Saturday, October 05, 2013

Water and tea from different years

I have to write this down so I can digest it better.

The same water can be good for one tea and not great with the other even though they are from the same region but from a different year.  This is mind boggling to me. 

From a recent tea frenzy made with Frasier mountain spring water, I was amazed how great a tea become with this water, mostly 2012 crops, but disappointed by the result when using the same water with dan cong teas from another year say 2011.   While using filtered water boiled in bamboo charcoal, the result is the opposite, 2011 crop taste better than 2012. This baffles my brain, not knowing why. 

Perhaps, the weather, rain fall and over all atmosphere condition had conditioned the growth of tea plants, hence the essence of the same tree differs year from year.  And because of this, the contents in natural spring water acts like a catalyst when combined with tea.  We know soil content is a notable element which is part of the essence of tea, it is understandable local spring water enhances local teas, this matter should be consistent too, because environmental change occurs simultaneously to both spring water and tea plants at the same time in the same region.   However, when combining water and tea from different region, you have an open box of Pandora!  Tying regions together is one way to go, but must add to the variable is the tea tree contents changes year to year, rematching the right water is now a new task. 

Another question is spring water should be difference from year to year as well, same water from same source brewing tea of different years of the same region, should that also have compatibility issue?   ie, water from phoenix mountain of 2012 brews Zhi Lan Xiang of 09 may have huge difference compare to water from phoenix mountain in 2012 brews the exact same tea and same year. That is ignoring the 3 years of aging. 

Tea, making a good cup of tea, bringing the best out of a tea is a never ending game!  Just as you think you know enough about tea, something new surfaces to challenge your knowledge.  Too many questions, too little time to drink tea in a life time!  :P

No comments: