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Water: An Essential Element For Tea

Discussions often revolve around tea types and steeping techniques, yet one fundamental aspect remains overlooked: water. The significance of water quality in brewing cannot be overstated, as it constitutes nearly all of the tea infusion. This blog embarks on a journey to explore the intricate interplay between water and tea, unraveling the mysteries behind achieving the perfect brew. From examining terms like pH, chlorination, buffer capacity, and TDS (total dissolved solids) to exploring mineral composition, Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea, and Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches to water handling, we will attempt to leave no stone unturned. Additionally, we delve into tea and water experiments and offer recommendations for bottled water in Europe. Join us as we uncover the secrets to elevating your tea experience through the art of water selection.

The Science Behind Water and Tea

Tea leaves contain a complex array of compounds, including polyphenols, catechins, and amino acids (you can read our blog about the chemical composition of tea HERE). When steeped in water, these compounds interact to produce the distinct flavours and aromas characteristic of each tea type. However, water quality plays a pivotal role in this process. The composition of water can either enhance or detract from the nuanced flavours of tea, making it imperative to understand its influence. As we all know, water is made up of Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O), giving us the chemical formula H₂O that is widely recognisable. However, water consists of so much more. The fact that it is an excellent solvent means that various substances from the environment are easily dissolved in water, all of which can impact the sensory properties of tea.

Understanding Water Quality

Water quality is a critical determinant of the flavour and aroma of brewed tea, with factors such as pH, mineral content, and purity playing pivotal roles. Ideally, water for brewing tea should maintain around a neutral pH level and possess balanced mineral composition, devoid of contaminants like chlorine and other additives commonly found in tap water. Hard, limestone-rich water should be avoided, as should water laden with calcium oxide, magnesium, lead or chlorine, which can cause a bleach aftertaste. While filtered water or natural spring water often offer cleaner canvas for tea brewing, water rich in calcium, magnesium, or chlorine can adversely affect the tea's taste and aroma. However, distilled or purified water entirely devoid of minerals most likely will make awful tea, hence, the right proportions of minerals are also important. Balance is the key as in all things.

Photo: Kawase Hasui. Kude Beach, Wakasa. 1920. 

The interaction between water quality and tea flavour is intricately linked to the extraction of catechins versus amino acids, including theanine, from the tea leaf, with water composition influencing the bitterness-to-sweetness ratio perceived in the brew. Lower amounts of catechins, and especially of the very bitter epigallocatechin (EGCG), are extracted by water with high mineral content and lower amounts of amino acids are extracted by water with a high mineral content. Scientific studies on water quality's impact on tea flavour remain limited, yet findings consistently emphasise the significance of water composition in shaping the sensory experience of tea. Considerations such as water hardness, chlorination, and pH levels should be carefully evaluated to optimize the brewing conditions and enhance the enjoyment of brewed tea.

Ideal Water for Tea: Characteristics and Criteria

Achieving the perfect cup of tea requires water with specific characteristics. A neutral pH level around 7 is paramount (for tea, somewhere between 6 and 7 is considered to be good), as water that veers too acidic or alkaline can distort the tea's delicate flavours. Furthermore, a balanced mineral composition, with moderate levels of calcium and magnesium, is essential for optimal taste development. High mineral content, leading to water hardness, can disrupt tea extraction, resulting in flavour imbalances. While cold tap water may suffice for hydration, its typically hard nature poses challenges for brewing tea. Water hardness varies depending on soil composition; for instance, sandy soil yields softer groundwater compared to lime-rich soil. The impact of water hardness on tea flavour is profound, exacerbated by elevated alkalinity levels. Soft, neutral-tasting water is the ideal canvas for accentuating the intricate flavours of tea, elevating the brewing experience to unparalleled heights.

