Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Hannah » Mar 18th, '13, 10:04

Perhaps tap water would be too much of a variable to test? - everyone has different tap water so while it would be interesting, it wouldn't be relevant to others (well, unless they had the same water source and pipes :lol: )

I used to live 5 mins drive away from my current place and the water was 10x better than my place now :( same source, older pipes..
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Evan Draper » Mar 18th, '13, 11:52

I am glad someone else uses the equalizer metaphor. I always think of gaiwan brewing as "reference speakers" and no one knows what I'm talking about.
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Joel Byron » Mar 18th, '13, 16:05

Evan Draper wrote:I am glad someone else uses the equalizer metaphor. I always think of gaiwan brewing as "reference speakers" and no one knows what I'm talking about.


NS-10's? :D
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Hannah » Mar 18th, '13, 16:37

Evan Draper wrote:I am glad someone else uses the equalizer metaphor. I always think of gaiwan brewing as "reference speakers" and no one knows what I'm talking about.


Former Audio Engineer here! (Before I got lazy and went into IT) - I know exactly what you mean! 8)
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby BioHorn » Mar 18th, '13, 17:12

A 'fridge filter is my means of filtering tap water. Does that count as the reference? I can try just leaving tap water out. I imagine this supposedly lets the chlorine evaporate?
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Bad Jedi » Mar 18th, '13, 17:28

BioHorn wrote:A 'fridge filter is my means of filtering tap water. Does that count as the reference? I can try just leaving tap water out. I imagine this supposedly lets the chlorine evaporate?

If your authorities using chloramine instead of chlorine you can't evaporate it , the only way to get rid of chloramine is RO or serious activated carbon block filter .
Also would be nice to find out pH of that water .
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby BioHorn » Mar 18th, '13, 19:57

Bad Jedi wrote:
BioHorn wrote:A 'fridge filter is my means of filtering tap water. Does that count as the reference? I can try just leaving tap water out. I imagine this supposedly lets the chlorine evaporate?

If your authorities using chloramine instead of chlorine you can't evaporate it , the only way to get rid of chloramine is RO or serious activated carbon block filter .
Also would be nice to find out pH of that water .


If anyone can interpret this a bit (i.e. this or that amount is desirable of a certain category.) I understand it may actually be much more complicated. Regardless, it would be nice to have a general idea.

From the Cleveland Division of Water report:
pH 7.0-7.6
Alkalinity: 72-85
Phosphate as P: 0.8-1.3
Hardness: 114-118
Chloride: 18 (rises in winter from road salt) Total dissolved solids: 175
Calcium: 30.5
Magnesium: 8.8

Maybe the rise in salt accounts for tea tasting so nice in the winter!

Interesting. Alex Z. wrote a post praising Cleveland tap water. I would not disagree! :mrgreen:

http://cazort.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-favorite-tap-water-cleveland-ohio.html
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby minor_glitch » Mar 19th, '13, 09:05

Evan Draper wrote:I am glad someone else uses the equalizer metaphor. I always think of gaiwan brewing as "reference speakers" and no one knows what I'm talking about.

So that's why you put tissue over your gaiwan?

(Ok, maybe that joke was TOO obscure of an audio reference... It's an NS10 thing.)
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Oni » Mar 25th, '13, 05:04

This is my kind of topic. I have been obsessed with water and heating water, and kettles, these are very important in gong fu cha, I mean it is easy to learn how to pour water to the teapot and how to fill the cups from the teapot, but it is a lot harder to learn and experiment with water quality and heating water.
Image
Sofar I have been experimenting with these two kettles, I know that my neighbour has an antique silver kettle, I have been ashamed to ask them for permission to use it.
Another element in water quality is the way you heat it, it is better to heat it quickly on high natural heat like charcoal fire, I use my stove top with a metal base so it does not damage my tetsubin or Lin kettle, another thing is to watch it and observe the steam exiting the spout of the tea kettle, when it is gently rising remove from the heat source and start preheating your teaware, if you let it reach roaring boil, the steam will rise like from a locomotive, you have overboiled your water, this is bad.
How much water are you using? I use the whole amount needed for the tea session, I fill for green oolong around 800 ml of water to my kettle, another method is the chao zhou gong fu cha method, where you use a small 250 ml of tea kettle, that is only twice as large as your teapot, you heat your water and use it to fill the teapot only once and you refill the kettle between each brew, this is meant to keep the water fresh, I have not tried this method due to the lack of equipment, I would need a nilu or a japanese ryoro, to heat the water that fast with charcoal.
As of water quality, we are blessed here by a dozen of great quality water sources, I have tried most of them, but the problem is that they all come in plastic containers, and it is not the same when you go directly to a natural spring and collect fresh water from the mountains, I will try to experiment with this also.
The final thought about water would be the container, in which I rest my water, the easiest is to find a huge glass jar (around 10 l) cover it in a cool dark place, the other is a japanese mizushashi that holds water in the tea ceremony, they come in either ceramic or porcelain, and finally yixing or other clay jars, Lin`s ceramic studio sells water containers
http://www.aurlia.com.tw/detail.php?id=143&lang=en
It would be a lot to order it online.
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby David R. » Mar 25th, '13, 10:37

Thanks Oni.
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Evan Draper » Mar 25th, '13, 17:22

BioHorn wrote:If anyone can interpret this a bit (i.e. this or that amount is desirable of a certain category.) I understand it may actually be much more complicated. Regardless, it would be nice to have a general idea.

