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Whilst staying with a friend who lives somewhere with very hard water, we got used to making tea with bottled, still, water as the tap water was too hard to make a good cuppa.

One day, we ran out of still water, but had some bottles of carbonated water.

Having previously ruined a kettle when I was a kid with the 'genius' idea of boiling milk in there I was reluctant to risk ruining his kettle to see if you could make tea using the carbonated water. Once bitten, twice shy as they say.

So would this have worked out ok? ie would anything have been damaged? would boiling water have spurted out of the kettle?

And could I have made a good cuppa from carbonated water, or would it have worked but tasted terrible (no dissolved oxygen?)?

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3  
I could've just shaken the water and let it flatten out. –  Jay Jan 10 '12 at 23:19
    
There is a previous question about importance of dissolved oxygen for tea. This would seem to be mostly equivalent to that question, since boiling will remove essentially all of the carbon dioxide from the water. I'm not entirely happy with the answers there, though... –  Jefromi Jan 10 '12 at 23:21
    
Can you be more specific about the type of carbonated water it was? Was it seltzer (tap water + CO2), club soda (tap water + CO2 + minerals), or mineral water? –  Ray Feb 28 '12 at 15:41
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4 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

In the interests of science I gave this a try. Used a can of carbonated water, boiled in my kettle. There was no boiling water explosion, although I more than half expected one. It seemed to maybe boil a little faster, but that's more likely due to the fact that it's less liquid than I usually heat.

Being a tea fanatic I have a lot of flavored teas but I opted for PG Tips, figuring I would taste any difference a little more easily. I caught very little flavor difference from usual, maybe a little stronger but that could be chalked up to any number of things besides using carbonated water.

So yeah, I think carbonated water would probably work in a pinch. Probably don't put too much of it in the kettle, though. (A small part of me still suspects that had it been full it would have shot boiling water everywhere).

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excellent work bird! thanks for the experimentation! –  Sam Holder Jan 11 '12 at 11:24
8  
An increase in temperature should result in a decrease in gas solubility. So, boiling carbonated water should remove most, if not all carbonation. I'm curious, was your tea still carbonated at all? –  DaleSwanson Aug 29 '12 at 22:59
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Heating carbonated water will compel it to lose its dissolved CO2 more quickly. Boiling it will probably get rid of the carbonation entirely. It will certainly not ruin your kettle. The only way it could conceivably cause an explosion is if you boiled it under pressure.

Also keep in mind that carbonated water is generally more acidic than tap water, unless it has other additives. The acidity could change the taste of the tea a bit.

This answer goes in to more detail about the chemistry of carbonation.

Incidentally, I make tea with regular tap water, let it cool, and then force-carbonate it in a 600mL PET bottle... delicious!

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Having not previously read anything about it I tried boiling carbonated water (without any salt in it however) and the tea's taste was the same as it usually is, since you lose the carbonation in the process of boiling the water.

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Tea made with carbonated water is just the same as the tea made with regular water. It will boil a little faster and i lol-ed so much about the crazy idea of exploding :)) . Maybe if you boil it under pressure , without a release valve . The taste is all the same, the gas evaporates during the boiling process.

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