When selecting water for brewing tea, consider the type of tea you're preparing. Lighter teas, such as green and white teas, benefit from softer water with lower mineral content to allow delicate flavours to shine. Conversely, darker teas like black and pu-erh teas can withstand harder water, which enhances their robustness. The water used for brewing tea varies significantly by region, influencing traditional brewing practices and flavour profiles. For example, the soft, mineral-rich waters of mountainous regions like Darjeeling, India, complement the delicate flavours of Darjeeling tea. In contrast, the hard water of London historically shaped the robust, bold character of English Breakfast tea. Understanding these regional variations can deepen your appreciation for tea and its cultural significance. Experiment with different water sources and brewing parameters to find the perfect match for your favorite teas.

The Hardness and Softness

The hardness or softness of water used in tea preparation significantly influences the taste and aroma of the final brew. When heated to temperatures above 65°C (149°F), as commonly done when making tea, calcium and magnesium ions in the water form limescale, which can adhere to surfaces and interfere with the release of tea aromas. These ions also bind to essential oils in tea leaves, inhibiting their extraction and resulting in unpleasant odors. Additionally, hard water can lead to a murky film on the tea's surface when cooling, scum formation, brown stains on utensils, and a rapid darkening of cloudy nature of the tea liquor. The flavour of tea brewed with hard water tends to be flat, bitter, and occasionally soapy. Conversely, filtered water, low in calcium, remains clear without the need for boiling and preserves the tea's clarity and flavour. It's essential to use fresh water for each brewing session, as repeatedly boiled water loses oxygen and vitality, becoming increasingly alkaline and imparting a dull taste to the tea. Thus, some sources suggest boiling only the necessary amount of water ensures a vibrant and flavourful tea experience. Another consideration is chlorination. On the other hand, chlorine-containing water is effective at eluting both EGCG and caffeine from the leaf. Boiling water prior to use is effective in removing chlorine, so it may be worthwhile to boil your water and letting it cool down, and perhaps aerate it as well, before you use it to brew tea.

pH Value

The pH value of water plays a pivotal role in shaping the taste of tea, determining its acidity or alkalinity level. Essentially, pH reflects the concentration of acid or hydrogen ions (H+) compared to alkaline factors like bicarbonate ions (HCO₃). In pursuit of a delectable tea experience, neutrality is key, as excessive alkalinity can impart undesirable flavours ranging from bitter and soapy to salty or metallic. The pH scale, spanning from 0 to 14, designates 7 as neutral, with values above indicating alkaline and below indicating acidity. Interestingly, heating water tends to increase its alkalinity (cold water of 6.5 pH becomes 7 when boiled) by evaporating acidic components like CO₂, thereby influencing tea flavour. For optimal tea brewing, water ideally maintains a neutral pH around 7, a balance seldom found in tap water, often registering a pH value of 8 or higher.

Mineral Composition

Water's mineral composition profoundly influences its taste and performance when brewing tea. While water primarily consists of H₂O, it naturally absorbs various trace minerals that significantly impact its flavour profile. Key minerals for tea brewing include calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), chlorine (Cl), sulfates (SO₄), and carbonates (CO₃). Despite any initial concerns about chemical components, these minerals, even chlorine and sulphates, are harmless in small quantities and can enhance the taste of water and tea. For instance, sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO₃) enhances texture and sweetness, calcium chloride (CaCl₂) sharpens and cools the taste, magnesium sulfate (MgSO₄) adds complexity and fragrance, and potassium bicarbonate (KHCO₃) intensifies boldness and strength in tea. However, precise ratios are crucial, as too much or too little of these minerals can lead to imbalanced flavours in brewed tea. Understanding the ions of these mineral salts is key to achieving the perfect water for tea brewing.


