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At our new home, we have hard water. I had thought that the teabags I was buying were just weak, but the internet seems to indicate that the hard water will actually change the taste of the tea to a more chalky taste with some residue.

Two suggestions I have come across are either brewing with bottled water (I try to reduce the amount of packaging I buy so don't want to do this), or brewing the tea double strength (this makes it a little bitter).

What is the best way to get a tasty brew using hard water?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can also get a water filter that is meant to help with this sort of thing.

Here in the UK one of the most common brands is Brita, you simply put a couple of litres in a jug which has a filter in it, after filtration use it to make your tea.

I've not used it myself however so can't comment on its effectiveness.

You can also get these filters built into your taps.

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The two popular pitcher-type filter brands in the US are Brita and Pur. We used to use a Brita, and it worked OK, but it was a constant annoyance to get certain members of the family to refill it - the pitcher was always empty when I wanted some water. We've now gotten an under-sink filter that works much better - it makes the water taste wonderful (as opposed to the Brita, which was always just barely acceptable) and there's no refilling needed. – Marti Dec 30 '10 at 17:08
We use a brita filter and found that we had to start using it for making coffee, definitely improved the flavor. – Manako Jan 3 '11 at 20:26
I recently started using a Brita filter pitcher as well, for coffee and tea. Our well water tastes perfectly fine, but as its hard was leaving deposits in the coffee maker and tea pot. Using filtered water fixed that problem. – KeithB Jan 5 '11 at 17:54
edited original answer to change "Britvic" to "Brita" – Phil M Jones Jul 5 '13 at 8:23

In the UK you can buy loose tea/tea bags specifically for hard water. I don't drink tea, but my wife swears by them.

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Put a pinch (a tiny tiny bit--see how little you can pinch) of baking soda in the cup when you put the bag in. It will make your tea strong, and you won't taste the baking soda. It also works with soft water if you are a cheapskate and want to get more tea out of your bags! :)

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If your tea is bitter, you might be steeping it too long. Try a shorter steep time. If you're adding extra tea, it should be plenty strong anyway.

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I took chemistry and I got this: just add a few drops of lemon juice.

Your water probably has a high pH, and a few drops of lemon juice will neutralize the bitterness that is characteristic of something basic (something with a high pH).

Tea will brew better when the pH is slightly acidic. I could go on, but the chemistry from here can get complicated.

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