Experimenting with Water

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Jun 6th, '16, 02:42
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by PuerhCollector » Jun 6th, '16, 02:42

TofuMiso wrote: Personally I use Volvic mineral water from France for sheng puerh both young and aged , and also for green tea from Yunnan . I find that it really brings out far greater and better defined complexities from these types of tea . I have tried using it for brewing other types of tea , but it really isn't very nice . So for everything else - Oolong , Hongcha , Shu puerh , Green tea produced outside of Yunnan , I find Highland Spring from Scotland to be the best .
Very interesting, I will keep that in mind when I try brewing with Volvic. I have not tried Highland Spring for oolongs yet but I can see that being a good match esp for the aromatic teas with that gentle natural purity.
Thank you

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Jun 8th, '16, 08:38
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by Tead Off » Jun 8th, '16, 08:38

theredbaron wrote:
Tead Off wrote: Do you find the Volvic works well with Puerh? It's been awhile since I've used Volvic and I remember liking it, but being expensive for use in Bangkok. I loved it for green teas, but can't remember how it fared with oolongs and puerh.

I find Volvic a good all around water. But we are rather limited here. I am sure there are better waters - if you know of one, please tell. And it's available in the Tesco just down the road. I remember 15 or 20 years ago there was a rather expensive glacial water for sale here, which was excellent, but they stopped importing it.

Volvic is between 60 and 70 Baht per 1 1/2 lt bottle. But then, i mostly use pots in the range of 65 to 90 ccl, so, expensive is relative, in a way, especially compared to what i spent on teas, and pots, etc ;)
Was at Villa earlier this afternoon and Volvic is on sale, buy 2 get 1 free. After dinner, I reached for some gyokuro and Volvic. I had forgotten how good that water is. Hojo's Hon Yama Hebizuka gyokuro with Volvic was a revelation. It would be hard going back to Aura for this tea.

I'm more than curious to see what it will do for some roasted oolongs and Himalayan blacks along with shengpu, but will have to wait till tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me how good Volvic really is.

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Jun 8th, '16, 12:03
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 8th, '16, 12:03

Every time I buy Volvic, I end up drinking the entire bottle! :lol: fortunately it's readily available in HK.

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Re: Experimenting with Water

by theredbaron » Jun 8th, '16, 14:22

Tead Off wrote: Was at Villa earlier this afternoon and Volvic is on sale, buy 2 get 1 free. After dinner, I reached for some gyokuro and Volvic. I had forgotten how good that water is. Hojo's Hon Yama Hebizuka gyokuro with Volvic was a revelation. It would be hard going back to Aura for this tea.

I'm more than curious to see what it will do for some roasted oolongs and Himalayan blacks along with shengpu, but will have to wait till tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me how good Volvic really is.

My pleasure :)

And the good thing is that it is available almost everywhere, only not in 7/11, but in Tesco down the road, etc

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Jun 8th, '16, 22:26
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 8th, '16, 22:26

So, fun fact: Volvic is in fact filtered!

http://www.volvic-na.com/pdf/Water-Qual ... t-2012.pdf

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Jun 9th, '16, 05:37
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by Drax » Jun 9th, '16, 05:37

jayinhk wrote:So, fun fact: Volvic is in fact filtered!

http://www.volvic-na.com/pdf/Water-Qual ... t-2012.pdf
I'll re-read this thread later with that fun fact in mind. I have a feeling it will be quite hilarious. :D

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Jun 9th, '16, 07:18
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 9th, '16, 07:18

Drax wrote:
jayinhk wrote:So, fun fact: Volvic is in fact filtered!

http://www.volvic-na.com/pdf/Water-Qual ... t-2012.pdf
I'll re-read this thread later with that fun fact in mind. I have a feeling it will be quite hilarious. :D
They use a treatment to reduce iron and manganese, and may add potassium permanganate to the water during filtration. Groundwater often tastes metallic, so they have to 'fix' Volvic.

"Volvic Natural Spring Water Additional
Safety Measures
Volvic Natural Spring Water is treated with
Greensand Filtraiton – the use of manganese
coated filters to reduce naturally present
minerals from source water."

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Re: Experimenting with Water

by theredbaron » Jun 9th, '16, 09:35

Drax wrote:
jayinhk wrote:So, fun fact: Volvic is in fact filtered!

http://www.volvic-na.com/pdf/Water-Qual ... t-2012.pdf
I'll re-read this thread later with that fun fact in mind. I have a feeling it will be quite hilarious. :D

Neither fun fact, nor hilarious.