Water sourced from rocky mountain springs tends to have higher Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) due to the rugged terrain, whereas water purified through reverse osmosis typically has minimal TDS content. "Light" waters are characterized by a crisp and refreshing taste, although excessively light water may feel lacking or thin. In my experience, lighter waters complement lighter teas, enhancing their bright and fresh flavors. Conversely, "heavy" waters offer a fuller and more satisfying taste, sometimes with a mineral undertone reminiscent of rocky environments. This mineral taste can either enhance or detract from the tea's flavour profile. Heavy waters tend to pair well with darker teas, accentuating their bold and well-balanced flavours. PPM, or parts per million, is a measure of the concentration of trace minerals in water, indicating the number of mineral ions present per million water molecules. Tea typically thrives in water with a mineral content ranging from 20 to 120 PPM, with lighter teas performing better at the lower end and darker teas at the higher end.

Buffer Capacity

Additionally, minerals like hydrogencarbonate (HCO₃) play a crucial role in water's buffer capacity or alkalinity, affecting its ability to maintain a stable pH, and is measured in degrees hardness (dH) or milligrams per litre (mg/l). Carbonate hardness, the amount of calcium and magnesium, closely associated with hydrogencarbonate, influences tea turbidity and appearance, with higher levels correlating with cloudiness and streaking in the brew. Bivalent cations like calcium and magnesium contribute to tea turbidity, forming complexes with polyphenols that affect the tea's appearance and flavour. Overall, understanding the mineral composition and TDS of water is essential for achieving the desired flavor profile and visual appeal in brewed tea, with total hardness ideally not exceeding 9°dH.


Chlorination is a common method used to disinfect drinking water by introducing chlorine to eliminate germs. While the chlorine levels in treated water are typically low and pose no harm, when combined with organic residues, it can alter the taste and odor of the water, often rendering it unpalatable. The taste qualities and threshold values of chlorine vary depending on its binding partner. In tea brewing, if the chlorine levels are high enough to impart a noticeable odor to the water, the resulting tea may carry a chlorine-like aftertaste. Moreover, chlorine can react with the delicate aromas of tea, even at levels below the taste threshold, potentially affecting the overall aroma profile. Boiling water in a kettle only removes a fraction of aqueous chlorine (5-19%), leaving a significant portion to potentially interact with tea compounds during brewing.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Organic compounds in water encompass volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can originate from both natural sources, such as microorganism metabolites like algae, and artificial sources, including industrial and agricultural activities. VOCs have the capacity to dissolve in water to a certain extent, while also vaporizing into the air. Despite their often minuscule quantities, some VOCs remain perceptible. The presence of such organic matter in drinking water is rigorously regulated, with strict limit values set for these substances to ensure water safety and quality.

Common Water Issues and Solutions

Chlorinated tap water can impart undesirable flavours to tea, resulting in a harsh or medicinal taste. To mitigate this, consider using filtered water. Hard water, characterised by high mineral content, can inhibit flavour extraction and leave behind a filmy residue as we have already discussed. Using a water softener or filtering system can help alleviate these issues, ensuring a smoother, more balanced brew. We will review a few solutions.

Tap Water

Tap water quality varies depending on location, with each country utilizing different grading systems. In Germany and the Netherlands, tap water is measured in Degrees German (°D), while in the UK it's assessed in Degrees English (°E), and in France in Degrees French (°f). In the US, measurements are typically given in parts per million (PPM) and grains per gallon (GPG). Due to these differing standards, it's challenging to determine the hardness of tap water in any given area. To ascertain the specific characteristics of your tap water, it's advisable to consult your local water supplier, ensuring to inquire about both hardness levels and pH values.

Filtered Water

So now you know that tap water is rarely soft, and not all bottled water is either although there are some exceptions to the rule. The best and cheapest solution to obtain filtered water for your tea is by means of a good quality water filter. There are several options. It is important to choose the right one because there is a lot of difference in the end result. How soft does the water become, and what about the alkalinity after filtering? The UK Tea Academy and the European Speciality Tea Association have collaborated extensively with BRITA water filter company, perhaps checking them out might prove some tealicious results.

