If you wouldn't drink your tap water as water, why would you want to drink it as tea?
Many homes and offices use municipal tap water as their primary source of brewing. Typically tap water contains a number of contaminants which, even deemed at 'acceptable levels', can have adverse health effects.
DO YOU WANT WATER POLLUTANTS WITH YOUR TEA?
What's in your water besides water?
- Natural impurities (arsenic, aluminium etc…) and man made contaminants (pesticides, fertilisers industrial chemicals) come from water sources.
- Glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) is found in our rain, soils, rivers, wetlands and groundwater.
- Chlorine, chloramine, fluoride etc are used in the water treatment processes.
- Lead, copper and other heavy metals leach from old water pipping and fittings.
- Phthalates are now the issue with more modern plastic water fittings.
Tea brewing experts say your source of water is critical. Good water turns a good tea great and bad water can make even pricey tea taste sour and acrid.
Minerals that are endemic to your water supply diminish good flavours and health benefits. Too many minerals and your water becomes "hard," which can add metallic flavours to tea. Filters are especially valuable in regions where the tap water is hard or otherwise metallic-tasting.
Absolutely pure water like distilled is no good either, tea people claim—it's so bland it can make tea taste dull.
Water for tea should have a neutral pH so it doesn't turn the tea sour or bitter. Most tea connoisseurs prefer bottled spring water or home filtration system. Spring water has a relatively neutral pH and a Goldilocks balance of minerals—not too many, not too few.
Your tea is only as good as your water – Poor water diminishes flavours and health benefits.
Here are some standards you can use to judge your water quality for team making:
- PH: Neutral (between 6–8); brewed tea will be slightly more acidic, with a pH of 4.5–6.
- Hardness: 1–4 grains is ideal. Hard water can flatten taste and cloud iced tea.
- Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): 50–150 ppm
- Chlorine: 0
A heads up for allergy suffers
Yeast expert Sidney M. Baker advises that allergy sufferers avoid brewing tea with tap water, which may carry mould spores as well as chemical contaminants, and drink tea made only from bottled or filtered water.
- BEST OPTION – Use only filtered water from a quality water filter to remove volatile organic compounds and other contaminants.
- If no water filter – Use only water from cold taps for drinking and cooking
- If no water filter – Flush cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 30 seconds first thing in the morning to draw fresh water through the tap OR for about two to three minutes after long periods of non-use, such as when returning from holidays
Read the next blog in the series to find out where to buy a non-leaching kettle : Part 4 – AVOIDING A TOXIC KETTLE
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