Thursday, March 25, 2010

Can you take off chlorine smell for tap water by boiling?

Japanese water quality for tap water is relatively good. My area provides good quality tap water, and chlorine smell hasn’t bothered me much when I was drinking tap water itself. But I noticed that the tap water has a little chemical flavor when I compared with different waters on the past blog.

It is a cardinal rule to boil the water once, even though around 80 degrees C water is needed for sencha brewing. I believe it is for taking the chlorine smell by boiling. I know books say that “boil tap water well”, or “boil it more than two minutes”. I use a T-fal electric kettle for tea at home, which boils water about 5 seconds and then turns off automatically. I have been using cooled water of this T-fal boiled water for green tea, but I am curious now if this water might not be boiled enough to take out the chemical smell completely. Or, from the beginning, can you really take off the smell by boiling?

So, now it’s time for another experiment! I made four different tap waters. Plus, I had bottled water for comparison which does not have chemical taste.

1. Tap water Heated to about 90 degrees C (Not boiled)
It had chemical taste.

2. Tap water Boiled for 5 seconds
It had chemical taste as much as Water 1 had.

3. Tap water Boiled for 1 minute
The chemical taste was weaker than Water 1 and 2.

4. Tap water Boiled for 2 minutes
I could hardly taste the chemical.

By my sense of taste, you can say that boiling tap water can take out the chemical smell. I got a satisfied result by boiling it two minutes. So the water that I had been using at home was not good. I should have boiled it longer. Tap water qualities are different among states, so it's not necessarily appropriate to suggest that two minutes boiling is the best. But I think it is still worth to boil tap water well for tea brewing.

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