User avatar
Mar 20th 09 6:52 pm
Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 6th 09 9:31 am
Location: Tampa, FL

Filters and Kettles

by nimpercent » Mar 20th 09 6:52 pm

Hey guys.

I have been using tap water for my tea for a good while now. I live in FL so I get my water from the aquifer, which has plenty of strange minerals in it. It hasn't seemed to affect flavor very much, but then again I have had only limited comparisons with filtered water. So my question is this; what kinds of filters are the best (keeping in mind I'm not rich)?

Secondly, I have been using a stainless steel stove pot and a thermometer to heat my water for a good amount of time. Is there any advantage kettles have over this? What's a good kettle to buy (again keeping in mind I don't have unlimited funds)?

Thanks!

User avatar
Mar 20th 09 6:53 pm
Posts: 2044
Joined: Jan 12th 07 1:47 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by wyardley » Mar 20th 09 6:53 pm


Mar 20th 09 9:31 pm
Posts: 965
Joined: Dec 17th 08 8:13 pm
Scrolling: fixed

Strange passing resemblance to an armed chimp (your avatar).

by Intuit » Mar 20th 09 9:31 pm

'Strange minerals' is an profound understatement, sir. Can we say 'excess fluoride' and nitrates for starters?

Excess nutrient contamination in surface waters can and does liberate rather undesirable bound ions in aquifers with..aahh.. interesting geology, like say...Florida and it's phosphate mines.

Get thee an under-sink water purification system. Even a modest one will help.

Otherwise, use bottled water from a reputable distributor or buy large jugs made for the purpose, and fill them at your grocery store or organic food co-op weekly. Use this water for drinking, cooking and beverages and brushing your teeth.

Avoid taking long hot showers, use a low pressure shower head to reduce atomization while showering (and reduce water consumption, too). You'd be surprised what you can inhale during a shower from aerosolized contaminants in public water supply (especially in your area).

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 1:16 am
Posts: 1051
Joined: Jul 7th 07 5:37 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Portland, OR

by ABx » Mar 21st 09 1:16 am

If you get an under-sink type filter then pay attention to what type of filtration it uses. Reverse osmosis water is heavily lacking in minerals, which can make your tea taste rather flat and lifeless (even if it's better than what you have now). You can, however, get mineral additives or something like meifan stones to add some minerals back to the water.

For the time being I would also recommend getting some bottled spring water for your tea. Just make sure it's actually spring water and not filtered water; some will use names to make it sound like spring water, but if you read the label then you'll see that it's not. Filtered water (which is most common) is reverse osmosis water, often with some mineral additives for flavor but they still tend to produce pretty flat tea in comparison.

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 8:06 am
Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 6th 09 9:31 am
Location: Tampa, FL

by nimpercent » Mar 21st 09 8:06 am

I'm going to buy a PUR filter and see if it's much different.

It seems to work a little better than Brita according to some.

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 8:58 am
Posts: 1051
Joined: Jul 7th 07 5:37 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Portland, OR

by ABx » Mar 21st 09 8:58 am

This one looks like the best I've found, though I have yet to use one:
http://www.crystalquest.com/faucet-and- ... r%20Filter

It's also the cheapest in the long run, if their estimate on how long each filter lasts is accurate.

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 1:45 pm
Posts: 1574
Joined: Dec 31st 08 2:16 am
Location: The foot of the great Smoky Mountains

by iannon » Mar 21st 09 1:45 pm

ABx wrote:This one looks like the best I've found, though I have yet to use one:
http://www.crystalquest.com/faucet-and- ... r%20Filter

It's also the cheapest in the long run, if their estimate on how long each filter lasts is accurate.
I have actually had one of their counter top 3 stage filters for about a year and a half and have been very very happy with it.

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 5:45 pm
Posts: 79
Joined: Aug 8th 07 4:24 pm
Location: Taiwan

by teaguy » Mar 21st 09 5:45 pm

For filtering water, I've been having good results with an 'ancient Chinese secret' - charcoal!! (NOT Kingsford though!)

You put a few pieces of charcoal into a water container, and the charcoal helps take the major contaminants out for you, as well as improves the taste. Intuit can likely provide more details about how it all works, but don't encourge him (her?) or your brain is likely to go numb (Intuit LOVES to talk about water!). :D

Here's a link with photos of what I'm talking about. Not sure if you can find the right type of stuff in your area - there was a thread about it somewhere here, but can't remember where it was.

http://www.taiwanteaguy.com/2009/02/19/bamboo-charcoal/

By the way, we also have an under the sink filter system, so the water is getting a double treatment. I've been very happy with the results over the past month or so I've been using it.
"The meaning of life can be found in a good cup of tea."

Check out more Taiwan tea stories (with photos) at taiwanteaguy.com

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 6:45 pm
Vendor Member
Posts: 2084
Joined: Sep 24th 08 10:38 pm
Location: Boston, MA

by gingkoseto » Mar 21st 09 6:45 pm

teaguy wrote:For filtering water, I've been having good results with an 'ancient Chinese secret' - charcoal!! (NOT Kingsford though!)

