Finding the best water for tea-makingJuni 6th, 2023 | Water and Taste
The two essentials for the perfect cup of tea
The perfect cup of tea comes in two parts, the first is the leaf itself, which comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves from this evergreen shrub are harvested and left to dry to form the tea leaf.
The second most important part is the water, which makes up over 98% of a cup of tea.
Let’s look at the different types of tea
There are 6 types of tea:
White Tea is made from young tea leaves and buds that are not oxidised giving it a subtle flavour, and a lower caffeine content than the darker teas. It has been through minimal processing and retains high levels of antioxidants. It gets its name from the silver-white hairs on the unopened buds.
Example: White Peony or Silver Needle
Green Tea leaves are steamed to halt oxidisation, so that they retain their green colour and deliver a fresh, gentle grassy flavour, with a delicate aroma. Green tea contains high levels of antioxidants & polyphenols.
Example: Sencha, Matcha, Jasmine and Dragonwell
Yellow Tea is a rare and delicate that is made using a process called microbial fermentation. The leaves are wrapped in damp cloth or paper after they have been dried. This step allows the tea to slowly oxidise which develops the more mellow, smooth and creamy flavour. It has a high antioxidant content and has the potential to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
Example: Silver Needle Yellow and Golden Dragon
Oolong Teas are partially oxidised teas that sits between a black and a green tea in terms of flavour and caffeine content. Once it is partially oxidised the tea is then steamed as with green tea to halt the oxidation process. It is darker in colour than green tea.
Example: Jade Oolong
Black tea is the most common form of tea, it is made from fully oxidised tea leaves which give it a strong robust flavour, with a strong after taste.
Examples: Assam Black, Darjeeling, Builder’s Tea
Dark Tea is a post-fermented tea that takes months to years of microbial fermentation to develop its strong distinctive taste and colour.
Example: Raw Pu-erh
There are two more “teas” that are not actually teas:
Herbal Teas are not technically a tea, as it is not made from the camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are made from dried herbs, fruits and spices.
Rooibos Tea is a type of herbal tea made from the leaves of the Rooibos plant which has a naturally sweet flavour and is caffeine -free.
Tea is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings – Letitia Baldrige
What stops you getting the perfect taste from your tea:
As a water dispense company, LUQEL believe that the water is a fundamental part of the ceremony of tea. The quality and temperature of the water can affect the taste and aroma of the tea.
- Any strong tastes or impurities in the water can impact the taste and clarity of the tea.
- Different teas require different water temperatures.
- Black tea is best brewed with water at 95 oC
- Green tea is best brewed at 75 to 85 oC
- White tea should be brewed at 75 to 85 oC
- Oolong at 85 to 90 o C
- Herbal tea 75 to 95 o C
- Water that has been sitting for a long time loses its oxygen content, as does water that has been boiled multiple times. Oxygen is important when brewing tea, as it helps release the flavours and aromas of the tea.
- The mineral content of the water will also affect the taste of the tea. Lower mineralised water allows the subtler flavours of the unoxidized teas to come through.
How to get the perfect water for your tea:
The LUQEL Water Station delivers 99%+ impurity-free water, which is then remineralised to deliver 30 water recipes, including the perfect green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and fruit tea water.
We use a low mineralised water to allow the subtle flavours of the tea to sing and deliver each tea water at the perfect temperature.
With our system no water is left in a tank that is boiled over and over again, therefore delivering a fresh heated water for every cup or pot, allowing for well oxygenated water each time.
Each tea recipe has the prefect temperature for that type of tea, lower for green teas and higher temperatures for black teas.
Below are some great resources if you are fascinated by tea: