Making a cup of tea is simple, it just has its science to make it perfect. Have you ever thought that it is composed of a higher percentage of water?
If at least 97% of the content of a cup of tea is water, then I think it is super important to take care of its quality.
Of course, but how would we define quality in a cup of tea? What characteristics must the water have to meet the requirements of a perfect cup of tea?
If we want to talk about water, first I must introduce you to LuYu (陸羽) (733-804). In China, there are many sages, but when we talk about tea, LuYu is the ultimate authority. He wrote his “Tea Classic”, the chájīng (茶經), where he describes everything from processing to how to prepare and drink it, including the water. In his time, chemical compositions could not be analyzed, but after his studies, LuYu came to the conclusion that the best water is that of the gently flowing mountain spring, followed by the water from rivers in the valleys. The worst is from lakes, wells and other stagnant waters.
I think that, as a rule, the maxim for choosing water would be not to prepare tea with water that you would not drink.
What we tend to agree on is that excessively hard water (dry residues TDS or what they call too many minerals) is bad for tea as it will change its taste. Now, the other extreme is not recommended either; distilled water without minerals tends to make teas with little personality. Tea needs a certain minerality in the water to have life.
The million-dollar question: how much minerality? Here is our recommendation when choosing water to brew:
* If the label allows it, look at the TDS (Dry Residues). Choosing water with dry residues between 100 – 200 will give you an optimal balance of minerals.
* We recommend water with a neutral pH close to 7, similar to spring water.
* The most immediate option, if you plan to use tap water, is always going to be filtered water.
And, finally, trying the scientific method also exhorts us to that, use different brands of water with the same amount and type of tea, and thus you will form your own criteria.
Whichever standard you use, make sure that the resulting infusion is to your liking, so experiment!
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Take note of these facts, and surrender to the charms of tea!
Stay tuned to our publications, soon we will continue talking about these curiosities.