Softening Your Water

To soften water for optimal tea brewing, various methods are available, each with unique benefits and considerations. The ion exchanger method, commonly used in areas with hard water, includes two main types:

- Salt Softener: Employed at the point where water enters the house, this system exchanges sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions, preventing limescale formation when water is heated. However, the increased alkalinity due to added salts can adversely affect tea flavour, resulting in a flat or soapy taste.

- Hydrogen Softener: Installed near the tap for water intended for tea and coffee, this system utilizes a multi-stage filter to exchange calcium and magnesium ions for hydrogen ions, reducing alkalinity. While some calcium and magnesium may remain, the softened water is better suited for tea brewing, especially delicate varieties like light oolongs.

Additionally, alternative methods include:

- Filter Jug: A convenient option for home use, a water filter jug with an appropriate filter, including an H+ ion exchanger and a carbon filter, effectively removes chlorine and other impurities, ensuring water suitability for tea.

- Reverse Osmosis Filter System: Offering the cleanest and softest water, this method utilizes high-pressure filtration to remove solids, organic substances, viruses, and bacteria. Although it reduces alkalinity, it may require additional mineralization for optimal tea flavor. Available in various sizes for both domestic and commercial use, reverse osmosis systems provide a comprehensive solution for water softening.

Photo: The New York Times.

Bottled Water

When opting for bottled water for tea brewing, it's crucial to scrutinize the label to ensure suitability. Pay close attention to the levels of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO₃), as higher concentrations of these minerals can adversely affect tea flavour. Ideally, select mineral water with calcium levels of 5 mg per liter or lower, magnesium levels of 2 mg per liter or lower, and hydrogen carbonate levels of 20 mg per liter or less. Additionally, ensure that the dry residue level is 50 mg per liter or below, as indicated on the label. Despite the convenience of bottled water, its expense, environmental impact, and inconvenience make investing in a quality water filter a more sustainable and practical choice for tea enthusiasts.

Photo: Big Springs Water.

Ancient China: Lu Yu on Water for Tea

In Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea, a comprehensive tome covering tea preparation, tools, and culture across ten chapters, he dedicates an entire section to the nuanced art of water selection for brewing tea. Remarkably, this exploration of water's role in tea has persisted for over 1,200 years. According to the "Record of Water for Brewing Tea" (825 AD), Lu Yu's fascination with water extended to the point where he could discern the source of water used in tea by taste alone. This historical account lists Lu Yu's 20 preferred water sources across China, meticulously compiled during his travels, including specific places such as "the pond below Zhaoxian Temple in Lushan" and "Qianzhang Waterfall in the southwest peak of Tiantai Mountain". Emphasizing the profound impact of water origin on tea flavour, Lu Yu and other ancient Chinese masters advocated for water from the same region as the tea itself, believing it allowed the leaves to fully express their essence. Lu Yu ranked mountain spring water as the finest, followed by river water, while well water, or groundwater, fell short in quality. Remarkably, his insights into water selection continue to resonate today, highlighting the enduring importance of water in the tea-making process.

Image: "Trying Spring Water in the Pine Pavilion" by Qiu Ying (1494-1552), Ming Dynasty, located in the Palace Museum, Taipei. In this tranquil scene, waterfalls cascade over rocky cliffs, feeding into streams within a serene pine forest. A scholar, holding a feather fan, observes as a young boy fetches water from the stream with a pitcher. Nearby, another boy unpacks paintings and calligraphy in the pavilion, glancing back at the scene. Under the shade, a set of stove and teapot is arranged, while on a nearby stone rests a teapot, tea canister, and tea bowls. This idyllic setting captures a moment of serene leisure, where tea tasting and appreciation of art intertwine harmoniously.

Photo: Second-best Spring under Heaven (Chinese: 天下第二泉, Tiānxià Dìèr Quán) is the name of a spring in Xihui Park at the foot of Mount Hui. The park is located in western Wuxi in eastern China's Jiangsu province. Wikipedia.

