Water for tea. I am not going to lie this is a huge topic and one that I have been reluctant to make a start on due to a fear of heading down a rabbit hole that likely has no single end point.
I am not an expert nor am I a scientist but I have a vested interest in water as a tea practitioner and as a tea retailer. The reason I have chosen to look more closely at this topic is not to make the tea making process more complex or scientific. But because as my tea practice evolves, and I become more conscious about brewing parameters, I have come to understand the battle I have with my local tap water in Brisbane (Australia) with certain types of tea.
It really hit home following my Japanese tea study tour in 2018 when I experienced major deviations in fragrance and flavour of teas tasted in Japan versus samples of the same tea I returned to Australia with. It gave me an appreciation that producers would make the best tea to suit the local conditions including the water source.
So this journey that I will share with you are my experiments in trying to understand, learn and navigate my way to a practical solution for water for tea in my home city.
There have been many articles covering the best water for tea that have been written before me. Whilst many provide tips and solutions for choosing water for tea there hasn't really been anything new enter the conversation in terms of practical solutions for the modern world.
Water is already a very big topic in the coffee industry and I have had the generosity of people in this field get me started with my water learnings as it applies to specialty coffee. There is no question that the most suitable water for tea is completely different to that of coffee. Nevertheless I believe that the basic principles related to water and coffee extraction have some application to tea.
I can't guarantee the outcome or even 'an' outcome as we delve into this water journey. But it will be a great exploration none-the-less. I hope that you will enjoy and weigh in on the outcomes of my experiments along the way.
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