Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Water for green tea 3

The cherry blossom is somehow very special for Japanese. People are quite excited and happy with it. Cherry flower forecast is always on the news in this season. The agencies in most of southern Japan have declared that cherry blossoms had opened. Cherry trees fully blossom about a week after they start to bloom. Maybe, next weekend will be a good time for cherry blossom viewing in this area.

Here is the result of tea tasting for different water. I brewed tea with the five waters at the  following condition.

Tea: 2g
Water: 140ml / 70degrees C
Time: 2 minutes

I did blind tasting to discard preconceived notions. Brewed tea colors were pretty much the same. I was kind of surprised that I found a clear difference in flavor among the five teas. I didn’t find any bad tea that I wouldn’t like. I will say that each tea is unique, and has its own individuality.

Japanese Water Tea
Very mellow, no bitterness; It could be too mild.

Crystal Geyser Tea
Very natural with little bitterness

Tap Water Tea
Standard flavor with bitterness (It maybe because I habitually use tap water for my daily tea)

Volvic TeaRich and Distinctive flavor

Evian Tea
Distinctive mineral flavor

As water got softer, the tea got mellower and milder. In contrast, as water got harder, the tea got richer with more bitterness. I liked Japanese water tea best. You can brew very sweet tea with it. But it could be sometimes too mild. I might prefer harder water for the tea at meal or with sweets. Hiro liked Volvic tea. She found the rich green tea flavor in it. I could understand the theory that 40-90 water hardness is good for Japanese green tea. It brings a good balance of bitterness and mildness. I also found that very soft or hard water can brew unique tea, and they weren’t bad at all. It’ll be very interesting to try some different hardness of water for tea. You should try different water sometime.