Have you ever noticed that some people easily get a brilliant shade of green out of their brew, while others struggle to get anything better than a pale yellow? There could be a variety of reasons for this. But what if they are using the exact same brewing parameters? The answer is simple: their water quality is different.

water, brita, and a japanese teapot

Minerals & Other Dissolved Solids

Water with a high amount of dissolved solids is what changes the colour of the tea from green to a yellow hue. What’s worse is that the minerals and other dissolved solids mask the taste of the tea. So the best water to use would be distilled or demineralized then, right? Surprisingly, no. In order for the tea to taste lively, a small amount of minerals needs to be present. Otherwise, the tea will taste dull and flat.

So how can we get a desirable amount of minerals? Let’s begin by examining the water we use.

Tap Water

There are three different levels of tap water for brewing green tea.

  1. Good to use.
  2. Can be used if filtered.
  3. Don’t even try.

There are parts of Europe and Asia where filling your kettle straight under the tapย is perfectly fine. If this applies to you, you are very, very lucky. The rest of us will likely have to use a filtration system such asย Brita. Large urban areas sometimes are unlucky enough that even with filtering, the water won’t be pure enough.

Bottled Water

Large jugs of water can also be a good solution, but keep in mind, some brands are really just selling bottled tap water. Try a few brands. If you happen to know a particularly good brand of water for tea, let us know in the comments below. ๐Ÿ˜€

Controlling TDS

This step is beginning to get a little extreme, but you can try to control the total amount of dissolved solids. With a TDS meter, you can accurately measure the dissolved solids in your water, and if you are so inclined, you can mixย your water with demineralized water in order to find the perfect balance.

Wrapping it Up

I felt really inclined to write this post.ย A lot of aspects in the world of Japanese green tea can be shared between both beginners and experts. However, the attention to detail in regards to water is something beginners often overlook. So whether you are a beginner, or just are having problems with your brew, take a minute to consider your water. ๐Ÿ™‚

Griff is the co-founder of The Art of Japanese Green Tea website and video series.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. JVM

    Thanks for the quick and informative read. I brew the same tea at work and home, in the same pot and with the same ratios. I prefer the tea at work. That water comes out of a coffee machine hot water dispenser, and is filtered. At home we have a water softener, so that gives an idea as to the quality (good or bad for tea? I’m not sure). But I will get a brita and try filtering the tap water at home to see if I can notice a difference.

    1. Griff

      I’m glad you found the article informative ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t think I could use my tap water without a Brita system. I’m sure if I did, my kettle and hot water dispenser would be coated with scale in a week or less.

      If you do get a Brita, be sure to let us know how much of a difference it makes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Griff

      Hi Ahasja, That sounds like a great idea ๐Ÿ™‚

      I can say from personal experience that Brita works well. I’ve heard from other tea drinkers that Gravitea also is pretty good. I do not know much about Zerowater, but their claim of 0 TDS may be too low for Japanese green tea.

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