The best water for tea


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The best water for tea

Postby deadlysight » Oct 18th, '13, 15:48

As we all know, water affects the taste of tea, and we should use good water all the time.

In Canada, tap water is already very good, and bottled water even better. There are also different types of bottled waters, reverse osmosis, spring water, esker, iceberg. I use glacial esker water for my daily tea, I find that it is second to iceberg water which is very expensive. I avoid using ozonated spring water, I don't like how it tastes.

It's quite tempting to try artesian aquifer water such as Fiji. Have anybody ever tried to brew tea using Fiji water? I am curious about it, and whether it is worth it.

Are there any other interesting types of water that can potentially make a good cup of tea?
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby Poohblah » Oct 18th, '13, 20:05

This topic resurfaces every month or two. Let me dig up some old threads on the subject, as there has already been a mountain of discourse on the subject of water for tea.

edit: here are a couple of recent threads - see if you can find some more:
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17519
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=19064

Personally, I find that plain filtered tap water is good enough for most things, but if you really want to get the best water, soft bottled water is good for green tea and slightly harder water is good for roasted oolongs.

Other popular ways to improve your tea water are by boiling it in a genuine, high quality tetsubin or by putting bamboo charcoal in your water.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby .m. » Oct 18th, '13, 20:12

Fiji is a very good water. It is substantially better than both filtered tap water (in montreal) that i use and a generic bottled spring water from supermarket. But for me, it is too expensive to use for casual drinking, plus it feels kind of wrong to use water imported from the opposite hemisphere.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby dRummie » Oct 18th, '13, 22:07

I use any bottled water with a low mineral content. High mineral content seems to obscure the flavour. Tap water where I live makes me sick - but that's Toronto for ya.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby theredbaron » Oct 18th, '13, 23:35

Fiji is very good water for tea.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby deadlysight » Oct 19th, '13, 00:40

dRummie wrote:Tap water where I live makes me sick - but that's Toronto for ya.


Montrealers find that Toronto tap water tastes bad because it contains both chlorine and ammonia, I am used to the taste of chlorine!
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby Evan Draper » Oct 19th, '13, 16:49

Hate to harp on this, but "hard water" is water that is high in a specific kind of minerals (multivalent cations, calcium & magnesium) and not water with high mineral content in general. "Softening" water entails replacing those minerals with others, like sodium, and not reducing the overall mineral content.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby Poohblah » Oct 19th, '13, 17:39

Evan Draper wrote:Hate to harp on this, but "hard water" is water that is high in a specific kind of minerals (multivalent cations, calcium & magnesium) and not water with high mineral content in general. "Softening" water entails replacing those minerals with others, like sodium, and not reducing the overall mineral content.

Thanks for the clarification :) I'm not much of a chemist... when I think "hard water", I generally think of water that has a more "mineral" or "metallic" taste.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby Evan Draper » Oct 19th, '13, 17:46

Yeah, not saying you're wrong in the tea application. I haven't made any kind of taste comparison of "harder" and "softer" waters with similar mineral levels.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby .m. » Oct 20th, '13, 11:22

Evan Draper wrote:Hate to harp on this, but "hard water" is water that is high in a specific kind of minerals (multivalent cations, calcium & magnesium) and not water with high mineral content in general.


Very good point. Fiji for example has quite a lot TDS (210mg/l) but not that much of calcium (17mg/l) or magnesium (13mg/l):
http://www.mineralwaters.org/index.php? ... parval=957
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby William » Oct 20th, '13, 11:43

Evan Draper wrote:Hate to harp on this, but "hard water" is water that is high in a specific kind of minerals (multivalent cations, calcium & magnesium) and not water with high mineral content in general. "Softening" water entails replacing those minerals with others, like sodium, and not reducing the overall mineral content.


Water that does not produce scale, is a water that has a good chemical balance or simply water with low contents ​​of the specific minerals that cause the formation of scale?

I ask you this because it is a few months that I use the tap water of my city (pretty good by the way, we have many sources of fresh water around here) purified with Brita Maxtra filter, and the final product is pretty good, perfectly balanced between the bitter taste of water with too low mineral contents and the typical sweet taste of waters with high mineral contents. This water, that I use since the first test few months ago, unlike so many others that I've tried in the past, do not produce any type of scale inside my kettle.

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Re: The best water for tea

Postby Evan Draper » Oct 20th, '13, 16:43

Right, it is the calcium and magnesium that produce scale. I think theoretically there are other highly positively charged ions that will do that too, but they tend to be metals and/or toxins that you won't find in drinking water.

Using water softeners to replace calcium and magnesium with sodium can give many municipal waters a salty taste.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby William » Oct 20th, '13, 17:08

Evan Draper wrote:Right, it is the calcium and magnesium that produce scale. I think theoretically there are other highly positively charged ions that will do that too, but they tend to be metals and/or toxins that you won't find in drinking water.

Using water softeners to replace calcium and magnesium with sodium can give many municipal waters a salty taste.


Thanks .. then as I suspected, my filter remove a substantial portion of calcium and magnesium from my tap water, perhaps balancing the mineral content.

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Re: The best water for tea

Postby chrl42 » Oct 28th, '13, 23:24

Poohblah wrote:This topic resurfaces every month or two. Let me dig up some old threads on the subject, as there has already been a mountain of discourse on the subject of water for tea.

edit: here are a couple of recent threads - see if you can find some more:
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17519
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=19064

Personally, I find that plain filtered tap water is good enough for most things, but if you really want to get the best water, soft bottled water is good for green tea and slightly harder water is good for roasted oolongs.

Other popular ways to improve your tea water are by boiling it in a genuine, high quality tetsubin or by putting bamboo charcoal in your water.

+1

Puerh for softer water, too.
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Re: The best water for tea

Postby ethan » May 1st, '14, 02:34

home after 3 months of using r.o. water to make tea; I have had 2 days of tea made w/ Poland Springs water. Tea is so much better. I had wrongly believed that I had taken care of my tea poorly while traveling or it had finally gotten flat from its age--- no, it was reverse osmosis-- good for removing contaminants from water & flavor from tea!
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