Certain water really changes the composition of my tea


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Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby campfire » Sep 5th, '13, 14:23

I've been drinking tea for quite a few years and drink all varieties and use many different steeping methods. I used to use tap water and then shifted into Brita filtered water and have been using that until recently.

I purchased a gallon of spring water while I was on a trip and had some left so when I got home I used it for my tea and wow was it different.

I've been drinking mainly blacks and steeping western style and using this particular spring water made the tea A LOT stronger in flavor and darker in color. I then used the rest of the water on a few teas using the same exact ratios as in the past and every tea was stronger in flavor and darker in color, even the white tea became a darker than normal color.

Once it was out I went to the grocery store and bought a different brand of spring water and unfortunately it gave results on par with the Brita water.

I have since found the other spring water again and have been getting the same results; stronger, darker, more flavorful. It's almost like the water is causing the leaves to extract more, or there is something in the water which is changing it.

Has anyone experienced anything similar?
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby Chip » Sep 5th, '13, 17:29

campfire wrote:Has anyone experienced anything similar?

Absolutely!
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby MIKE_B » Sep 5th, '13, 18:40

Yup. Always experimenting with different water.

check out this thread... viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17519
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby jayinhk » Sep 5th, '13, 23:33

We're lucky to have a blend of very soft rain and river water here in HK--I have no issues using it straight from the tap and boiling it for my tea. Many HKers live off boiled tap water (never straight out of the tap like I do in Europe or US).
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby theredbaron » Sep 6th, '13, 01:06

campfire wrote:
Has anyone experienced anything similar?



The higher the quality of tea, the more important is the water quality. Tea needs soft water, hard water will only dull the flavor and aroma.
Where i am the best suitable waters are Volvic and Fiji, but it is always good to experiment with different available spring waters.

In China, Malaysia and Taiwan tea lovers will travel the countryside trying to find the best springs suitable for tea.

If you read Lu Yu's "The classic of tea", written around 1300 years ago, you can find different kinds of water and how to boil it being described.
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby chrl42 » Sep 6th, '13, 03:52

It could have something to do with mineral composition,

Luyu might have liked mineral water as he claimed mountain spring water to be best

Qing dynasty seemed opposite, they liked light water (as opposed to heavy mineral water), it's famous Qianlong the great weighed water from all the famous wells of China :mrgreen:

Modern day China usually offer 2 kinds of water, mineral and filtered. Puerh drinkers prefer filtered light water while Yancha drinkers prefer mineral water,

It too has to do with teawares too, silver or old iron kettles are not prefered for Puerh, I've heard they make Puerh taste too plain...

Many Chinese mineral water are not actually mineral water, that said western mineral water might contain more mineral than in China...different idea welcomed :)
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby theredbaron » Sep 6th, '13, 04:15

chrl42 wrote:It could have something to do with mineral composition,

Luyu might have liked mineral water as he claimed mountain spring water to be best

Qing dynasty seemed opposite, they liked light water (as opposed to heavy mineral water), it's famous Qianlong the great weighed water from all the famous wells of China :mrgreen:

Modern day China usually offer 2 kinds of water, mineral and filtered. Puerh drinkers prefer filtered light water while Yancha drinkers prefer mineral water,

It too has to do with teawares too, silver or old iron kettles are not prefered for Puerh, I've heard they make Puerh taste too plain...

Many Chinese mineral water are not actually mineral water, that said western mineral water might contain more mineral than in China...different idea welcomed :)



It depends on the composition of the mountains. While large parts of the European Alps, for example, have great mineral water to drink, it gives the worst possible mineral water for tea as the mountains are largely made up of limestone, which makes the water too hard for tea.

But, for example, if you drink Lung Ching green tea made from water of the Tiger Spring, which is in the hills not far from Hangzhou, and close to the growing area of Lung Ching tea, you get unparalleled taste.

Lots of Malaysian tea lovers travel to Ipoh to get their water from some springs in the mountains near that town. There is also a bottled mineral water from Ipoh, which is very popular under tea drinkers.
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby chrl42 » Sep 6th, '13, 05:19

theredbaron wrote:
chrl42 wrote:It could have something to do with mineral composition,

Luyu might have liked mineral water as he claimed mountain spring water to be best

Qing dynasty seemed opposite, they liked light water (as opposed to heavy mineral water), it's famous Qianlong the great weighed water from all the famous wells of China :mrgreen:

Modern day China usually offer 2 kinds of water, mineral and filtered. Puerh drinkers prefer filtered light water while Yancha drinkers prefer mineral water,

It too has to do with teawares too, silver or old iron kettles are not prefered for Puerh, I've heard they make Puerh taste too plain...

