Your tea water
From the Tiger Run Spring for Dragon Well in China to the New York Tea Well for Young Hyson used by the US founding fathers, certain wells, springs, or streams have been revered for their pristine, sweet tasting waters, and were used to brew the best teas.
High quality water is an absolute must for good tasting teas whether you use teabags or loose leaf varieties.
But freshly aerated pristine waters are becoming more and more difficult to find in modern times.
Is your water clean?
In fact natural sources are becoming widely polluted. In 2009, the UK Environment Agency reported only 5 of 6114 rivers in England and Wales were still pristine.
A 2010 global report, published in the journal Nature, found almost 80% of the world’s rivers polluted enough to threaten the drinking supply of 5 billion people.
In cities, public municipal sources can provide cleaner water if properly maintained. They will usually test for bacteria, nitrates, and arsenic.
But their standards may not measure or remedy new sources of contamination such as endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical, or recreational drugs.
And of course, the taste of chlorination can ruin the subtle flavors in a great cup of tea.
Spring waters may be a good choice for taste but require the expense and labor of delivery.
Many people choose to filter their own drinking waters, using countertop purifiers, faucet, portable filters, reverse osmosis purifiers, and even a whole house water purifier.
At the very least, you should consider removing excessive mineralization (hard waters), chlorine, and visible solids from your tea water.
Distilling may not be the best solution as a total removal of minerals can make your teas taste flat.
Follow tea temperature guidelines
After you’ve got your perfect water and tea, be sure to follow recommended temperature guidelines for each selection, using a steel or glass kettle (some prefer the iron teakettles).
If you have to use a microwave, make sure you only heat the water.
After it is heated, remove the cup and then add your teas to steep outside the microwave.
Make sure you let it cool down to a comfortable temperature for safety before you drink it, also.
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