A long time ago, a wise man and expert on tea said that the best water for brewing tea is naturally flowing water, which doesn’t contain many accumulated minerals. If you are taking a shot at a healthier lifestyle by giving Japanese Green Tea a chance, you’ll probably wonder about the best way to brew and prepare it.
Based on that, one of the most common questions we get regarding the best tea brewing water types is, "Is reverse osmosis water good for brewing tea?" To put it simply, yes, reverse osmosis water is good for brewing tea. Knowing that, though, may not be enough to prepare a perfect cup of tea since you need a bit of background knowledge on pH levels, water purity, and water types for preparing Japanese Green Tea.
So, Why Does Water Type Matter for Brewing Tea?
Before we get to the connection between RO water and a nice cup of high-end Japanese Green Tea, it’s time we swiftly educate all the enthusiasts on water types. You may not know this, but the type of water you use for brewing tea and the way you do it can drastically affect the quality of the tea, even if it’s a top-notch kind.
With this in mind, let’s start by giving you an overview of the main two types of water used for this action:
- Soft water
- Hard water
To make things simple, let’s start with hard water, which isn’t the best option for brewing tea, and for good reason. Hard water is simply filled with accumulated minerals. These may not necessarily be bad for you; however, they can be bad for the quality of your tea, and they especially affect the taste of our favorite drink.
The reason is that, as you use hard water to brew tea, the water composition may not allow the flavor and all the beneficial nutrients from the leaves to dissolve in the water. As a result, you may end up with a flat-tasting tea, and no one wants that, right?
You can simply observe the brewing process, and if you happen to see a bit of a cloudy texture, it’s an indicator that you are using hard water.
By now, you can probably guess that soft water is the way to go when brewing top-quality Japanese Green Tea. One type of soft water is reverse osmosis water.
What is reverse osmosis water? Reverse osmosis water is water filtered through a membrane that filters out all the minerals contained in hard water. As a result of this process, the water gets softer, and the tea leaves can infuse properly and boost the flavor due to a lower concentration of minerals. We’ll further elaborate on why this is important in a bit.
Benefits of Using RO Water for Tea Brewing
We’ve heard a lot of debate going on regarding the use of reverse osmosis water for tea brewing. Some enthusiasts say it’s better not to use it since the water deprived of all the minerals doesn’t logically sound good for this task.
Well, it’s at least a good starting point that we’ve debunked that myth once and for all. Sure, if you can find naturally soft water, it may be even better for brewing tea. However, most of us don’t have the privilege of getting that sweet water source in the form of a naturally flowing Japanese mountain stream.
If you look at it that way, it’s not so bad to use a home water filter to get softer water directly from RO water.
Here are all the benefits of using RO water for tea brewing:
It Makes It Easy to Achieve a Clean Tea Flavor
With RO water, it’s easier to achieve a better tea flavor because of the lack of minerals. For instance, chlorine residue in water could lead to a different tea flavor, and hard water can lead to a slightly bitter or metallic flavor.
With filtered water, you’ll be safer when preparing a perfect cup of tea when compared with using regular tap water, especially if it’s hard in your area.
It’s a Slightly Acidic Water
Besides the water type, it’s also important to keep in mind the pH values. For a perfect cup of Japanese Green Tea, the pH value of the water needs to be at a desired level, and an acidic pH has always been considered the best for brewing Green Tea in particular.
However, this also depends on your preference and the type of tea you are brewing, since alkaline water will lead to higher antioxidant concentrations. When compared with hard water, this is, either way, a better option.
It Adds Up to the Health Qualities of Tea
You may think it all comes down to nuances, but it’s more difficult to prepare a perfect cup of green tea than you may assume. So, there are some benefits of RO water when compared with using tap or bottled water for tea brewing, and some of these are concerned with your health.
Since Japanese Green Tea is highly effective in boosting your immune system and improving heart and cognitive function, you can ruin these qualities with poor water choices. Bottled water may contain microplastic residue, while tap water can contain other harmful minerals. So, RO-filtered water will not only provide you with a clean flavor but also an ultimately healthier cup of tea.
Perfect TDS Ratio
Finally, it’s essential to consider the total dissolved solids (TDS) ratio for an ideal harmony of taste and tea infusion. It’s crucial to keep the ratio below 150 parts per million, and both tap and bottled water may contain over 500 parts per million.
That’s where the RO system comes into play; it lets you reduce it to around 25 to 50 parts per million and achieve a perfect balance since distilled water often reduces the ratio to below 10 ppm, which is simply too low.
Ultimately, we hope that this guide helps you figure out the application of softer RO water for brewing tea. One last scientific point left to discuss is the softening process, which isn’t the primary goal of the RO system. However, it’s a beneficial consequence, so we only have to advise you to check the softness of your tap water since too hard water could potentially clog the membrane of the reverse osmosis system.
If you’ve been in doubt as to whether to use reverse osmosis water for brewing tea or not before, we assure you it’s safe and often the best option unless you can find a fresh, soft water source flowing naturally.