Intern Tea Potato right here with much more water experiments!
The 2 waters we’ll be experimenting with this week are Crystal Geyser and Onsen Sui 99. Crystal Geyser comes from the US of America. There are a number of totally different springs from the place the water is sourced, so it’s necessary to test the bottle to see specifics. On this case, our Crystal Geyser comes from their Mt. Shasta supply. Onsen Sui 99 comes from Tarumizu Onsen in Kagoshima Prefecture, an extremely alkaline water with a pH of 9.9.
What causes the totally different flavors in water? It primarily comes all the way down to the minerals. Water is not only H20, however it’s also chock full of various minerals. A time period you’ll see typically on water is TDS, or whole dissolved solids. TDS is a measure of the quantity of solids in water. Nonetheless, what these solids are is extremely necessary. The 4 primary minerals that you simply’ll see in water are sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals are so necessary, relying in your nation, your bottled water may very well record the quantity, Japan does (Typically they’ll record a salt equivalency as an alternative of a sodium worth however that may be math’d right into a sodium quantity). These 4 minerals play a giant half within the hardness of the water and the alkalinity of the water.
Right this moment, we’ll speak somewhat about calcium. You’ll see a whole lot of bottled waters promoting their calcium ranges. Calcium influences the hardness of the water and can create a smoother water. However smoother water can come at a value by truly smoothing out the flavour of tea as nicely. You probably have a pointy, biting tea, this can be preferable, however many teas which might be extra mild can have all their taste crushed.
Calcium does one thing actually attention-grabbing to tea. Growing the quantity of calcium in water will enhance how briskly the tea infuses. Nonetheless, the full quantity of…bits? that may be extracted from the tea leaves is lowered. Visually, this may be seen. If one makes a tea the very same method with two waters, with the one distinction being one water has extra calcium, the tea with extra calcium will probably be darker and extra yellow. (Yin, 2014) If solely there was a strategy to conduct that experiment ourselves…
I brewed Sencha of Brightness twice with Wazuka nicely water. The primary time, there was nothing added to the water. The second time, I added 48 mg/L of calcium chloride to the water. Why do I’ve calcium chloride readily available?
The tea on the left was made with the common nicely water. The one on the correct, with the added calcium chloride. As you possibly can see, the tea liquor is darker and extra yellow within the calcium chloride water.
After all, calcium isn’t the one motive for teas to be darker and yellow, but it surely is a significant component influencing the flavour and colour. And in the event you flip again to the primary experiment with Evian and Kirin, all of the teas (matcha however) are darker with Evian. These minerals are sometimes listed on water bottles, so we would as nicely be taking note of them as nicely.
And now, on to the primary occasion! Sencha of the Earth, Amber Houjicha, Pine Needle Wakoucha, and Gokou Matcha brewed with Crystal Geyser and Onsen Sui 99.
Sencha of the Earth brews up with a protracted wealthy umami flavour, and whereas there’s some bitterness, it’s a nice bitterness that doesn’t linger on the perimeters of the tongue, akin to Evian did final time. On high of the umami there are robust dandelion inexperienced aromatics which might be near being floral, however not. Metallic notes present briefly, as does a rock sweet sweetness.
Onsen Sui 99 has a contact of grapefruit bitterness surrounded by mild floral aromatics. There’s subsequent to no umami within the brew. One in every of it’s most noticeable attribute was a salivating astringency. Whereas in some instances, astringency isn’t a constructive, on this case, I’m a fan. Sadly, all the flavours seem solely briefly, earlier than disappearing shortly. All that’s left is the astringency.
Amber Houjicha and Crystal Geyser weren’t pals. The houjicha brewed up flat, with not a lot of these good candy roasted notes that it’s identified for. The flavour virtually bordered on leather-based, however not the good leather-based that’s present in some teas. Right here, the perimeters of the tongue bitterness pops up once more, which we discovered final week when brewing Sencha of the Earth with Evian. I discover it attention-grabbing that with Crystal Geyser that disagreeable bitter observe seems within the houjicha and never the sencha.
Likewise, Onsen Sui 99 additionally brewed a houjicha with little or no roast notes. The tea was a a lot richer flavour than Crystal Geyser, however not with the notes one would affiliate with houjicha. The houjicha bordered on a candy bread soup, tasty however odd as nicely.
(By candy bread, I imply bread that’s candy. Not the organ meat. A vital clarification? In all probability not)
Pine Needle Wakoucha when brewed with Crystal Geyser has mild pumpkin flavours and drying hay aromatics. Fortuitously, Wazuka has hay drying everywhere, so I’ve discovered this odor. There’s a mild bitterness, however temporary, simply sufficient so as to add texture to the brew. Additionally, there’s what I can greatest describe as a nice…latex? flavour. In a great way. I swear! In actuality, I’m digging round in my thoughts palace and I imagine the precise observe could be pecan.
Onsen Sui 99’s brew additionally has that pecan observe, which is unquestionably not a latex observe, however rather more current. At the least rather more current for the time that it’s there, the flavour, like with sencha, disappears fairly shortly. The lingering astrigency that Onsen Sui 99 dropped at the sencha is right here as nicely, but it surely’s extra aggressive, virtually cottonmouth astringency.
Crystal Geyser introduced out a powerful minerality that lasted for a while. On high of that floated a rock sweet sweetness, however the sweetness was not round as a lot because the minerality. There have been additionally these ghosts of fruit. I wouldn’t describe it as being fruity, but it surely was actually actually attempting. General, it was easy, with no bitterness or astringency.
Onsen Sui 99 introduced out a very easy and creamy Gokou Matcha. Completely no bitterness or astringency. There have been fruit notes and maybe some floral notes as nicely with some wheat sweetness. The flavours lasted for much longer with the matcha than lots of the earlier teas did with Onsen Sui 99. Nonetheless temporary, however longer.
Beneath, we have now a colormap of all of the teas and waters examined to date.
We’re really messing round and doing experiments. And due to that, I believe it’s significantly better to finish these posts with questions, moderately than conclusions.
Query 1: Earlier analysis has proven that an elevated calcium focus in water will create a darker brew. Why then, with the Amber Houjicha, did Crystal Geyser, a water with larger quantities of calcium, produce a lighter brew of the 2?
Query 2: The final experiment produced matcha of virtually precisely the identical colour. On the time, we questioned if there simply wouldn’t be a noticeable colour distinction with matcha attributable to it being a powder. This week, there’s a noticeable colour distinction. Is the colour of matcha decided by various factors than unfastened leaf tea?
Query 3: This week, Amber Houjicha didn’t have any of the related roasted notes with the 2 totally different waters. Why?
I can’t wait till subsequent time after we can add much more questions.
Water Experiment 2: Crystal Geyser & Onsen Sui 98
Subsequent Experiment: Pure Mineral Water from Oita Prefecture and Acqua Panna from Italy.
Yin, Jun-Feng, et al. “Impact of Ca2+ Focus on the Tastes from the Fundamental Chemical compounds in Inexperienced Tea Infusions.” Meals Analysis Worldwide, vol. 62, Aug. 2014, pp. 941–946, 10.1016/j.foodres.2014.05.016. Accessed 1 Nov. 2022.