What does it take to make a perfect cup of tea? Aside from the obvious ingredient (high-quality tea!), we typically focus on an often overlooked, yet crucial, part of the tea experience — the water!
Water is one of the quick-fixes to your common iced tea problems, and it could be the key component to making all of your teas and tea-based beverages even better!
The average cup of hot tea or glass of iced tea (without ice) contains, on average, only 1% tea solids and 99%+ water. If your water quality is poor, it can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, and nobody wants that. Here's how you can make sure your water quality is right up there with Art of Tea's tea quality.
1. Obtain a sample of the water from the source.
Collect water from where you get water for your tea. If you use tap water, check that tap. If you like to filter your water, test the filtered water. You want to test the quality of the water that will become tea! The time between collection and testing can have an impact on the results, so it is important to take the sample and test the water immediately. For example, chlorine can evaporate relatively quickly.
2. Use your sense of sight, smell, and taste.
The first test is simple. The water should be sniffed, tasted, and visually examined. This process will allow you to observe characteristics like saltiness, bitterness, metallic taste, or chalkiness.
3. Use a simple testing strip.
A wide variety of testing options are available. The Aquacheck HACH 5-in-1 testing kit is a useful tool in assessing which water quality issues may need to be addressed. Key elements to test include:
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
4. Check your filtration.
If you have no filtration system in place, or if yours is outdated, now is the time to make a change! If your tap water just isn't doing the trick, consider investing in a simple water filtration system, whether it be a filtering pitcher or an attachment to your tap! One thing to note, however, is that softened water tends to distort tea flavors. If your home is using a hard water softener, consider getting your tea water from a different source!
Time spent assessing and improving your water quality is worth the effort as it makes an enormous impact on the taste of your tea. If you're fortunate enough to have clean water to make tea, you should make the most of it and ensure that the water quality is the best it can be.