Water for Tea Brewing
Water for Tea Brewing
It is sometimes easy to forget that regardless of the quality of your tea leaves, it is impossible to brew a good tea without suitable water. Tea is made up of over 95% water, as such it is greatly influenced by water quality. A Chinese tea scholar Lu Yu wrote an entire book about water selection for tea and he claimed that mountain water from stony lakes, the middle of slow-flowing streams, or milky-white springs are of the best quality for making tea. Therefore, unsuitablewater will make a bad cup no matter how good the tea leaves are, while good water will make good tea taste even better. To ensure you have a flavourful tea, here are a few key pointers when selecting your water.
Spring bottled water
Quality spring water is usually the best choice but not all of them are created equal. Your bottled spring water should contain no chlorine, have no distinct taste, be PH neutral (a 7 on the PH scale) and have a total dissolved solids content of 30 parts per million or below. Water with PH of 8.5 and above is known as hard water and will brew into bitter tea. Mineral water is too mineral rich and may leave your tea tasting metallic, while distilled water is low in minerals and may brew into flat-tasting tea. Therefore, do your research to find out what kinds of bottled spring water are available locally and do a taste testing with one type of tea to compare them.
Filtered tap water
Tap water by itself contains chemicals that affect the taste of the tea but filtered tap water is a good option for brewing a flavourful tea. There are many sophisticated water filters, such as Novita or Brita, on the market for those who desire truly excellent water. Another filtering method would be Japanese bamboo charcoal, which is a simplified carbon filter. And if you are using a filter, it is best that you brew the tea with freshly filtered water as using those water sitting out in your kitchen for a while will impact the taste of the tea.
Avoid distilled water when brewing tea. It is easy to assume that since distilled water is the purest water, then it must be the best. However, distilled water contains little mineral and will make your tea taste flat. Water often includes electrolytes which helps to enhance the natural flavour of the tea, as such distilled water will not taste good when used to brew teas.
Re-boiled water or standing water
Lastly, do not use re-boiled water when brewing tea. Water releases oxygen each time we boiled them, making it loses its essence and negatively impacting the taste of your tea. As such, pour out unused water to another jar and start fresh at all time. Also, standing water can dissolves the gases around it. This means that the water will absorb their odours, making your tea tastes unpleasant.