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

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wave_code
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:10 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:48 am

thanks for the tip @Bok. I'm trying to figure out the difference here between different filtration methods and whether to even actually look into filtration vs ion exchange - its all a bit confusing and I think I was pretty lucky not to deal with this before. From what I can gather filtration is really meant more for getting rid of bacteria or impurities while also reducing TDS, mainly chalk, whereas ion exchange is intended more just for softening, but this process of course uses salts. Distillation and remineralization are also an option but seems a ridiculous waste of energy, space, and time - not going there. Sadly one thing is clear after the first week- the tap water is absolutely no good for tea and totally kills the flavor to the point that my morning liu bao just tastes like brown hot water :? I've been unpacking and cleaning things, including some new pots, and already finding rather nasty scale from my kettle and deposits in the bottom of things.

I haven't bought the article yet, but according to some consumer studies it seems one of the major downsides with filtration of almost any kind is that the cartridge replacement time varies greatly depending on your water, and that basically they work until they suddenly don't - meaning that they will filter but once it hits capacity or wears out it will basically start dumping things back in to the water suddenly on a large scale including any bacteria that has built up. Not very nice, and some of these cartridges are not cheap. My (perhaps naive) hope would be that if I'm filtering just for minerals and not so much because I'm drinking fracking or swamp water I'd get a bit more life out of a cartridge but who knows.

In the meantime Kowk Ying at Die Kunst Des Tees was kind enough to offer a few tips. Trying out Bad Liebenwerda water this morning at her suggestion with good results and makes me feel a bit better since it is at least regional. She also suggested and I'll pick up and try out a couple different Turkish water brands. Erikli seems to come recommended and is very cheap, and very soft - we'll see, maybe too soft? I also got the Black Forest water you mentioned @theredbaron to try out. Apparently Bio Company stores here have a filtered water dispenser in their stores for use with refillable glass bottles - how hard it still leaves the water I'll have to find out, but that could also be a good option. There is one about 20 minute walk from me which isn't so bad. I've also seen recommendations for Lauretana (very expensive!!). I really hope to avoid bottled water at all costs once I can get a system worked out and hope I can use these more just as benchmarks to see where I'm getting to along the way. Maybe some combination of filtering or softening along with resting the water on binchotan and just drawing off the top will work something out. Since the water is too hard not just for tea but probably also not ideal for plants and painting I can't afford to nor want to have to use bottles for all of that or I would just spend my days dragging water all over the place.
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Stephen
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:26 pm
Location: Bay Area, California

Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:05 pm

@wave_code If the tap water has high total dissolved solids I think your filtration options to reduce it are reverse osmosis or distillation. Some reverse osmosis units that are fairly compact and convenient. Another option is to fill up a large glass container with filtered, distilled or RO water from a local store (grocery stores usually have filtered water dispensers here in the US) and use that. There are also spring water delivery services here in the US.

Something I've also done is to get a large ceramic water cistern and mix low TDS water (like RO or distilled) with tap water to lower the TDS. I've done that in my office because the filtered tap water is about 300-400 TDS and will flatten most teas. For that you could get a TDS meter to test your tap water and then find a level that you like.

TDS meter
https://www.amazon.com/Dumsamker-Profes ... 297&sr=8-3

Ceramic dispenser
https://www.amazon.com/Bluewave-Lifesty ... 42&sr=8-21
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bentz98125
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:08 pm
Location: Seattle

Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:14 am

File under "Flavor is complicated" or "How much future science is just decyphering molecular alterations wrought by our species on the precursors to life on earth?":

https://phys.org/news/2021-09-tea-flavo ... mpure.html
theredbaron
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Germany

Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:11 am

wave_code wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:48 am
I really hope to avoid bottled water at all costs once I can get a system worked out and hope I can use these more just as benchmarks to see where I'm getting to along the way. Maybe some combination of filtering or softening along with resting the water on binchotan and just drawing off the top will work something out. Since the water is too hard not just for tea but probably also not ideal for plants and painting I can't afford to nor want to have to use bottles for all of that or I would just spend my days dragging water all over the place.
I m afraid that unless you are living close to a spring that has the right water, you will end up using bottled water if you want to get the optimum out
of your teas.
It's not that one uses bottled water for everthing. If i drink water to quench my thirst or with meals, i happily drink our very clean and good (but hard) tapwater.
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