You put a few pieces of charcoal into a water container, and the charcoal helps take the major contaminants out for you, as well as improves the taste. Intuit can likely provide more details about how it all works, but don't encourge him (her?) or your brain is likely to go numb (Intuit LOVES to talk about water!). :D

Here's a link with photos of what I'm talking about. Not sure if you can find the right type of stuff in your area - there was a thread about it somewhere here, but can't remember where it was.

http://www.taiwanteaguy.com/2009/02/19/bamboo-charcoal/

By the way, we also have an under the sink filter system, so the water is getting a double treatment. I've been very happy with the results over the past month or so I've been using it.
Hi teaguy, did you make those bamboo charcoal? They look interesting! The bamboo charcoal I saw was all similar to this:
Image

But I think yours looks more "real". Is it hard to burn some bamboo and make it?

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 7:05 pm
Posts: 79
Joined: Aug 8th 07 4:24 pm
Location: Taiwan

by teaguy » Mar 21st 09 7:05 pm

I don't make it. This is the 'raw' charcoal. They take the bamboo and heat it in an oven at very high temperatures. It's cool to handle, because it's not as messy as charcoal we think of for BBQ, and it retains the shape and features of the original bamboo.

They also have a type that is crushed up first and then formed into briquets, but I haven't used that stuff yet.
"The meaning of life can be found in a good cup of tea."

Check out more Taiwan tea stories (with photos) at taiwanteaguy.com

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 8:23 pm
Posts: 734
Joined: Jan 27th 09 2:52 pm
Location: Alice's Tea Party

by woozl » Mar 21st 09 8:23 pm

Harney's has charcoal. Not bamboo but it is for the same purpose.
“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone: “so I ca’n’t take more.”
“You mean you ca’n’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 8:44 pm
Vendor Member
Posts: 2084
Joined: Sep 24th 08 10:38 pm
Location: Boston, MA

by gingkoseto » Mar 21st 09 8:44 pm

teaguy wrote:I don't make it. This is the 'raw' charcoal. They take the bamboo and heat it in an oven at very high temperatures. It's cool to handle, because it's not as messy as charcoal we think of for BBQ, and it retains the shape and features of the original bamboo.

They also have a type that is crushed up first and then formed into briquets, but I haven't used that stuff yet.
Yeah the bamboo charcoal is very clean and nice :D I wonder if kitchen oven can do the job, or probably the temperature is not high enough.
By sitting in peace and doing nothing,
You make your one day worth two days.

User avatar
Mar 21st 09 8:49 pm
Posts: 2044
Joined: Jan 12th 07 1:47 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by wyardley » Mar 21st 09 8:49 pm

Most of the commercial filters use activated charcoal as part of the filtering process.

I put bamboo charcoal in my kettle too, but I wouldn't rely on it as your only method of filtration for tap water.

Mar 21st 09 10:37 pm
Posts: 965
Joined: Dec 17th 08 8:13 pm
Scrolling: fixed

Pur is OK.

by Intuit » Mar 21st 09 10:37 pm

Well yeah, almost ALL water filtration units have some activated charcoal in their filter bedding.

Typically, you have in a multistage undersink filter system:

Macro filter stage
Activated Charcoal
Mixed bed resin cation/anion absorption media
Wound filter polishing filter
Resistance meter for measuring conductance

These systems have 2-3 cartridges, plus filter modules that are replaced (typically under service contract, with the modules being recycled) every couple of months to every six months, depending on supply water quality.

In a simple tap filter, you have mixed bed resins plus activated charcoal in a single stage, maybe with a gross filter before it. It's good for 2 months, tops for low to moderate mineral and dissolved organics, and probably should be replaced a bit sooner in more concentrated mineralized (groundwater) or softwater organic acids (lake/river/reservoir) public water supply.

I use the Pur water filter for my water, even though its moderately soft river water. That's because the 'makeup' water supply is geothermal groundwater that is HIGHLY mineral and has excess bicarbonate and sulfates that I'd rather not consume in excess. The makeup water content varies seasonally and with interrupts like construction turnoffs.

Adding charcoal to water relies on contact efficiency for filtering out organics; charcoal can bind heavy metals and organic pollutants like pesticides and volatile organics, too - but that depends on how well the water volume passes through or across the filter media surface.

You increase the contact surface and contaminant binding efficiency by using very small bits of activated charcoal and forcing water to flow through/around the packed media beds.

So just chucking in charcoal isn't particularly efficient for 'purifying' water, but it's better than nothing. And the heat convection in a kettle will improve contact over that of cold water sitting quiescent at the bottom of a pot.

And no, Gingko, you need reductive (low oxygen) conditions for generating charcoal - don't believe you can do that in your typical kitchen oven.

Mar 18th 19 11:19 am
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 12th 18 7:14 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Filters and Kettles

by abreilprey » Mar 18th 19 11:19 am

I think, for buying a good kettle you can search online, there you can get the best kettles at affordable prices.