The Importance of Water for Tea
The single most important part of making tea is the quality of water. Tap water contains heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride that can negate almost half of the flavor and aroma in tea. For those of us who live in states where the water quality is not overly hard and comes from a good source, the implementation of a simple water filter is sufficient but filtered bottle water or spring water is even better. If you want to enjoy the most of your tea I urge you to reconsider what water you are using. It will not only benefit the taste of the tea but also the quantity of tea needed and the length of steeping to produce more flavor. The delicate nuances produced by carbohydrates, amino acids, and flavonoids in tea don't stand a chance when competing against chlorine and fluoride.
Since ancient times, tea lovers have held the origin and quality of water in very high regard. It became a contest amongst connoisseurs to identify the source of the water being used. There are passages written about Lu Yu where he could tell that his lazy disciple drew the water from the bank of a famed river instead of walking over the bridge and dropping the bucket into the stream to draw the purest water. Some of the most famous water sources were wells, rivers, or even mountain creeks, and each had its distinct minerality, pH level, and taste.
When it comes to enjoying a very high-quality tea, you absolutely should use good water! Some of our favorite bottles of spring water are Volvic and Fiji because of their near-perfect pH of 6.5 and you should avoid distilled water. At the teahouse, we use a two step filter that connects to our water faucet to fill our kettles and our ice machine for making iced tea. We've compiled a list of our most fragrant teas that will simply astound when brewed with good water. Enjoy!
Ming Qing Long Jing - One of the finest representations of green tea made with extremely young tea leaves that are expertly pressed against a hot pan into a flat shape and infusing it with a delicate "smokey" aroma.
Organic Buddha's Balhyo - A black tea that is lower in oxidation to preserve the delicate floral undertones from this hybrid varietal with a robust roast to make it taste like a perfect chocolate mousse!
Okumidori Tamaryokucha - Okumidori is a marvelous cultivar that expresses notes of Granny Smith apple with a slight white flower aftertaste and moderate amino acid levels (umami) with a refined baked taste. You will marvel at the beautiful emerald green color from the deep steaming.
Wen Shan Bao Zhong - This tea is often referred to as a green tea due to its extremely low oxidation levels yet it pungent floral appeal is a signature of the oolong family of teas. So bright with very little vegetal taste at all.
Da Hong Pao 2019 - One of the most expressive representations of this legendary oolong by using 18 different cultivars! It is a full bouquet of flowers that is waiting for you to discover with deep layers of roasting done over the course of five months. Each successive steeping reveals incredible undertones of taste and aroma that beckon the use of only the best water!