A cup of tea contains two things, tea leaves and water!
How come a cup of tea brewed from the same tea leaf can taste so different depending on where in the country/world we brew our tea?
We want our tea to taste good so we choose quality tea, but how many of us think about the other main ingredient in a cup of tea, the water? A cup of tea is made up of 98.5% of water so the quality of the water affects the end result.
What should we consider when brewing a cup of tea?
First and foremost, always use fresh and cold water!
Fresh tap water contains the most oxygen that helps to extract the flavours from tea leaves. Do not use hot water from the tap, as it may contain bacteria and small amounts of heavy metals. Keep in mind that it is only cold water in the tap that is food rated.
Reboil my water or not?
Do not use water that has been left in the boiler overnight or water that has been boiled several times the amount of oxygen has decreased significantly and does not give as much flavour to the tea which results in a "flat" flavoured tea.
Soft or hard water for your cup of tea?
Tap water contains various amounts of natural minerals such as magnesium and calcium which determine the hardness of the water. Hard water gives the tea a sharp, bitter and metallic taste, so softer water is preferred.
If you have hard water at home and you find that your tea always tastes better somewhere else, you can always try to filter your water before heating it up for you cup of tea.
Ideal PH-level for your cup of tea?
The pH level of the water also plays a role. The ideal level is just under 7, slightly acidic, but generally speaking, a PH-level of between 6-8 gives a good cup of tea.
But as always, the temperature of the water, the amount of tea leaves and the brewing time are the main things to keep right.
And remember, you drink your tea however you enjoy it. Your tea moment is there for yourself to enjoy!