Let's take a closer look at Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea:

Spring Water, particularly that which drips from cave stalactites, was highly prized for brewing tea due to its stable quality, minimal floating matter, transparency, and low impurities. Stalactites, formed from limestone precipitation, contain carbon dioxide, imparting a refreshing sensation to the tongue. However, the mineral composition of spring water could vary significantly, leading to differences in salt content and hardness. Notably, water from sulfur springs was deemed undrinkable due to its unsuitable properties. Water flowing through rock pools and filtered by sand was esteemed for its purity and clarity, as sediment settled at the bottom over time. Despite the association in ancient texts by Lu Yu, long-term consumption of waterfall water does not cause goiter; rather, goiter is typically attributed to iodine deficiency, unrelated to water sources.

River Water typically has low mineral content and hardness as it is surface water. However, rivers invariably carry suspensions of mud and sand, and organic matter from decaying plants and animals, leading to high turbidity. Additionally, seasonal variations and environmental pollution can further impact its quality, rendering river water less suitable for tea infusion. Nevertheless, in pristine, uninhabited areas, river water may still be considered for brewing tea, as suggested in The Classic of Tea.

Well water, originating from groundwater, typically exhibits high transparency with minimal suspended particles. However, it often contains elevated levels of salinity and hardness. While groundwater quality remains relatively stable throughout the year, well water is vulnerable to pollution due to its low-level groundwater source. Consequently, it is considered inferior to river water by Lu Yu, who suggests using water from well sources only if it originates from a pure, frequently accessed "living well." Alternatively, modern city water, filtered and sterilized, is suitable for brewing tea. For a superior tea experience, pristine spring water like that from the Running Tiger Spring in Hangzhou or the Drinking Rock Spring at Gushan in Fujian is recommended, boasting genuine fragrance and flavor, particularly appealing to urban tea enthusiasts.

The Springs of Heaven: Natural water encompasses various atmospheric sources, including rain, snow, mist, and dew. Both snow and rainwater are prized for their purity, boasting minimal salinity and softness, hence earning the moniker "springs of heaven." Snowmelt holds a special place in the hearts of tea enthusiasts, as evidenced by references in ancient poetry and literature. Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) extolled the virtues of melted snow in creating fragrant tea in his poem An Evening Boat Trip (Zhouzhong Wanqi), while Southern Song poet Xin Qiji (1140-1207) emphasised its significance in brewing tea, drawing inspiration from The Classic of Tea. In the classic novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Hong Lou Meng), author Cao Xuegin (1715-1763 or 64) vividly portrays the meticulous process of using snow gathered from plum blossoms to infuse tea, highlighting its symbolic purity. Beyond its cleanliness, snowmelt's appeal for tea lies in its significantly lower deuterium oxide content compared to ordinary water, contributing to its reputation as an ideal brewing medium. Note: due to modern day air pollution, drinking rain water is not advisable.

In ancient China, the assessment of water quality relied on sensory perception, emphasizing clarity and purity. Sight determined turbidity and colour, while smell and taste gauged odor. Numerous historical texts delved into water studies, including Tang poet Zhang Youxin's "Record of Heating Tea Water" (煎茶水记), Song Dynasty writer Ouyang Xiu's "Great Record of Clear Water" (大明水记), and statesman Ye Qingchen's "Brief Description of Tea Boiling" (疏竹茶小品). Ming Dynasty scholar Tian Yiheng's "A Trifle on the Boiling of Spring Water" (煮泉小品) and Xu Xianzhong's "Pieces on Water" (水品) furthered the discourse. Poet Tang Lian's "Register of Springs" (泉谱) emerged in the Qing Dynasty. Tea-related texts emphasized sweet and pure water, echoing principles in "The Classic of Tea." Lu Yu advocated classifying water by source quality, while others assessed it by sensory perception. Qing Emperor Qianlong favored light water. Despite their biases, all three schools had some scientific justifications.

