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From Twitter 10-30-2010 [Oct. 31st, 2010|04:00 am]

  • 07:11:00: Off to rehearsal very shortly. A beautiful day will be spent struggling to make beautiful music, but all the day has to do is exist.
  • 16:36:17: RT @patinagle: RT @bookviewcafe: Today's Special from Sarah Zettel: new chapter in Camelot's Blood - read it for free at http://www.book ...
  • 16:46:39: Long rehearsal, lots of mistakes, so came home and made banana nut bread. Ahhhh. (If I could only make good tea!)

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[User Picture]From: londonbard
2010-10-31 11:22 am (UTC)

on making good tea

What is the water like in your area? That can make a lot of difference (and so does the brand of tea.)

(Sorry about the edit. I had used a moving icon before I remembered.)

Edited at 2010-10-31 11:28 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-10-31 01:42 pm (UTC)

Re: on making good tea

The water is variable, because it's city water, mixed from however many wells are working at the moment. It's always hard (lime and iron, slightly to quite sulfur-y in the summer when the wells are low and the storage tanks hot) and chlorinated by the city. In summer, it comes out of the tap quite warm.

Having enjoyed tea very much while in England, I've tried to make it here and have produced perhaps one good pot out of four or five..not enough success to make me try it longer.
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-10-31 04:26 pm (UTC)

Re: on making good tea

My mother found a tea that worked with water with lots of lime in it when she was in Europe. It didn't taste like that tea was supposed to taste, but it tasted OK, which was more than she could say about any of the various other teas she'd tried with that water.

Would you like me to ask her which sort of tea that was? It may have been Oolong, but I'm not confident enough to just recommend you give Oolong a try. Or it could have been Darjeeling.

We have a water softener for the house and a filter in the fridge. (Our water supplier is Manville, which has a fair bit of lime and iron.) My tea comes out quite palatable. I mostly drink green tea, I don't care much for black tea anymore. (My taste for black tea, except as iced tea, disappeared around the same time my ability to handle coffee disappeared.)
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[User Picture]From: londonbard
2010-10-31 11:45 pm (UTC)

Re: on making good tea

I'm sorry about the delay in commenting; there have been a run of emergencies here.

Back in the late 1960s I used to live in a city tower block where the water was ... odd. It was always very hard but the composition varied from day to day; the taste sometimes implied that there might be some H2O in the chemical supply, but probably not very much. I know that chemicals were occasionally added to control algae at the reservoir.

My family and I had to use it (and I also breed tropical fish and they just don't survive in water like that,) so I used two different filtering methods. I had a coffee-filter that was like a stainless steel tube with a very fine metal filter-mesh in the end. I packed that with the charcoal that is sold for aquaria. I rinsed the charcoal very, very thoroughly and ran the drinking/washing/livestock water through that.

(The beauty of that is that charcoal adsorbs impurities; later, heating it in the oven releases the impurities and the charcoal is ready to use again. It was a cheap way to do it and, by hindsight, it was environmentally friendly. I was surprised to read on-line that charcoal doesn't adsorb nitrates because it was very good for purifying the water; tea and cooking tasted much better.)

However, the Brita filter cartridges are more efficient and much easier to use. I wasn't sure if they could be obtained in the US, but I found this link - http://www.brita.com/?locale=us

There are filter jugs and filter kettles on sale here and I find the jug is most useful. The filter cartridges seem to take out most of the chemicals and impurities and they are recommended for making a really good cup of tea.

There is only one disadvantage that I know of. The filters really do take the chemicals out so if you start filtering all the drinking and cooking water you may need fluoride toothpaste; there won't be any in the water.

(Incidently, if you ever want to keep rarish fish that need pure water a high percentage of the spawn will hatch in it.)

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