Today’s important lesson is about the importance of the water you use when making loose-leaf teas.
Since tea is 99.999999% water, it only makes sense that the water you use to make your tea is rather important. It can contain any number and combination of minerals and flavors that will affect the way your tea tastes. Now perhaps this is delving into the realm of “tea snobbery,” but the truth of the matter is that ancient traditional tea ceremonies always call for high quality water, and anything ancient and traditional therefore cannot be deemed “snobbish.” </sarcasm>.
In any case, I simply find that anything one can do to make an even more delicious cup of tea should certainly be taken into consideration.
Using very soft or distilled water can lead to a rather bland cup of tea. This is because these types of water lack certain minerals that can actually enhance your cuppa, so using fresh, local springwater is definitely your best option. I would recommend Eldorado spring water if you are in the Denver/Boulder area. But alack, we are not all in the same area and furthermore, we may not all have access to pristine springwater. Bottled water is another option, one that I would wholeheartedly support were I not anti-bottled water to begin with, since it creates excess pollution (via shipping) and waste (more plastic bottles in the trash/recycle can) when you most likely have perfectly drinkable tap water in your home…but that is another blog for another time.
If you want to be environmentally responsible yet enjoy great water at the same time, a small investment in a tap water filter is your best bet. These are relatively inexpensive these days, and easy to install. Hard water should be avoided when making tea (even if it’s filtered), so you will have to make your own determination regarding the tap water you use. Hard water contains a lot of minerals, and you can tell if your water is hard by how much your soap or toothpaste froths…lots of lather action means your water is soft, and little-to-none means your water is hard.
Last but not least, always remember that water temperature is crucial to making the best cup of tea possible…never use boiling water on green or white teas! Take a look at one of my older blogs, I Know Why You Don’t Like Green Tea, for more details on temperature.