Traditional Medicine Chinese Approach to Handling Water

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to water and tea underscores the profound connection between water quality and health benefits, reflecting ancient wisdom passed down through generations. Central to this understanding are the five distinct movements of water observed in nature: long flowing water, torrential water, slow flowing water, swirling water, and water from the sky, each associated with unique health-promoting properties. To harness these benefits, various methods of handling water are employed:

Long Flowing Water: This type of water passes down miles of mountains, runs through forests, and rises and falls but never stops. Known for its cleansing properties, this method involves pouring boiled water slowly and steadily from a kettle to mimic the continuous flow of water in nature, promoting blood circulation and alleviating constipation.

Torrential Water: Characterised by its rapid descent, torrential water resembles a waterfall and is ideal for brewing tea to invigorate organs and aid digestion. This technique involves pouring water quickly and abundantly, akin to a waterfall's rush, hence, gaiwan is perfect for this.

Slow Flowing Water: Deliberate and gentle, slow flowing water fosters tranquility and aids digestion. Practiced by pouring water at a leisurely pace, it allows for a serene brewing process reminiscent of a meandering stream.

Swirling Water: Mimicking the undertows of a river bend, swirling water can help alleviate vomiting and fever. Achieved by pouring water counterclockwise along the wall of a tea strainer, it creates a swirling motion conducive to healing.

Water from the Sky: Rainwater and snow water, collected directly from the sky, represents the purest form of water and yields tea with a distinct sweetness, as described in The Stumbling Blocks of Medicine (Yi Bian 医􏰀). This method involves harvesting rainwater for brewing into a bamboo container, imparting a clean and refreshing taste to the tea, as well as being beneficial to the upper body. Note: due to modern day air pollution, drinking rain water is not advisable.

Sitting at night in a mountain pavilion, drawing spring water to boil tea. As the water and fire battle it out, the scent of the pine billows through the trees as I pour a cup, bathed in light from the clouds.
- Ming dynasty literati

While this is a more holistic approach to water, perhaps, it is fun to play around with!

DIY Water Lab: Tea Curious

The beauty of tea lies in its versatility and adaptability to personal preferences. Don't be afraid to experiment with water sources, temperatures, and steeping times to tailor your tea experience to your liking. Keep a brewing journal to document your observations and refine your brewing technique over time. Remember, the journey to the perfect cup is as rewarding as the destination.

Tea Curious, led by Rie Tulali and Steven White, developed their water recipe for optimal tea brewing by starting with a base water, such as purified, reverse osmosis, or distilled water, which serves as a neutral foundation. They then carefully add specific food-grade minerals to recreate the ideal mineral profile for tea. These minerals include calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate, and potassium bicarbonate, all commonly used in food applications and found in natural mineral waters. To create your own tea water, you'll need a weighing scale accurate to 0.001g to measure precise amounts of minerals, a TDS meter to monitor total dissolved solids, and a container for storing the water. While the initial investment in tools may be around $65 USD, making your own mineral water can cost as little as $0.10 per liter, a significant saving compared to store-bought options. Alternatively, Tea Curious offers pre-made mineral water for those who prefer convenience. Brewing Water Tools HERE. Their water blogs and experiments are definitely worth a read!

Photo: Tea Curious. The same green tea, same amount of water, same time, same temperature, but different water.

Tea Experiments in Wazuka, Japan

If you wish to embark on a tea and water experimentation journey, we kindly recommend checking out the Tea Potato blogs. He has experimented with plenty of water kinds using Obubu Tea Farm (Wazuka, Kyoto) teas with 8 different bottled waters and 4 different kind of teas, essentially amounting to 32 brews. The final stage of this experiment was to recreate the mineral content recipe of the local Wazuka well water by mixing the needed minerals in distilled or purified water.
- Mt. Fuji and Evian Tea Experiments HERE.
- Crystal Geyser & O.S. 99 Experiments. HERE.
- Acqua Panna & Kuju’s Water Experiments. HERE.
- Solan & Suntory Water Experiments. HERE.
- Wazuka Water : The Prime Water Experiment. HERE.