Volvic is a good water for tea There is a vast difference between tap water treated with chlorine and whatever else that is filtered - and which will never make a good tea water unless the source water is good for tea - and natural spring water (filtered or unfiltered) with the right softness that does not suppress tea. If the filtration process reduces the minerals the amount that makes Volvic such a good water for tea than i am glad about it.

In China i have drunk tea with unfiltered spring water close to the plantations, and it was awesome. In Malaysia people use water from the Ipoh area, both from source springs and bottled (considerably cheaper than Volvic, and very good). Here in Bangkok our tap water comes from reservoirs, is heavily treated with chlorine, may contain, depending on area, heavy metals, and has to be filtered not to be a health risk. One can brew tea with it, but it will never ever brew a great cup of tea.
My hometown near the Alps has one of the best and cleanest drinking waters in the world right out of the tap, but it is so hard that it destroys every tea, and even filtering it will only result in the build up of scale in the kettle just slowing down a bit.

Water, after the tea leaves, is the most important ingredient in a good cup of tea. If you want the maximum out of your teas, you will have to experiment with whatever water is available in you area. Most people are not that lucky and live close to a natural spring with suitable water for tea, and will therefore have to buy bottled water. Volvic is very good, and i am sure that there are better ones. Just not available where i live.

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Jun 9th, '16, 11:29
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 9th, '16, 11:29

In my own experience, I've had better experiences brewing with tap water (filtered or unfiltered) here in Hong Kong than with Volvic. The water here is naturally very soft since it is runoff from rainfall. We also import the best water in Guangdong (which the poor Chinese don't get out of their taps since it is sold to HK). All HK tap water meets WHO standards and you can drink it right out of the tap (although not many people do because they phear the world standard tap water and must boil it before consumption).

Gotta love the HK govt's transparency (in most cases);

http://www.wsd.gov.hk/en/water_resource ... index.html

I do use a Brita (Classic, not Maxtra, since I find the Classic filters better, even though the Maxtra is supposed to be the next generation) at home to remove the earthy smell of Hong Kong reservoir water (organic acid runoff from the soil, I guess) and I'm very happy with the results.

I've used RO and distilled water overseas and still been more than happy with the results.

Using chemically treated and filtered French bottled water seems to be extremely wasteful to me because of the amount of energy needed to bottle it and transport it across the globe. I do try to buy local whenever possible. I've found leaf quality and brewing technique to be paramount in importance to good tea. YMMV.

I'd like to see real academic research done on this topic. Here's one from Hungkuang University in Taichung, Taiwan on distilled water/tap water and green tea phenol extraction:

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/368350/

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Jun 9th, '16, 12:04
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 9th, '16, 12:04

TIL boiling does NOT remove all of the chlorine from tap water:

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2015/ ... unds-water

Interestingly, the Taiwanese study also shows one polyphenol was extracted better with tap water than with distilled water. Perhaps mineralized water or spring water really is the way to go for a properly balanced cup. I'm going to try a different bottled water tomorrow. I'll be in Yunnan all of next week so I'll have an opportunity to play with different waters (there's no way in hell I'm drinking tap water there)!

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Re: Experimenting with Water

by theredbaron » Jun 9th, '16, 12:25

jayinhk wrote:In my own experience, I've had better experiences brewing with tap water (filtered or unfiltered) here in Hong Kong than with Volvic. The water here is naturally very soft since it is runoff from rainfall. We also import the best water in Guangdong (which the poor Chinese don't get out of their taps since it is sold to HK). All HK tap water meets WHO standards and you can drink it right out of the tap (although not many people do because they phear the world standard tap water and must boil it before consumption).

Gotta love the HK govt's transparency (in most cases);

http://www.wsd.gov.hk/en/water_resource ... index.html

I do use a Brita (Classic, not Maxtra, since I find the Classic filters better, even though the Maxtra is supposed to be the next generation) at home to remove the earthy smell of Hong Kong reservoir water (organic acid runoff from the soil, I guess) and I'm very happy with the results.

I've used RO and distilled water overseas and still been more than happy with the results.

Using chemically treated and filtered French bottled water seems to be extremely wasteful to me because of the amount of energy needed to bottle it and transport it across the globe. I do try to buy local whenever possible. I've found leaf quality and brewing technique to be paramount in importance to good tea. YMMV.

I'd like to see real academic research done on this topic. Here's one from Hungkuang University in Taichung, Taiwan on distilled water/tap water and green tea phenol extraction:

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/368350/

Distilled water is useless for tea. Water needs minerals, but just the right amount. Home-filtered Hong Kong reservoir water good for tea? Sorry, but i doubt that very much. Rainwater, not good for tea. That has already been known and written down more than 1200 years ago in Lu Yu's Classic of Tea.

