Tea connoisseurs know that next to superior grown tea, you cannot enjoy the true essence and bouquet of a fine cup of tea without good quality water. The water must be free of waterborne minerals and contaminants to brew a good cup of tea. Water must contain the presence of a sufficient amount of oxygen to enhance the natural flavor of your tea. If the water tastes good alone, your brewed tea will taste great!
Hard water, which is high in dissolved minerals, can affect the taste and appearance of tea by making it dark and cloudy. The taste can be chalky and minerals can cause limescale accumulation that could lead to costly repairs or equipment failure in teapots and infusers. Bottled water with high mineral content has the same negative impact, especially if it does not include substantial oxygen (aeration). Oxygen plays an important part in the brewing process because it helps to release the flavors of your tea. You should always use fresh water that was not previously boiled to brew your tea. Re-heating water that was previously boiled has lost much of its dissolved oxygen. According to the Tea Association of the United States:
Water softening equipment will help to reduce or eliminate water hardness caused by excessive mineral content. An activated carbon filter is used to remove soluble organic chemicals, chlorine, taste and odor causing compounds.
A water filtration housing system like the Pentek 20″ Big Blue Filter Housing & WS20BB Filter will help to soften your hard water dilemma.
Your water supply is an integral part of your tea experience. In the United States it generally comes from municipal water, spring water, well water or bottled water. The predominant supply of water is municipal water. Although this source is controlled by EPA standards, regulations do not eliminate the entire presence of harmful minerals and contaminants. Usually chlorine is added to municipal water to kill bacteria, but when chlorine is present it has a distinctive and unfavorable taste.
In rural areas, spring and well water are major water sources, but both are subject to serious contamination because they are unregulated. Individual springs and wells must be tested to determine the source and level of contamination. The Hach Water Hardness, Iron & pH Test Kit is a cost effective and complete kit for testing and determining the hardness and quality of your water.
Only companies using a multi-step process of filtration, purification and oxygenation would be considered reliable for brewing good tasting tea. Purified water must be infused with oxygen to assure you are getting the best flavor of tea. The process of water purification filters out minerals and contaminants. When choosing your water you want to make sure that you get the best taste from your brewed tea. Water quality is just as important as the quality of the tea leaves to a tea lover. These tea aficionados are persnickety about their preference of pure water for producing a crisp flavor and clear brew of tea that is aesthetically pleasing.