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Why is the tea darker?

February 13, 2014 — BarryK
I drink green tea, boiled in water, nothing else added. For awhile now, I have been boiling it, allowing to cool, then pour into bottles and put in the refrigerator -- a refreshing cool drink -- it is summer here.

I had recently been using tap water, despite years of drinking only spring water or rain water. Then a few days ago, I decided to go back to using spring water -- no access to rainwater these days.

That is when I noticed something. I always boil the tea twice, allowing to stand for a short time between boils, to extract more from the tea leaves. I followed this exact same regimen with the spring water, and this is the result:


...the tea on the left is boiled in tap water, on the right in spring water, "Aussie Natural" brand.

So, I wondered, was the tap water causing more to be extracted from the tea leaves, or was there some kind of chemical reaction between the chemicals in the tap water and the tea leaves?

I conducted another experiment, boiled the tea in spring water three times, allowing to stand over an hour between boils, and this is the result:


...the bottle on the extreme right has been boiled three times in spring water. Darker, but still nowhere near the tap water.

So, I am left wondering. A bit of a google around did not really reveal why the tea boiled in tap water is darker.

I am using Nerada organic green tea:

http://www.neradatea.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=76

This is what Aussie Natural have to say about their spring water:
http://www.aussienatural.net.au/about-our-natural-spring-water-perth

Comments

Tea-making"Sage"Not too sure about green tea. The most expensive China green teas are used several times before their exquisite flavours are released, allegedly. These are NOT the sort you buy at the local supermarket, indeed, you'd need a bank loan for the best.
Notwithstanding, tea is intended to be an infusion rather than an extraction. If the difference eludes you, refer to your school chemistry book or, perhaps, the InterWeb.
For 'black' tea, the Brits' favourite, all the old wives' tales turned out to be correct according to incredibly detail research published by M Spiro et al in a series of papers in Trans Farad Soc about 20-30yrs ago. It is necessary to warm the pot (good tea cannot be made in a cup), use only boiling water freshly drawn from the tap (only municipal water is chemically and biologically satisfactory because of it is closely monitored and controlled unlike bottled an spring waters) - freshly drawn because tea is a fully oxidised product and is best prepared with fully oxygenated water. Infusion should be limited to 2.5-4mins max., in the pot covered with an insulating 'cosy', although a kitchen towel serves in emergencies. It should be poured from a modest height,
~6-12", in spurts, rocking the pot back between each,. This allows layers from the pot to mix in the cup, not the pot, which should never, ever be stirred, or worse, mashed. Pouring as described continues to maintain good oxygenation. It should be drunk hot, not cool, but not boiling (as some Chinese practice because this can lead to throat cancer). Brits drink it with milk and, if preferred sugar/sweetener but this is frowned on by aficionados.
The trick is to optimise the ratio between caffeine and tanins - it's all explained by Spiro. Boil is out!
Forget anything that happens to tea in continental Europe or, worst of all, USA. Iced tea is an abomination attracting severe opprobrium, if that isn't a tautology? The Swedes love their tea, but the quality isn't too good - they claim the Brits use it first, then repackage it.
absolutely best thing to drink: fresh green coconut juice straight out of the coconut itself. about 50 cents each here. sold like this above at the market.

Ivy Rosella
but i still drink various bottled and tetra pack juices/fruits/vegs/flowers because there is a huge choice and its nice to have a change of taste.
yes cold infusion teas in bottled natural mineral water sometimes too ( i dont own a means to boil or cook): mulberry tea (eat the teas leaves as well), sencha green tea from japan, an occasional cold zip-canned coffee for medicinal purposes.


Notwithstanding, tea is intended to be an infusion rather than an extraction. If the difference eludes you, refer to your school chemistry book or, perhaps, the InterWeb.
For 'black' tea, the Brits' favourite, all the old wives' tales turned out to be correct according to incredibly detail research published by M Spiro et al in a series of papers in Trans Farad Soc about 20-30yrs ago. It is necessary to warm the pot (good tea cannot be made in a cup), use only boiling water freshly drawn from the tap (only municipal water is chemically and biologically satisfactory because of it is closely monitored and controlled unlike bottled an spring waters) - freshly drawn because tea is a fully oxidised product and is best prepared with fully oxygenated water. Infusion should be limited to 2.5-4mins max., in the pot covered with an insulating 'cosy', although a kitchen towel serves in emergencies. It should be poured from a modest height,
~6-12", in spurts, rocking the pot back between each,. This allows layers from the pot to mix in the cup, not the pot, which should never, ever be stirred, or worse, mashed. Pouring as described continues to maintain good oxygenation. It should be drunk hot, not cool, but not boiling (as some Chinese practice because this can lead to throat cancer). Brits drink it with milk and, if preferred sugar/sweetener but this is frowned on by aficionados.
The trick is to optimise the ratio between caffeine and tanins - it's all explained by Spiro. Boil is out!
Forget anything that happens to tea in continental Europe or, worst of all, USA. Iced tea is an abomination attracting severe opprobrium, if that isn't a tautology? The Swedes love their tea, but the quality isn't too good - they claim the Brits use it first, then repackage it.

http://www.teegschwendner.de/tee/publish/shop_tea_preparation_en.aspx?ActiveID=1902&page_idx=3

Try a water filtering system while using tap water.

Do a pH measuring on your tap water / spring water.

Regards
FeodorF (Have you seen an old duct cut in the middle?) FeodorF is right. Use an activated carbon filter. If within means use a distiller for a Good Tea. On remembering old entries I would like to refer you to this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/27/new-research-shows-poorly-understood-leaky-gut-syndrome-is-real-may-be-the-cause-of-several-diseases.html (Have you seen an old duct cut in the middle?) FeodorF is right. Use an activated carbon filter. If within means use a distiller for a Good Tea. On remembering old entries I would like to refer you to this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/27/new-research-shows-poorly-understood-leaky-gut-syndrome-is-real-may-be-the-cause-of-several-diseases.html It is something we can work with It is something many programmers can build on... On FAIRTRADE (your organic tea) I think that it is just an adittional layer of exploit. Coffee growers still get 10 pesos. I pay 180 pesos. grounded or not. still is LOCAL sovereignty.

Tags: ethos