Many Chinese mineral water are not actually mineral water, that said western mineral water might contain more mineral than in China...different idea welcomed :)



It depends on the composition of the mountains. While large parts of the European Alps, for example, have great mineral water to drink, it gives the worst possible mineral water for tea as the mountains are largely made up of limestone, which makes the water too hard for tea.

But, for example, if you drink Lung Ching green tea made from water of the Tiger Spring, which is in the hills not far from Hangzhou, and close to the growing area of Lung Ching tea, you get unparalleled taste.

Lots of Malaysian tea lovers travel to Ipoh to get their water from some springs in the mountains near that town. There is also a bottled mineral water from Ipoh, which is very popular under tea drinkers.

I know the limestone water to be the worst not just for tea, cos it will make your teeth colored. Many Chinese drinkers I know buy bottled mineral water because they can't stand China's standard limestone water.

One day, we had a blind test in Wuyi Yancha tea room..many experienced drinkers liked Korean Samdasoo* water the best, which I heard contains very high amount of mineral, as it is actually volcano bedrock water from Jeju Mt. Hanla :D
Last edited by chrl42 on Sep 6th, '13, 20:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby theredbaron » Sep 6th, '13, 06:22

chrl42 wrote:
One day, we had a blind test in Wuyi Yancha tea room..many experienced drinkers liked Korean Sandasoo water the best, which I heard contains very high amount of mineral, as it is actually volcano bedrock water from Jeju Mt. Hanla :D


I'll have to have a look here in the supermarkets if they sell that water here as well, and try it, if possible.
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby MEversbergII » Sep 6th, '13, 09:36

Well tap around here makes fine tea. City water, which I now use, makes some bitter tea, no matter what I do. The city water here on base (as opposed to my house just outside the gate...) makes really weird tea. It's been a while since I've tried it, but if it's not pu'er I'm making, the taste is really weird and it sticks to the tongue.

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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby jayinhk » Sep 6th, '13, 14:05

Hmmm, if the bedrock is igneous (volcanic), that means it is either granite or basalt, both of which are very hard. IMO you get softer water if the parent rock is igneous. :) Softer mineral water makes good tea.
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby theredbaron » Sep 6th, '13, 15:41

MEversbergII wrote:Well tap around here makes fine tea. City water, which I now use, makes some bitter tea, no matter what I do. The city water here on base (as opposed to my house just outside the gate...) makes really weird tea. It's been a while since I've tried it, but if it's not pu'er I'm making, the taste is really weird and it sticks to the tongue.

M.


With tap water another factor that influences the water are the pipes of the house you live in.
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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby MEversbergII » Sep 9th, '13, 09:02

theredbaron wrote:
MEversbergII wrote:Well tap around here makes fine tea. City water, which I now use, makes some bitter tea, no matter what I do. The city water here on base (as opposed to my house just outside the gate...) makes really weird tea. It's been a while since I've tried it, but if it's not pu'er I'm making, the taste is really weird and it sticks to the tongue.

M.


With tap water another factor that influences the water are the pipes of the house you live in.


True, that. I got into full leaf tea just after I moved out on my own, and I was on well then. Good pipes, I think, since the place had just been rennovated. I ended up moving a few miles down the road and onto city tap, where I discovered it was pretty nasty. Might have been the pipes. I haven't tried the tap at my current place, however, having just move in and have kept using spring water jugs.

Now, concurrently I was using water at work (also city tap) to make tea bags, houjicha and compressed pu'er with a tea ball. I noticed with the green tea bags (torn leaf) I'd get that above mentioned mouthfeel / off taste, but not the others. I moved on to better teas and ended up getting it worse with Japanese style greens, so now I just bring spring water in with me once every week or so.

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Re: Certain water really changes the composition of my tea

Postby theredbaron » Sep 10th, '13, 12:36

theredbaron wrote:
chrl42 wrote:
One day, we had a blind test in Wuyi Yancha tea room..many experienced drinkers liked Korean Sandasoo water the best, which I heard contains very high amount of mineral, as it is actually volcano bedrock water from Jeju Mt. Hanla :D


I'll have to have a look here in the supermarkets if they sell that water here as well, and try it, if possible.



The water was available here in the supermarket - excellent water indeed :)
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