have some English Breakfast at home; I know I have some of the misnamed Irish Breakfast, which the Irish (and old Polaks like me) can enjoy all day. I wonder what might happen if I just use regular Lipton.
 

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I just made myself a cup of tea with a Twinings Earl Grey teabag. There was a distinct buzzing coming from the cup which became louder when I took out the teabag, but I thought it was just air escaping from the tea leaves packed together. It's been a few minutes, but the cup still buzzes quietly. Any thoughts?
Is it trying to tell you something?? Wonderfully weird.... I like it.... We have finally moved on from reading tealeaves, they now speak directly to us!!
 

EnolaGaia

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Yes. It continued even while I was holding it by the handle and moved to another office. Definitely coming from the cup. It gradually decreased in pitch, then stopped. My best explanation is that there is at least one tiny hole or crack inside the cup, and this was the sound of air escaping/liquid entering that opening.
ChasFink:
Is this an insulated cup, or is it of solid / single wall construction? If it's an insulated cup with dual walls enclosing an air space that would explain air coming / going through a crack due to thermal effects.
 

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I just made myself a cup of tea with a Twinings Earl Grey teabag. There was a distinct buzzing coming from the cup which became louder when I took out the teabag, but I thought it was just air escaping from the tea leaves packed together. It's been a few minutes, but the cup still buzzes quietly. Any thoughts?

From my experience: Have you ruled out tinnitus?

maximus otter
 

Mythopoeika

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ChasFink:
Is this an insulated cup, or is it of solid / single wall construction? If it's an insulated cup with dual walls enclosing an air space that would explain air coming / going through a crack due to thermal effects.
I've witnessed that happening to an insulated cup.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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I just made myself a cup of tea with a Twinings Earl Grey teabag. There was a distinct buzzing coming from the cup which became louder when I took out the teabag, but I thought it was just air escaping from the tea leaves packed together. It's been a few minutes, but the cup still buzzes quietly. Any thoughts?

You don't happen to work in the US embassy in Havana do you?
 

ChasFink

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ChasFink:
Is this an insulated cup, or is it of solid / single wall construction? If it's an insulated cup with dual walls enclosing an air space that would explain air coming / going through a crack due to thermal effects.
It's solid ceramic; not insulated or double-walled. The outside has a matte finish that reminds me a bit of frosted glass, and the inside is a glossy red. I suspect some microscopic "pores" have opened up in the bottom of the inside glaze allowing some interaction with the ceramic itself or some trapped air beneath the glaze. I did notice some "effervescence" the first time, but put it down to sugar dissolving. (The sound happens before sugar is added.)

From my experience: Have you ruled out tinnitus?

maximus otter
Ruled out. I have occasionally had tinnitus, but this sound is coming from the cup, is only audible at very close range, and has been witnessed by others.
 

catseye

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Just don't try it with Yorkshire tea. There will be no buzzing, just a low grade grumble.

I've had something similar happen with mugs before. A tiny hole somewhere. One day you will look at the mug and there will be an obvious crack.
 

Mythopoeika

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It's solid ceramic; not insulated or double-walled. The outside has a matte finish that reminds me a bit of frosted glass, and the inside is a glossy red. I suspect some microscopic "pores" have opened up in the bottom of the inside glaze allowing some interaction with the ceramic itself or some trapped air beneath the glaze. I did notice some "effervescence" the first time, but put it down to sugar dissolving. (The sound happens before sugar is added.)
What kind of sugar? If it's that 'fake' sugar (e.g. Splenda), it probably has a bubble of air trapped in each grain.
I've heard fizzing from that stuff.
 

ChasFink

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Back to the experiment. I washed my cup - not a common occurrence in offices, of course - and poured the hot water in first. Effervescence began, apparently more to one side as if coming from a specific point. Added the tea bag - English Breakfast as suggested. Tinkling began, like tiny fairy chimes, slowly replaced by the buzz, which this time seemed to fade in and out before going away. No significant drop in pitch, but it stopped earlier than usual.
 

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I once stayed at a friends house, she had made a rice pudding for tea and it was in the oven. Suddenly I heard a strange hissing sound. emanating from the oven, (not a hot and angry cat as you may have thought), but the dish exploded before I could reach the oven to turn it off. There must have been a flaw in the pyrex dish. I think we had canned fruit for dessert that evening.
 

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Back to the experiment. I washed my cup - not a common occurrence in offices, of course - and poured the hot water in first. Effervescence began, apparently more to one side as if coming from a specific point. Added the tea bag - English Breakfast as suggested. Tinkling began, like tiny fairy chimes, slowly replaced by the buzz, which this time seemed to fade in and out before going away. No significant drop in pitch, but it stopped earlier than usual.
Thank you for continuing your scientific experiments! You have now established that it is both the cup and the tea contributing to the noises. I think the tinkling, buzzing, and effervescence are your cup giving you notice of upcoming – perhaps spectacular – changes. How wonderful that your cup communicates to you, and that you pay attention to it. You are a good cup companion ;)
 

Iris

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After reading the posts I thought maybe I'd better use a different mug as mine has a fine hairline crack and now has a U shaped one lower down. They don't show on the outside and don't sing but I don't want hot tea in my lap.
 
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