Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby wyardley » Sep 29th, '12, 15:48

To a certain degree, perceptions also change from day to day. I've had times where I like a tea the first time, but my second opinion of it is not so good (and vice-versa). And things like what you ate could also affect your sense of taste.

If I have the luxury, I like to brew a tea myself, under my own normal conditions, at least 2 or 3 times before forming an opinion about it.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1921
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 29th, '12, 16:15

theredbaron wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:Since it's a 2011 shu, probably resting time is important.

I think good water and bad water make a big difference, but different bottled water may not make a big difference. However, some nongfu water I had did taste sour to me, although their commercial always says it taste sweet :?:



Different brands of bottled water make a huge difference, just try them side by side. There are brands that give you right away a ton of scale and at the same time transform your high quality tea into a cheap supermarket brew. Other brands, like the already mentioned Volvic or Fiji will give no scale and the teas will be clean and shiny.


I generally don't use any bottled water. But I'm lucky to be close to good water source so far wherever I've been (except during my short trips to New Mexico and the real Mexico...)
But I'm surprise to hear some bottled water could be so terrible. Shouldn't some agency shut the factory down? It's terrible that plain water costs that much money, and more terrible when it's bad.

On the other hand, scale is not necessarily a bad thing (bad to the kettle, though). Scaling means what we don't want is solidified and won't be drunk up. A lot of good mountain spring water would produce scale but the water is good. Usually what's worst is the bad mineral that we don't want and don't precipitate into scale either.



Hard water does not make it a bad water at all. It just is not suitable for tea. Some of the most healthy mountain water in the European Alps, for example, is perfect for drinking, very tasty and refreshing, but completely unsuitable for tea.


That really depends on one's personal preference. In traditional tea aesthetics of China, mountain spring water is often considered the best for tea.

theredbaron wrote:Scaling is not just the scale that sticks to your kettle, but is is also the white stuff you see floating around the water. This is not what you want.

Yeah that could be a little trouble some. But I kind of grew up with it and it wouldn't bother me much. Usually we used a tall thermos to hold hot water and discarded the very bottom part. [/quote]

theredbaron wrote:When you live where i live - in Bangkok - you simply will not find any natural water that you can possibly think of drinking. In most of Asia's urban areas you will not get any water that is suitable for drinking. Most people get drinking water delivered in large gallons, buy it in bottles, or use public filters that are standing at many street corners in the neighborhoods.
Tap water is not natural as well anywhere (other than in countries you really don't want to drink it), there are many additives that are not good for tea. Very few people have the luck to live in places where there are clean springs close by from which you can draw your water, and which have soft enough water for tea.

I really like the idea of public filters. My parents' apartment complex in Beijing has it. It's less costly and more sanitary than maintaining a water system by each family. It's probably also the most energy saving way to get good water if the water source is not good enough - energy saving for both the earth and for me as I didn't have to carry bottled waters from supermarkets to home :D
The tap water in Boston is pretty good. :D The water is from Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts. When I lived in western Mass, we used to say, "why should our water be dragged 100 miles to serve Bostonians? Those bastards..." Now I live in Boston and happily benefit from it :mrgreen:
It's hard to get good water near the ocean and I feel it's generally easier to get good water on the cold side of the world than the tropics. But then we have to suffer from cold winters!
User avatar
gingkoseto
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 2141
Joined: Sep 24th, '
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby chrl42 » Sep 29th, '12, 22:22

hmm..maybe I did a mistake. It's not mineral but pH content. Boiling water changes its pH content to degree, so starting with what kind of bottled water is not that crucial in brewing Puerh. (I could be wrong)
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1492
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby jayinhk » Sep 29th, '12, 23:43

theredbaron wrote:
jayinhk wrote:I think Volvic actually has a pretty high mineral content:

http://www.mineralwaters.org/index.php? ... arval=2761

http://www.mineralwaters.org/index.php? ... arval=2761

This is a great site for the mineral water aficionados. I just drink Brita-filtered tap water or boiled tap water (like most of HK) down here at work since I haven't brought the spare Brita down here yet. Incidentally, HK being granite and basalt (volcanic rock), our local water should have a somewhat similar mineral content, although of course our water is treat and diluted with treated river water from China.

Of course, not everything in the water is listed on the label, particularly in China, so if it tastes funny, run. :D

Distilled water would have the lowest number of solutes. I may have to try some later today to see if it makes a difference.

Mineral water is a great business: even in the US, lots of 'spring water' just comes from municipal water supplies.



Sorry to disagree, but 109 totally dissolved solids is still a relatively low mineral contend water. Compare with Evian, for example, which has 347 totally dissolved solids, and is not a very suitable water for tea.
There are quite possibly better bottled waters than Volvic, but they are not available here in the markets in our part of the world. At least i haven't seen them.
Pre-boiled tap water is totally unsuitable for tea (water needs to be "alive"), and i would also say the same about Brita filters, even though it does improve the taste of water somewhat.
Tap water can be good for tea depending on where you live. But not all tap water that is very good for drinking can be good for tea.

You will have to do a side by side comparison with available waters, same tea, same brewing method. Volvic is generally accepted as a quite OK water, much better than most brands that are available.


Ah yes, I meant TDS as compared to distilled, but compared to most bottled spring waters, it does have low dissolved solids.

