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Lumo 25-07-2005 02:45 PM

Calcium quantity in water?
 
Hi,

I'm in Spain where the tap water is very chlorinated and has lots of
calcium in it (and probably lots of other, less noticeable things), so
for tea making bottled water is used.

I'm wondering what to look out for in bottled water, all the bottles
here have to have a breakdown of calcium, chlorine, sodium etc on their
label so it is easy to tell what's in them.

Is calcium quantity one of the main things to look for (I think I read
this somewhere, but never had it confirmed)?

Two of the big makers of water here have dramatically different calcium
levels in their water, one being 5mg/l, the other being more like
35mg/l. The much cheaper bottles have higher amounts still. What is a
good amount to have? Can there be too little?

Any help, or other tips about what to look for in bottled water to make
a good brew would be much appreciated.


Scott Dorsey 25-07-2005 03:14 PM

Lumo wrote:

I'm wondering what to look out for in bottled water, all the bottles
here have to have a breakdown of calcium, chlorine, sodium etc on their
label so it is easy to tell what's in them.

Is calcium quantity one of the main things to look for (I think I read
this somewhere, but never had it confirmed)?


The big deal is low iron content. Calcium will also make a difference
in taste and for the most part lower calcium is better.

Two of the big makers of water here have dramatically different calcium
levels in their water, one being 5mg/l, the other being more like
35mg/l. The much cheaper bottles have higher amounts still. What is a
good amount to have? Can there be too little?


You can always try distilled water. I have always found tea made with
distilled water to be a little flat, but never offensive.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Eric Jorgensen 25-07-2005 03:44 PM

On 25 Jul 2005 10:14:54 -0400
(Scott Dorsey) wrote:

Lumo wrote:

I'm wondering what to look out for in bottled water, all the bottles
here have to have a breakdown of calcium, chlorine, sodium etc on their
label so it is easy to tell what's in them.

Is calcium quantity one of the main things to look for (I think I read
this somewhere, but never had it confirmed)?


The big deal is low iron content. Calcium will also make a difference
in taste and for the most part lower calcium is better.



Calcium and magnesium, however, have the biggest impact on the ph of the
water. Contrary to public education, "water" is not always neutral.
double-distilled deionized water is neutral, all other waters vary.

In my own diagnostics, available bottled and tap waters in my area vary
from 4.5 to 10. Something between 6.5 and 8 is probably preferable.

Water that is somewhat basic will produce weak, flavorless tea that is
dark in color and will leave a film on the glass. Water that is somewhat
acid will produce tea that is strong, excessively tannic, and light in
color. Again, this is from my own diagnostics.



DPM 25-07-2005 04:14 PM

"Lumo" wrote in message
ups.com...
Hi,

I'm in Spain where the tap water is very chlorinated and has lots of
calcium in it (and probably lots of other, less noticeable things), so
for tea making bottled water is used.

I'm wondering what to look out for in bottled water, all the bottles
here have to have a breakdown of calcium, chlorine, sodium etc on their
label so it is easy to tell what's in them.

Is calcium quantity one of the main things to look for (I think I read
this somewhere, but never had it confirmed)?

Two of the big makers of water here have dramatically different calcium
levels in their water, one being 5mg/l, the other being more like
35mg/l. The much cheaper bottles have higher amounts still. What is a
good amount to have? Can there be too little?

Any help, or other tips about what to look for in bottled water to make
a good brew would be much appreciated.

My market has a machine that takes tap water and runs it through an
activated charcoal filter to remove disolved gases and a semi-permiable
membrane filter to remove dissolved minerals. It's a lot cheaper than
spring water and produces a good, fairly neutral cup of tea, but its chief
advantage to my mind is consistency. It allows me to evaluate teas without
the added variable of the effects of water quality. I don't know if this is
available in Spain, but if it is I suggest it as an alternative to spring
water.

Regards,
Dean



toci 25-07-2005 05:57 PM

Quite apart from what it does to tea, calcium is a necessary nutrient.
Check out that you have enough other sources of it if you take it out
of your water, Toci


Lumo 26-07-2005 11:45 AM

Thanks for the replies.

Iron isn't listed on the label so unfortunately I can't check that,
but I'll look into the PH of the different bottles, and at filters.

One of the bottles does leave a film on the cup and sometimes a layer
along the top after brewing. I presume this is the 'somewhat basic'
water described by Eric J.

I'm getting an OK tasting tea, but nothing like as good (in my
opinion) as the tea made by the Glasgow water I'm used to, despite
being city water its some of the best tasting and best tea making water
I've come across.


Lewis Perin 26-07-2005 04:19 PM

"Lumo" writes:

Thanks for the replies.

Iron isn't listed on the label so unfortunately I can't check that,
but I'll look into the PH of the different bottles, and at filters.

One of the bottles does leave a film on the cup and sometimes a layer
along the top after brewing. I presume this is the 'somewhat basic'
water described by Eric J.


The water that most interfered with brewing a good cup of tea in all
my life was very high in iron *and* left a film on the cup. One data
point only, but...

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html

icetea 28-07-2005 10:34 AM

WATER - 99% of tea is water, Tap water should be avoided since its
chemical treatment imparts undesirable flavors and odors which
interfere with the delicate aromatics of tea. (Home filters and other
water purification systems can minimize and, in some cases, eliminate
these problems.) The best water for tea brewing is spring water with a
natural mineral content that's neither too hard nor too soft. Since
T.D.S., "total dissolved solids," or mineral content measured in
parts per million varies greatly from water to water, you may want to
do your own taste-test of waters available in your area to determine
which one has the best flavor, body and compatibility with the tea you
drink. An interesting Distilled water is not recommended for tea since
water purified of its mineral content produces a flat-tasting infusion.
icetea


crymad 28-07-2005 11:00 AM



icetea wrote:
WATER - 99% of tea is water


Reminds me of a funny Chris Rock bit about married friends going
out to dinner and lingering late over after-dinner drinks, all
because hurrying home and having sex is no longer the priority it
once was in their single years.

Lustless Wife: "Ohh, what's in this tea?"
Annoyed Waiter: "****ing water, bitch!"

--crymad


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