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Some historical context to water for tea. Entry #4

By Kym Cooper. Posted
The Steepery Tea Co. - tea liquor

Selecting a quality water for tea is not a new or modern idea. I recently had an email conversation with one of the most knowledgeable tea specialists in Australia on Chinese tea, Cathy Zhang of Ms. Cattea, who reminded me of the history attached with this element, water, in the tea making process.

I feel this is important to recognise and remember when moving forward in my own journey of designing and building water for tea so as not to loose sight of the 'why'.  

The historical reference Cathy reminded me of when chatting about this topic was the Classic of Tea. Written by Chinese tea scholar, Lu Yu, published around 760CE during the Tang Dynasty. His works covered cultivation, making and drinking tea. You will find his thoughts and discussions on water and water quality in chapter 5: Boiling.

In summary Lu Yu identified that water from the mountain is the best, water from the river is ok and water from the well is the worst. We appreciate this concept today as we understand that a waters quality and chemical composition will differ depending on the collection point and its subsequent treatment. But it encourages you to think about and select a quality water that enhances the tea's taste and fragrance.

Next week in Tealosphy we will start to look measurement and terminology relating to my journey with water.

This is my fourth entry in my Water for Tea series. Catch up on my other blog posts on this topic.



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