From the Cleveland Division of Water report:
pH 7.0-7.6
Alkalinity: 72-85
Phosphate as P: 0.8-1.3
Hardness: 114-118
Chloride: 18 (rises in winter from road salt) Total dissolved solids: 175
Calcium: 30.5
Magnesium: 8.8


Total Dissolved Solids, or "minerality," is going to have the greatest effect on taste. Measured in ppm, 175 is fine for yancha but way too high for lighter teas imho. People use "hardness" as a synonym for total dissolved solids BUT IT IS NOT! Hardness is really a specific subset of minerality that only describes how much scale is going to be produced on metal. pH will also affect taste. 7 is neutral; I know people who like a higher pH (i.e. more alkaline) water, but I have not isolated that taste from TDS yet. Alkalinity is like the inertia of your pH--how much does it take to change the pH. Phosphates is just chemical nastiness; you want as little of that as possible. I have not found any satisfying scientific underpinning for the thing about "not boiling your water too much."

I have gotten much of my understanding on this topic from Michael Mascha's book "Fine Waters."
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby BioHorn » Mar 25th, '13, 23:34

Evan Draper wrote:
BioHorn wrote:If anyone can interpret this a bit (i.e. this or that amount is desirable of a certain category.) I understand it may actually be much more complicated. Regardless, it would be nice to have a general idea.

From the Cleveland Division of Water report:
pH 7.0-7.6
Alkalinity: 72-85
Phosphate as P: 0.8-1.3
Hardness: 114-118
Chloride: 18 (rises in winter from road salt) Total dissolved solids: 175
Calcium: 30.5
Magnesium: 8.8


Total Dissolved Solids, or "minerality," is going to have the greatest effect on taste. Measured in ppm, 175 is fine for yancha but way too high for lighter teas imho. People use "hardness" as a synonym for total dissolved solids BUT IT IS NOT! Hardness is really a specific subset of minerality that only describes how much scale is going to be produced on metal. pH will also affect taste. 7 is neutral; I know people who like a higher pH (i.e. more alkaline) water, but I have not isolated that taste from TDS yet. Alkalinity is like the inertia of your pH--how much does it take to change the pH. Phosphates is just chemical nastiness; you want as little of that as possible. I have not found any satisfying scientific underpinning for the thing about "not boiling your water too much."

I have gotten much of my understanding on this topic from Michael Mascha's book "Fine Waters."

Thank you very much for the input. It makes sense. I really enjoy the yancha and pu brewing. Japanese greens and other "Formosa" type greens have been more challenging. I posted sometime ago about some stellar results brewing some Taiwanese Oolong in Mexico City which I was unable to recreate in Cleveland.

I tend to leave my kettle on all afternoon. The water seems to still come out tasting just fine.
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Oni » Mar 26th, '13, 03:24

http://www.apabucovina.ro/en/
I use this water all the time, it has a TDS of 78 mg /180 C, lowest in the whole region, ph 7,6 - it is ideal, and it is from a natural enviroment still water depozit called the Devils Mill, it has a great commercial with Shaolin monks visiting the mountain http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... nwMq26x8Q#! , it is funny also, he is trained by moldavian shepards, and he learns local pottery skills, and as a final test he recieves the shepards belt.
If I heat this water in an induction kettle it ruins the mouthfeel, it is not round and pleasant but hurts my tongue, it is like dried and flat, but when I heat it in a Lin kettle or a tetsubin over a high flame it sings, I mean it is round and pleasant throat feel, I think this must be the best water for tea, it does not get any better than this.
For those who live in Europe, it might be available in stores.
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Re: Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)

Postby Tead Off » Mar 26th, '13, 04:40

As some have said before, there is no one water that is best for all teas. Many variables within the water itself and what is used to heat it, along with what you use to brew the tea and the various techniques of brewing.

In my own experimentation, I have found high TDS water good for green teas like sencha, gyokuro, and most green teas, not green oolongs. Green oolongs to me taste better with medium amount of TDS and Yancha & Puerh, medium to lower TDS. 7-7.2ph. Then there is the amount Calcium/Magnesium and their ratio. And, who knows what other minerals come into the play in your mouth. Somehow, I'm happy with my tap water that is filtered with an English countertop system by Doulton.
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