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Old 08-21-2018, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
7,620 posts, read 10,456,023 times
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We have a PUR filter but I usually forget to use it making tea.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:31 PM
 
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i am a tea snob i admit it, and i came to be one because i can taste the difference.
i never use microwave.
never steep or serve in anything metal only glass.
water full boil only.
so boil water but pour over bags or loose tea in a glass pitcher that can handle the temperature.

mostly i do cold brew these days it is gentle and delicious, and i can make it easy at work.
when i have to have hot tea i use a basic drip coffee maker (which has never been used for coffee only tea) with the paper filters (great for loose tea) and the basket and the glass what's it called carafe? decanter? pot?

also avoid over-steeping the tea, it gets bitter.
ugh to steeping in anything metal.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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I have a hard time with the tea I get in restaurants, but not for the reasons stated in the OP. My reasons are:

1. It typically isn't hot enough. I suspect they get it from their coffee maker rather than actually bringing it to a boil.
2. They often bring the hot water already in the cup and give you the tea bag on the side, so you are forced to put the tea bag in the water rather than pouring the water over the tea (as god intended).
3. If I'm getting tea at a conference or some kind of continental breakfast bar it is common to find that the carafe used for the hot water is the same carafe that they sometimes use for coffee, so there is a residual coffee flavor.

Still, in the scale of things in my life, these are pretty minor annoyances.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:39 PM
 
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I don't know how to even assess acidity, but to me the mineral content makes a huge difference. Hardly any tea is strong enough to cover the taste of rusty, limy or generally harder-than-bricks water.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Eastern Tennessee
2,320 posts, read 1,548,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
My experience is that no matter where I have ever lived, tap water was just fine. Well water too, except for not being fluoridated.

I've never lived anywhere with high sulfur or iron in the water. I imagine that could make a difference. If your water tastes funny after it rains, my guess would be that something is getting stirred up from the bottom of the reservoir. Try a filtering system.

I'm not buying "bottled" water. 95% of it is just somebody else's tap water anyway.

I only get tea in Asian restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, etc). Americans don't do good tea. Tea in an American restaurant is along the lines of American Lipton, which tastes like sewage even before we start niggling about water quality and temperature. Indian Lipton is an entirely different animal. American tea stinks.
It is not 'just fine' when your tea tastes like chlorine.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:09 PM
 
1,953 posts, read 769,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grampaTom View Post
It is not 'just fine' when your tea tastes like chlorine.
Grumpy much? LOL!

I have never tasted chlorine in ANY water. Well once, when they were flushing the pipes as they do annually. Oh, and in an actual POOL. You do realize that very few municipalities use chlorine any more, right? They're using chloramines, which have no odor or taste.

Where I live, they annually flush the system with chlorine for about a month. I only notice an odor, can't remember actually a change in taste, for the first few days. And I haven't noticed even THAT except for the first year here, which would be about 5 years ago by now. I'm good with that. My dad almost died as a child of typhoid fever from contaminated water. I'm not about to forego clean water, thanks anyway.
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,769 posts, read 52,103,238 times
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I never ever use tap water to make my tea, but I don't have any filtration system so I just decided on bottled water delivered gallon wise to my house.
I am quite fond of Sparkletts. The tea doesn't have the awful film on the top (you know, that thin oily layer that float on the surface of the tea, created mostly by hard water that contains lot of calcium ions) and taste pretty good.

At some restaurants, especially iced tea might taste really bad because most cheaper places serve it in plastic cups that are washed in a commercial washer with products that contain lots of bleach and other desinfectants. The plastic somehow retains the smell, and alters the taste of beverages.
It has to do with improper use of the cleaning chemicals.
Also their (tap) water quality used to make beverages might be just pretty bad.
Coffee and Espresso machines might be cleaned using inaproppriate cleaners or not cleaned often enough.
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,578 posts, read 7,657,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senga View Post
I love hot tea (iced tea also, but it is not relevant in this case), but my frustration is that if I order tea in a restaurant, it is hit or miss, not the quality of the tea itself, since they usually bring you choice of tea bags, but local water. I have a well water in my house, quite decent quality and taste on its own, but tea tastes different depending on weather, I mean if it is raining a lot, it is somehow bitter. I did some research and it is probably acidity.
Right now I am trying different kinds of bottled water, starting with Evian, which in one online tasting was supposed to be the best, but I do not think it's "my cup of tea".
Anyhow, all tea drinkers, what is your experience?
My experience is that water temperature and steeping time are the two most important factors in how tea tastes. Make sure that water is right off the boil for black tea, and down at 175-180 F for green tea. Steep black tea 3-5 minutes (generally speaking) and 1-3 minutes for green.
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:54 PM
 
1,408 posts, read 680,675 times
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Our tap water tastes so bad I refuse to drink it, but I do make tea with it, and can't tell the difference between our nasty-tasting water and bottled water when it's made into tea.


I do use bottled water to make ice for iced tea though, just generic "drinking water."
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,858 posts, read 59,882,145 times
Reputation: 27125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
My experience is that no matter where I have ever lived, tap water was just fine. Well water too, except for not being fluoridated.

I've never lived anywhere with high sulfur or iron in the water. I imagine that could make a difference. If your water tastes funny after it rains, my guess would be that something is getting stirred up from the bottom of the reservoir. Try a filtering system.

I'm not buying "bottled" water. 95% of it is just somebody else's tap water anyway.

I only get tea in Asian restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, etc). Americans don't do good tea. Tea in an American restaurant is along the lines of American Lipton, which tastes like sewage even before we start niggling about water quality and temperature. Indian Lipton is an entirely different animal. American tea stinks.
I British friend of mine referred to it as "American Yellow Mud"

You can get good tea here, you just have to order it from a specialty place. They shop I use, the guy goes to India and china during the harvest and drying and looks at the tea from various providers and then selects the ones he will offer based on the quality of the plant (leaves) how and when it was harvested and how it was dried (or whatever the fancy word for drying it is). The taste difference is amazing. By comparison the "American Yellow Mud" or what I call grocery store tea, has almost no flavor. It actually reminds me of some good tea that I accidentally left in our camping bins after a camping trip. It sat in there for two or three years. it still worked, but the flavor was gone, it tasted like lipton or Red rose, or Tetly or whatever your local stores sell.
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