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Thread: Water and Tea

  1. #1
    EssentialMinerals is offline Junior Member
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    Default Water and Tea

    All tea, both hot and iced, is affected by water quality. Because of tea’s light flavor, the quality of input water is crucial to the beverage.

    The clarity of tea is particularly affected by mineral content in water. Water hardness, caused by calcium and magnesium content in excess of 200 ppm, can cause clouding in iced tea. Water with 50 - 150 ppm total dissolved solids or 1 to 3 grains hardness provides the best results, according to the Tea Association of the USA.
    Water hardness is caused by a high mineral content. Tests show any hardness in excess of 200 ppm can cause clouding in iced tea. Chemical taste and/or odor caused by chlorination of municipal water and the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the water can also detract from tea flavor. In addition, the presence of particulate matter in water can cause scale and lime accumulation, detracting from the operational efficiency of automatic tea steeping equipment.
    http://www.teaandcoffee.net/0609/tea.htm
    Because a brewed cup of tea is mostly water, the quality of your water is as important as the tea leaves themselves. Beyond just using any spring water or filtered water, there are a number of factors that will affect the taste of your infusion.

    For centuries, Chinese tea aficionados have designated water from specific springs as the best water for brewing certain teas. A famous example is Dragon Well tea, which is considered best when brewed with water from the famous Tiger-Run Spring. Ancient tea masters would even have fresh water from renowned springs carried many miles in stone containers to ensure they had the best water for their tea. This is because subtle variations in the pH (acidity, alkalinity) and mineral content (Total Dissolved Solids, or TDS) of the water can affect the taste of the brew. Generally, higher mineral content can give a fuller, sweeter taste, while water with a lower mineral content can taste slightly sharper and bright. The types of minerals present will also change the taste and body of the tea. Calcium is needed for a full, sweet taste, whereas magnesium and iron are detrimental to the flavor of the brew. Distilled water should never be used because it lacks trace minerals and gives a flat, lifeless taste. The pH of the water can have similar effects, though closer to neutral (a pH of 7 is neutral) or slightly alkaline is generally considered best for tea.

    If you are using tap water, some sort of filtration is usually recommended. You want to remove chlorine and other chemicals as well as sediment from your water without eliminating too many trace minerals.
    http://www.taooftea.com/display.php3?id=&num=22

    Our well-water test results:
    • Hardness - 309 *
    • Calcium > 60
    • Iron - 0.317 *
    • Magnesium - 27.7
    • TDS 438
    • Sodium - 14
    • pH - 7.5

    Our softened well-water test results:
    Test #1:
    • Hardness - ND
    • Iron - ND
    • TDS 712
    • Sodium - 479
    • pH - 7.51

    Test #2:
    • Hardness - ND
    • Calcium- ND
    • Iron - ND
    • Magnesium - ND
    • TDS - 400
    • Sodium - 160 mg/l
    • pH - 6.9

    We would appreciate water treatment recommendations to consistently brew excellent tea given our water test results. Thanks
    Last edited by EssentialMinerals; 02-01-2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Added font color

  2. #2
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Have you tried bottled water?

    Not sure what you are looking to do here. Does Tea taste better under certain water conditions? What would be ideal? Not a tea drinker

  3. #3
    EssentialMinerals is offline Junior Member
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    Currently using bottled water. Would like to stop relying on bottled water.
    Not sure what you are looking to do here.
    To optimize our well water for excellent tea.
    What would be ideal?
    I'm not an tea expert either. Please see quotes in original post.

  4. #4
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Looking at the test results the only thing I see is TDS. You could try an under sink RO filter. Take a look at the home page on this site under point of use filtration and check out offerings by Watts. An RO with perhaps a charcoal filter would probably get the job done.

  5. #5
    EssentialMinerals is offline Junior Member
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    Distilled water should never be used because it lacks trace minerals and gives a flat, lifeless taste.
    How much difference is there between Distilled water and RO water?

    Calcium is needed for a full, sweet taste
    Please also note non-detectable levels of CA++ after our softener was installed.

  6. #6
    EssentialMinerals is offline Junior Member
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    Why such a large difference in the two tests of your softened water?
    I'm not certain. Note that the hardness level is ND in both tests 1 & 2, which indicates that the softener was working. Test #1 was performed in 1994 and test #2 was performed in 2008. The softener was serviced in 2000 & 2002. The higher NA level could be that the softener did not rise properly after recharging. However, I have no idea why the TDS level is so much higher in test #1. Can well water naturally have that much variation in TDS over a 14 year period?

  7. #7
    abby0880 is offline Junior Member
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    Default tea and water

    Well, this explains then why I had a cloudy cold tea drink once before. It was because of the quality of water that I used. I do not really have the idea why my tea do not taste the same even with the same formula. Now I have the idea. slots
    Last edited by abby0880; 09-02-2010 at 02:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    This is how Lipton Tea (regular) can vary between hardwater and RO water.


  9. #9
    leenaRay is offline Junior Member
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    OMG there is huge diff did u added something else in the glass

  10. #10
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    No. Just regular Lipton tea in RO water to the right and hard water with about 800ppm TDS on the left. Tea is a simple indicator to how water qualilty can affect taste, color and odor (aroma) of recipes, drinks and other foods.

    Andy Christensen

  11. #11
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Back in the day the well drillers used whiskey as a test for iron, no iron and the water and whiskey would stay whiskey color, with iron and it would go black depending on the level of iron in the water..

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