As to wasteful - this is another topic. I do find it wasteful to drink bottled water from far corners if the world, but finding the best quality water for your tea - which is also imported and not grown in Hongkong - is a very different matter. By this rational we should abstain now from all imported goods and foods and stay local.
So, lets get back to man pulled rickshaws, to stay consequent, as cars and technology is imported as well. But without me, please, as i do enjoy the pleasures life can give us.

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Re: Experimenting with Water

by Tead Off » Jun 9th, '16, 12:35

jayinhk wrote:
Drax wrote:
jayinhk wrote:So, fun fact: Volvic is in fact filtered!

http://www.volvic-na.com/pdf/Water-Qual ... t-2012.pdf
I'll re-read this thread later with that fun fact in mind. I have a feeling it will be quite hilarious. :D
They use a treatment to reduce iron and manganese, and may add potassium permanganate to the water during filtration. Groundwater often tastes metallic, so they have to 'fix' Volvic.

"Volvic Natural Spring Water Additional
Safety Measures
Volvic Natural Spring Water is treated with
Greensand Filtraiton – the use of manganese
coated filters to reduce naturally present
minerals from source water."
I don't understand your response to Volvic's filtration after it is sourced. You seem to be trying to 'debunk' it as some kind of charlatan 'snake oil'. A bit silly, no? Didn't you say that you liked it so much that you wound up drinking the bottle that you had?

Personally, the only thing I care about is if anything harmful has been added into the water. I wouldn't want that. But, we are talking about which waters make a difference in tea brewing. Volvic is one of those commercially available waters that seems to bring out the best in teas. You can experience it for yourself.

This morning, I took out a roasted Dong Ding that I couldn't brew well no matter how I tweaked it. The Volvic made a tremendous difference to my utter amazement. It brought the flavor and aroma right out along with a deep, thick mouthfeel and finish, something that was totally lacking with the other waters I had been using. I went out and bought 3 more bottles while they were on sale. :-)

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Jun 9th, '16, 13:02
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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 9th, '16, 13:02

chrl42 posted on here about rain water/water from snowmelt being popular choices for tea brewing in China in the past, but that tastes changed later on. I don't know if he was just spouting hearsay. I'm just sharing my experience, as you gentlemen are yours. :wink:

What matters is that we like the results we get from our tea and our water. I haven't found Volvic to be worth the money. Please don't put words in my mouth. Yes, I drank the bottle I bought earlier in the week, intending to use it for tea, but it was the only bottle of water I had at work and I don't have a Brita there! I have used entire bottles of Volvic for tea in the past and I didn't feel it was worth it, and I felt rather disappointed afterwards.

Volvic definitely aren't publicly advertising the fact their water is treated and filtered. I'm pretty certain that would put a dent in their sales.

Practically everything is imported into HK (even a good portion of our water). I do what I can, but I'm not about to start growing my own tea or hiking to local springs or anything, especially when I feel my results with my existing water are more than satisfactory. Tea from Fujian or Yunnan is traveling a much shorter distance to HK than European bottled water would be, that's for sure. Perhaps I'll give a few other brands of mineral water a shot to see if I detect any sort of difference--I have access to about fifty brands of mineral water within a five-minute walk from home!

Again, I'd like to see a double-blind placebo controlled trial done here. While there are undoubtedly differences in solute extraction, individual opinions on taste aren't really worth much to anyone but the taster.

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Re: Experimenting with Water

by theredbaron » Jun 9th, '16, 13:42

jayinhk wrote:
Again, I'd like to see a double-blind placebo controlled trial done here. While there are undoubtedly differences in solute extraction, individual opinions on taste aren't really worth much to anyone but the taster.

Sorry, but this isn't about individual opinions on taste. Teas have certain taste parameters - high notes, low notes, sweetness, depth, or whatever you may want to call it. The wrong water will suppress these notes, leaving a rather bland and mottled liquid, while a good water will bring out much clarity in the different taste spectra, and it will give you many more brews than with bad water. That is why you methodically experiment with different waters, brew them side by side and with different teas. But when you do that, before you buy have a look at the total dissolved solid charts for the different water brands, and when too high, you can save your money buying that for tea.

But when you say that you Brita filtered Hong Kong tap water is better than Volvic, i can only say that something is wrong. I mean, that is about as cheap a filter you can use anyhow, which, when your water is not already very clean, is useless in terms of removal of heavy metals and all the other stuff that can seriously damage your health. It makes water a bit softer, but that's about it.

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Re: Experimenting with Water

by jayinhk » Jun 9th, '16, 14:04

Hong Kong tap water is already softer than Volvic--after filtration, even softer! HK tap water's average hardness is 38 mg/L. Volvic is 109 mg/L. Quite a big difference!

I find Volvic gives me a blander brew, but with more body.

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