As for pre-boiled tap water and being 'alive': Volvic is shipped on container ships and takes quite a while to get out to Asia (which has a huge environmental cost, but let's leave that aside for now). How is tap water (much of ours comes from rain here on the island, and runs over granite) less 'alive' than water that's passed through a stainless steel piping system at Volvic's factory before being stuck in a PET bottle, and then boiled for use?
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby Catfur » Sep 29th, '12, 23:55

When people use the term "alive" for water, they usually mean the dissolved gasses. Boiling removes the dissolved gasses from water (not instantly, but over a period of seconds to minutes). The gasses will redissolve in water after it cools down, but this takes hours or more. The presence or absence of dissolved gas can affect the taste and feel of the water.
User avatar
Catfur
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Jun 19th, '
Location: Carlsbad, NM

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby jayinhk » Sep 30th, '12, 00:20

Which would leave you at much the same point after boiling, no?
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 30th, '12, 00:21

gingkoseto wrote:
That really depends on one's personal preference. In traditional tea aesthetics of China, mountain spring water is often considered the best for tea.



Mountain spring water generally is great water for tea, but that also depends on the underlying rock. Large parts of the Alps are limestone - not good for tea.

gingkoseto wrote: as I didn't have to carry bottled waters from supermarkets to home :D


... one of the advantages of being married... :wink:


But seriously, there is not much choice for me - we get the water we drink and cook with delivered in large gallons (i live in a detached house, and lugging filtered water from the next apartment block would really be backbreaking. Fortunately the next department store is just a short ride with my motorcycle away.
theredbaron
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 30th, '12, 00:27

jayinhk wrote:
Ah yes, I meant TDS as compared to distilled, but compared to most bottled spring waters, it does have low dissolved solids.

As for pre-boiled tap water and being 'alive': Volvic is shipped on container ships and takes quite a while to get out to Asia (which has a huge environmental cost, but let's leave that aside for now). How is tap water (much of ours comes from rain here on the island, and runs over granite) less 'alive' than water that's passed through a stainless steel piping system at Volvic's factory before being stuck in a PET bottle, and then boiled for use?



I am not a chemist or physicist.
But you can taste it. Just use different waters side by side and brew the same tea with each different brand and kind of water. It becomes quite obvious then.
theredbaron
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby chrl42 » Sep 30th, '12, 00:28

Stating my experience, I count 2 shops which I considered brewing person got 'skill'. Both brewed in relatively low-temp than others and used Yixing teapot.

Many sellers use this skill to round out the flavor of low-quality teas...but Shengs should be brewed in lower temp than full-boiled, not Shus.
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1492
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 30th, '12, 00:30

jayinhk wrote:Which would leave you at much the same point after boiling, no?



That is why you do not boil water to death when you drink tea. The way of boiling water for tea is a whole science in itself - the material of the kettle you use, the heatsource, etc.
It all affects the taste of the tea.
theredbaron
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby chrl42 » Sep 30th, '12, 00:41

theredbaron wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Which would leave you at much the same point after boiling, no?



That is why you do not boil water to death when you drink tea. The way of boiling water for tea is a whole science in itself - the material of the kettle you use, the heatsource, etc.
It all affects the taste of the tea.

That's why Lu Yu rated spring water the first, river water the second, well water the third and death sentence to full-boiled :)
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1492
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby jayinhk » Sep 30th, '12, 00:49

Thanks guys, I'm going to play with my existing teas and toy with vessels, temperatures and water to see what makes a difference. Should be a fun experiment!
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby Emmett » Sep 30th, '12, 01:43

I have found using filtered tap water with a large ZERO brand filter that has a mineral content reader so you actually get zero content. Then heating the water in a stove top kettle with a few pieces of bamboo charcoal have worked well for me. There is no way I could afford to buy bottled water for the amount of tea I drink. And when I have tried bottled, volvic, fiji, ice mountain, evian, icelandic o, and a few others the results have not been as good for me.
Emmett
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Jun 20th, '

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby jayinhk » Sep 30th, '12, 03:04

Emmett wrote:I have found using filtered tap water with a large ZERO brand filter that has a mineral content reader so you actually get zero content. Then heating the water in a stove top kettle with a few pieces of bamboo charcoal have worked well for me. There is no way I could afford to buy bottled water for the amount of tea I drink. And when I have tried bottled, volvic, fiji, ice mountain, evian, icelandic o, and a few others the results have not been as good for me.


Thanks for sharing your method. Sounds like my first experiment should be with distilled water! I'm going to try agitating the water to see if increasing the amount of air dissolved in the water before boiling makes a difference.
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Cake different from testing in shop - what went wrong?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 30th, '12, 03:25

jayinhk wrote:
Emmett wrote:I have found using filtered tap water with a large ZERO brand filter that has a mineral content reader so you actually get zero content. Then heating the water in a stove top kettle with a few pieces of bamboo charcoal have worked well for me. There is no way I could afford to buy bottled water for the amount of tea I drink. And when I have tried bottled, volvic, fiji, ice mountain, evian, icelandic o, and a few others the results have not been as good for me.


Thanks for sharing your method. Sounds like my first experiment should be with distilled water! I'm going to try agitating the water to see if increasing the amount of air dissolved in the water before boiling makes a difference.


I do not exactly remember anymore why, but i was a long time ago advised by my teacher that distilled water is not for tea.
Possibly it has something to do with making it, as it involved boiling and collecting the drops formed by condensation. By boiling water too long you kill it. You still need some minerals, not just too much of them.
Just go the easy way, buy different brands of bottled water, use methods such as filtering water and adding charcoal, and see what suits the tea best.
Just go step by step, don't start re-inventing tea after only drinking one month. After a similar discussion, you found out for yourself that Yixing is not overrated as you feared initially. :wink:
theredbaron
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

PreviousNext

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation