Water Water Everywhere... What’s Your Water?

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wave_code
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Location: Vienna

Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:25 am

Rickpatbrown wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:19 pm
theredbaron wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:39 pm
This is very interesting.
The bottled water i found best here in Germany for tea is called "Black Forest" is a low mineral water from the black forest, which is very close to Freiburg (i think you mean Freiburg, not Freidburg - i don't think there is a city called "Freidburg"). I live close to the Alps, where the water is excellent to drink, but so hard that it destroys every tea. There is no choice but using bottled water.
Yes. I meant Freiburg im Breisgau.
wave_code wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:31 am
I was in the general area over the holidays and mostly just making bowl tea while there. I was using local bottled water for the first few days, but even if its local and re-used glass I feel bad about using so much bottled water so I switched to the tap and the difference was huge. Instantly everything I made went to having zero flavor, didn't seem to make any difference trying to use more leaves or go for longer steeps, different teas. Everything suddenly tasted super one dimensional, like a cheap tea bag version of itself.
Really?? In Freiburg? I was told that one side of the town had excellent water, while the other, newer side, got their water from a different source. At the lab I was working in, the water was chalky, but the apartment was great. Its interesting how quickly things can change.
Not in Freiburg, just nearby in Reutlingen
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
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Location: Seattle, USA

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:55 am

So it’s my weekend and I’ve been experimenting. So far I’ve tried Evian and Fiji, and I tried to get that nice Iceland water that baisao was talking about but I grabbed the regular non Iceland water. It was okay but not great.
Evian was gross, way too hard. There was white stuff in it and it made the back of my throat feel weird.
Fiji was good, especially for my LiShan that I brewed with it, really brought out the buttery qualities of the tea.

Today I’m gonna go out and try the Trader Joe’s water, and see what else I can try. This experimenting is really fun. Though I think I should get a smaller gaiwan. Mine is 120 ml.
Lemir
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:25 pm
Location: Poland

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:20 pm

I'm using filtered tap water, it must be pretty soft, because there's no sign of limescale in my kettle after over 6 months of using it everyday :)
I've looked at bottled water before, but couldn't find anything that would have low enough mineral count to even consider using it for tea.
theredbaron
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Location: Germany

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:08 pm

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:55 am
So it’s my weekend and I’ve been experimenting. So far I’ve tried Evian and Fiji, and I tried to get that nice Iceland water that baisao was talking about but I grabbed the regular non Iceland water. It was okay but not great.
Evian was gross, way too hard. There was white stuff in it and it made the back of my throat feel weird.
Fiji was good, especially for my LiShan that I brewed with it, really brought out the buttery qualities of the tea.

Today I’m gonna go out and try the Trader Joe’s water, and see what else I can try. This experimenting is really fun. Though I think I should get a smaller gaiwan. Mine is 120 ml.
Evian is inded not good for using is with tea, and Fiji is nice.
And yes, finding the best possible water is fun, especially when you find the one which is bringing out the best in your tea.
theredbaron
Posts: 91
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Location: Germany

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:10 pm

Lemir wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:20 pm
I'm using filtered tap water, it must be pretty soft, because there's no sign of limescale in my kettle after over 6 months of using it everyday :)
I've looked at bottled water before, but couldn't find anything that would have low enough mineral count to even consider using it for tea.
Mineral count is not everything. You will have to do practical experiments, just brewing tea with the different available waters, and see which one works best
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
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Location: Seattle, USA

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:18 pm

theredbaron wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:08 pm
swordofmytriumph wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:55 am
So it’s my weekend and I’ve been experimenting. So far I’ve tried Evian and Fiji, and I tried to get that nice Iceland water that baisao was talking about but I grabbed the regular non Iceland water. It was okay but not great.
Evian was gross, way too hard. There was white stuff in it and it made the back of my throat feel weird.
Fiji was good, especially for my LiShan that I brewed with it, really brought out the buttery qualities of the tea.

Today I’m gonna go out and try the Trader Joe’s water, and see what else I can try. This experimenting is really fun. Though I think I should get a smaller gaiwan. Mine is 120 ml.
Evian is inded not good for using is with tea, and Fiji is nice.
And yes, finding the best possible water is fun, especially when you find the one which is bringing out the best in your tea.
Tomorrow I’m going to try out more waters. gonna try the Voss next, since everyone is saying how awesome it is. The store clerk thought it was awesome, once I explained why I was buying different brands of water like that, wanted to know all about it.
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Lemir
Posts: 12
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Location: Poland

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:23 pm

theredbaron wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:10 pm
Mineral count is not everything. You will have to do practical experiments, just brewing tea with the different available waters, and see which one works best
Did you have any good results with specifically mineral water before? I don't remember the counts too well at the moment, but from what I recall that stuff was mostly mineral water from various mountains, and therefore high in TDS (especially Mg and Ca ions). Before that all I heard about water high in those minerals was that it wasn't good for brewing tea, and since I already saw an improvement from additionally filtering my tap water I never thought to go the other way.
theredbaron
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Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:31 pm