Photo: Tea Potato for Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. Colour Comparison Chart for the six different waters.

Photo: Tea Potato for Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. Mineral content of the eight waters used for tasting.

Photo: Katrina Wild.

This photograph captures a scene at Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion, located in Kyoto. A sign within the temple's garden highlights the significance of a well used to collect water for shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa's tea ceremonies during the flourishing of Higashiyama culture, which encompassed the art of sadō. Interestingly, in Uji, adjacent to the oldest tea house Tsuen-chaya near the Uji-bashi bridge, another sign marks the presence of the "San-no-ma" (三の間) on the bridge. It is said that famous daimyō and samurai Hideyoshi Toyotomi drew water from this spot for tea ceremony from Uji River (宇治川, Ujigawa), and to this day, water from the same source is used for the Uji-cha Festival held in October.

Bottled Water Recommendations in Europe

Lorela and I have endeavored to compile a selection of favourite bottled waters across Europe. It's essential to reiterate that while some waters may complement certain types of tea, filtered tap water in certain regions might suffice perfectly well, too. The key lies in experimentation—finding what suits both your palate and the tea in your possession. For those inclined towards nature, exploring local spring waters can yield delightful results. Similarly, during my time in Switzerland, I got to experiment with glacier water for cold brewing sencha, yielding intriguing outcomes. However, it's crucial to ensure the source's safety, avoiding areas tainted by industrial waste, agricultural pesticides, or other pollutants. Just as the journey of tea leaf and brewing is an adventure, so too is the exploration of water. As evidenced by the diverse mineral contents we've encountered, each water imparts its own unique character. Without further ado, here are some of our recommendations by country:
- Portugal: Agua Luso
- Italy: Sant'Anna (Sorgente Rebruant and Sorgente Vinadio), Lauretana, Monterosa, Billa, San Bernardo
- Belgium: SPA
- France: La Lauretana, La Mont Roucous, La Rosée de la Reine, La Montcalm, Voss, Vichy, La Volvic
- The UK: Aqua Pura
- Latvia: Zaķumuiža
- Scotland: Highland Spring
- Romania: Aqua Carpatica
- Hungary: 383
- Slovenia: Cana Royal

You can check out more lists for bottled water around the world including the info like water pH, hardness, mineral content, TDS, etc. Here is the link to Fine Waters website.

What is your favourite kind of water for your cup of tea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! :)


Bai, F., Chen, G., Niu, H., Zhu, H., Huang, Y., Zhao, M., Hou, R., Peng, C., Li, H., Wan, X. and Cai, H. (2023). The types of brewing water affect tea infusion flavor by changing the tea mineral dissolution. Food Chemistry: X, [online] 18, p.100681. doi:

Erkens, M. (2022). Tea: Wine’s Sober Sibling. Lannoo Publishers.

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Heiss, M.L. and Heiss, R.J. (2007). The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide.
Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed Press.

Tea Curious. Water Archive. Available HERE.

Tea Potato. Water Experiments. Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. Available HERE.
The UK Tea Academy. The Ultimate Ingredient For The Perfect Cup Of Tea. Available HERE.

Utermohlen Lovelace MD, V. (2020). Tea: A Nerd's Eye View. VU Books.
Wu, J. and Blishen, T. (2021). Illustrated Modern Reader of ‘The Classic of Tea’. Shanghai Press.
Yin, J.-F., Zhang, Y.-N., Du, Q.-Z., Chen, J.-X., Yuan, H.-B. and Xu, Y.-Q. (2014). Effect of Ca2+ concentration on the tastes from the main chemicals in green tea infusions. Food Research International, 62, pp.941–946. doi:
Zhang, S. (2018). 5 Element Tea: Ancient Chinese Science & Art of Brewing Tea. International Tea Academy / Wild Tea Qi.

Photos without captions: Pinterest.


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