A Tea Addict's Journal

Tasting waters

January 27, 2008 · 5 Comments

Still kinda busy….

I conducted a taste test just now with my cleaned tetsubin and my regular stainless steel electric kettle… the electric kettle water is, relatively speaking, a little sharper, whereas the tetsubin water is a little softer.

I find tasting waters to be almost as much fun as tasting different teas. Lining up four or five cups of water, unmarked if possible, and drink them one by one — swirling around the mouth a bit, feel the body, the taste, etc, and one really gets an appreciation of the way different water tastes. Then, use the same waters to brew the same tea — preferably a tea that you know very well already. The differences are going to be quite obvious and remarkable.

Now I need to try my tetsubin on the teas I’ve been making the teas I’ve been making…. let’s see if I can tell any difference. Either way though, I am happy, finally, that I can wean myself off the electric kettle…. it’s convenient, but having a fire under my kettle making tea is just somehow more convenient. It makes me happy.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • mulcahyfeldman // January 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Reply

    Definitely something to reflect on; water may be the next big thing. Actually, I’ve been heating water with a gas flame for years now alternating between a Staub enameled kettle and a Japanese tetsubin which cost a small fortune and which has to be closely babied to avoid the development of rust between uses. I have trouble getting the children (adults now) not to leave water in the tetsubin after it’s been boiled. But since they seem to prefer the Staub, it’s not so much of a problem. I don’t like electric pots either although I use one at the office and travel with a small Bodum which you might want to consider packing as well for your trips. It eliminates the hotel carafe hot water which usually reeks of old coffee and is rarely hot enough. Today’s entry will definitely get me to pay more attention to water from the tetsubin as opposed to the Staub. I have always preferred the tetsubin but thought that was because of the beauty and heft of the pot, the long tradition attached to the tetsubin, etc. Which makes me wonder…What do the Irish use? Aren’t they the biggest consumers of tea in the world? Eileen

  • Anonymous // January 27, 2008 at 1:18 pm | Reply

    One person’s happy is another person’s nervous breakdown. I’ve been avoiding the water issue, generally, for fear that it’ll become as much of an obsession as the tea and teapots …

    But there, I hear the knock on the door. It’s time to go answer it. Damn.

  • MarshalN // January 28, 2008 at 9:54 pm | Reply

    The water issue is, unfortunately, probably the most important thing, actually. The tea thing is just a matter of buying the right thing… the water thing though is very variable, and unfortunately, many things affect it — from temperature, way of pouring, mineral content, preparation…. the list goes on 🙁

  • BCC // September 14, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Reply

    Hi, I am currently going down the ‘rabbit hole’ of brewing tea and I just wanted to add some expertise to this post, as I have 11 years background in the water purification industry here in Canada.

    Water is obviously the main ingredient for every beverage known to man, even freshly squeezed juice is mostly water.

    What is very important to know, is that chlorinated tap water reacts with the organic matter in tea (and any other organic material) to create organochlorines. This is a chlorination byproduct with very little research done because it is not ‘directly’ added to tap water – it is a result of unforseen reactions after chlorination.

    These byproducts can include chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, trihalomethanes, and haloacetic acids.

    While little is known about them, what IS known is that they are all carcinogenic and have the ability to cause free radicals and/or buildup in our fat tissue.

    In my opinion, you should start with pure water – Reverse Osmosis or Distilled are the only two ways to get water pure (I prefer RO because it is easier and also not as acidic or poor tasting as distilled). From there, add any minerals you want to harden the water such as Himalayan pink rock salt or addon an alkalizer/remineralizer to your RO – this allows you to control the hardness and exactly what is making it hard. For example, what makes the water hard here is copper and uranium, two things you do NOT want in your water as one causes stomach problems and the other causes kidney disorders and leukemia, but ultimately there are no federal regulations on such contaminants – the focus is always on living organisms in the water and not chemicals or heavy metals.

    Love the blog! Your information is still relevant years later!

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