Lemir wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:23 pm


Did you have any good results with specifically mineral water before? I don't remember the counts too well at the moment, but from what I recall that stuff was mostly mineral water from various mountains, and therefore high in TDS (especially Mg and Ca ions). Before that all I heard about water high in those minerals was that it wasn't good for brewing tea, and since I already saw an improvement from additionally filtering my tap water I never thought to go the other way.
It's trial and error.
I used for many years Volvic, because it was available in Bangkok. Sometimes the department stores carried Fiji, or some Japanese or Taiwanese water, which was better, but not always available.
Here in Germany now i did a bit of trial and error, and found a lovely bottled water called "Black Forest", which comes from, well, the Black forest.
You gotta see what is available in your area, and just buy a bottle each, and see what it does with the tea. Sometimes even some local bottled water may be good. Just stick then with what is best.
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Baisao
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Location: Austin, TX

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:05 pm

@swordofmytriumph , what is the source for they Crystal Geyser you have? I’ve been using the Ouachita source.
swordofmytriumph
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Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:31 am

Mount Shasta. I hadn’t been planning to try CG but nobody here has mentioned trying that source yet so I grabbed it.

Edit: I also just tried Voss, don’t like it as much as Fiji. Though I should note that I’ve been testing with Taiwan oolong (I’ve got lots of it and it’s starting to get older. Need to make space for new stock). Fiji adds a ridiculous amount of body, imho. Voss is a very good, neutral water though, maybe adding a bit in the aftertaste department. Since my Lishan needs more body and doesn’t need any help in the aftertaste department...maybe I’ll try Voss with one of my black teas, see what that does.
mrmopu
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Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:23 am

I tried some of the Nice! Spring water from Walgreens. Is it just me or did anyone else notice it got cloudy after boiling.
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
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Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:32 am

mrmopu wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:23 am
I tried some of the Nice! Spring water from Walgreens. Is it just me or did anyone else notice it got cloudy after boiling.
Was it the nice spring water, or the nice iceland spring water. I’ve tried the former, and it did not get cloudy. I haven’t tried the iceland one yet (was gonna but grabbed the wrong one).

On another note, I’ve determined that, as expected, Voss is better with black tea than Fiji. I tested this with a nice, toasty Laoshan black tea.
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Baisao
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Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:42 pm

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:32 am
mrmopu wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:23 am
I tried some of the Nice! Spring water from Walgreens. Is it just me or did anyone else notice it got cloudy after boiling.
Was it the nice spring water, or the nice iceland spring water. I’ve tried the former, and it did not get cloudy. I haven’t tried the iceland one yet (was gonna but grabbed the wrong one).

On another note, I’ve determined that, as expected, Voss is better with black tea than Fiji. I tested this with a nice, toasty Laoshan black tea.
The Iceland Springs water doesn’t get cloudy. I haven’t tried the plain Nice! water but would find it odd if any water got cloudy. Something external would have to cause that, I would think.

Regarding Fiji: it was my go to water for years but I found it too heavy, lacking elan or refinement. With a dong pian it’s tone on tone (thick tea with thick water). My understanding is that Taiwanese water is low TDS, which means it would have a thin mouthfeel. So Fiji is great on flavor but too thick, imo, in mouthfeel.

Still better than Crystal Geyser Ouachita Source, which isn’t bad but there are better waters out there.
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:19 am
Location: Seattle, USA

Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:21 pm

Baisao wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:42 pm
swordofmytriumph wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:32 am
mrmopu wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:23 am
I tried some of the Nice! Spring water from Walgreens. Is it just me or did anyone else notice it got cloudy after boiling.
Was it the nice spring water, or the nice iceland spring water. I’ve tried the former, and it did not get cloudy. I haven’t tried the iceland one yet (was gonna but grabbed the wrong one).

On another note, I’ve determined that, as expected, Voss is better with black tea than Fiji. I tested this with a nice, toasty Laoshan black tea.
The Iceland Springs water doesn’t get cloudy. I haven’t tried the plain Nice! water but would find it odd if any water got cloudy. Something external would have to cause that, I would think.

Regarding Fiji: it was my go to water for years but I found it too heavy, lacking elan or refinement. With a dong pian it’s tone on tone (thick tea with thick water). My understanding is that Taiwanese water is low TDS, which means it would have a thin mouthfeel. So Fiji is great on flavor but too thick, imo, in mouthfeel.

Still better than Crystal Geyser Ouachita Source, which isn’t bad but there are better waters out there.
You mentioned in another post that Fiji pushes the tea around, which I thought was a really good way of putting it. The only tea I liked it with was the high mountain oolong, which is supposed to be buttery and smooth anyway.

I’ve also finished trying out the Trader Joe’s New Zealand spring water. I really liked it with high mountain oolong and black, it was okay for green but not fabulous, amd absolutely terrible for roasted oolong (made it taste burnt). It really brought out the high notes in the tea, amd I found a lot of nuances in black tea that I hadn’t before. The mouthfeel was...hard to describe. Hits the tongue like an explosion. Effervescent maybe? But there was a SLIGHT amount of astringency that was a bit off putting, but not by much. Let’s put it this way, I can get over the astringency because of what it does with the flavor.

So far, the best “all around” water is my tap water, it doesn’t do anything bad to any of my teas, though I don’t get as many nuances as some of the waters I’ve tried, but it doesn’t make my tea flat either. I’ve still got 6 or 7 other bottles of water to try though. :D
Sub_Salac
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Location: New York City

Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:39 pm

My main concern is chlorine, because I noticed it results in a very discernible and off tasting infusions, so I simply use Poland Spring for all my tea brewing.
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