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The important point for selecting water filter

[2015.02.06] Posted By

water filter
Water is the most important element in brewing a nice cup of tea. I usually collect water from the in-coming tap after removing chlorine. I would like to share some experiences about how to treat water before using it in brewing tea.

Chlorine affects our health and tea flavour as well

The tap water usually contains chlorine. Chlorine is added in order to sterilize microorganism exists in water. The effect of chlorine is very strong; it affects not only the microorganism but human health too. Chlorine promotes oxidation of flavour substance in tea as well as it is giving a negative effect to human health. It is important to remove chlorine so as to enjoy the ideal flavour of tea.

Boiling water is not sufficient to remove chlorine

Some people may think that boiling the water is sufficient to remove chlorine. However, this is insufficient. The total amount of chlorine is reduced when water is being boiled. However, you can easily notice the smell of chlorine even after boiling the water for 10 minutes. After all, the most practical and effective method to remove chlorine is to use an activated carbon filter. The activated carbon filter is made of charcoal ground in fine particle size.

Filter also alters the taste of water

There is an important note when selecting the activated carbon filter. The filter itself alters the taste of water just like water is being treated with teapot or tetsubin. The activated carbon filter is made of the charcoal of various type of plant such as wooden chip, coconut shell and bamboo .The different material contains different type of minerals. The filter could change the taste to be either better or worse. Once water is treated, the taste will be altered according to the mineral that exists in the charcoal. As it is, the taste of water is widely affected depending on which filter and which brand you choose. I have tested a few brands of water filter. The outcome was much more obvious than I have ever thought about.

Efficient and expensive filter does not mean it works well in terms of taste

We tend to think that the better the quality of filter and the higher the price of filter we use, the better the water taste it becomes. However, the quality of filter has nothing to do with the taste of water. The price of the activated carbon filter is set according to the efficiency of the filtration. The filter with higher density is much more expensive than that of lower density. Unfortunately, the effect of filter to the taste of water is depending on the type of mineral. The plant material used for making the activated carbon filter plays an important role in taste.

In Malaysia, my tea shop uses the tap water which is treated with series of filtration system. Previously I was using the industrial grade filter made by the US brand. Since it was the professional filter, the cost was as high as USD150 each filter. It was very painful expenses for me since I have to change the filter every 1-2 months. The water in Malaysia contains a lot of impurities that came off from water pipes and tanks. The filter will be fully covered with oxidized metal resides and the taste after the filtration becomes very unsatisfactory if we do not change the filter frequently.
The other day, I was looking for the alternative filter in DIY shop. I found filter that cost was very low, at around USD6-10. To my huge surprize, the taste of water was so excellent; it gives very rich body in taste and it enhances the flavour. Unfortunately, the filter was under performance for removing chlorine. I could still detect mild chlorine smell. It was no choice since the cost was so low. So I set up two filters in linearly arrangement to solve the chlorine issue.

お茶を美味しく飲むための水

Choose the filter without too many functions

For selecting filter, it is important to consider the effect to the taste of water. Unfortunately, there is no way to test it before we purchase filter. Of course there is no specification that we can refer to. I suggest you to look for the filter casing that is versatile for various kinds of filter so that we can keep testing a few different type of filter. In the market, there are many famous brands with multi-layer filter that comes with hepa-filter and so on. In my opinion, it is not necessary to choose high-end filter since we boil water before we brew tea. Try to look for the model that is as simple as possible.

お茶を美味しく飲むためのフィルター

In Japan, I sometimes use the above type of filter as it is simple and less expensive.

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