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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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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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  • 4
    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
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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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I know this is a pretty late response, but I myself have been struggling with horribly hard water and being unable to drink light teas (non roasted high quality green Oolong or silver needle white tea). So I’ve been having to try all sorts of things. And I too refuse to buy bottled water just to use for tea.. it’s unconscionable to generate more plastic waste (my Amazon shopping does enough of this).

I find that double boiled water with a touch of baking soda or salt and a drop of lemon juice (per every .5liter) helps the taste. Also always only using cold water from the tap — the coldest it can go. Any hot water added gives even more sediment.

What I do is boil water in a pot on the stove and let the sediment float up. Then I filter it out through the fine synthetic mesh (Primula travel pour over dripper is the best for this — red ring w/ black mesh that goes over a cup; but any super fine material will do).

Also, the kettle makes a huge difference. I’ve tried so many.. but all electric ones with a stainless steel bottom heating plate always make water taste worse for me, but so convenient. However, the best water for me comes out of a glass carafes which are range safe. Though they take a long time and you must be careful. And old INOX stainless steel stove kettles, those always give the best results as opposed to regular stainless. I’d also put aluminum into the same category as INOX, though I don’t have an aluminum pot large enough (aluminum Bialetti moka pots make clean tasting water in my experience, and INOX and aluminum are both non magnetic which may hold some meaning here). I try to keep a pot of boiled water on the stove at all times, however annoying this process is.

And I wash the kettle with vinegar every day. Stainless steel bottom gets white spots from the boiled hard water and the inside of the walls gets a thin layer of deposits (INOX never does). Vinegar dissolved those as well as CLR and leaves no smell or toxins (though, yes, vinegar smells.. but it won’t affect taste of tea and airs out quickly).

I’ve tried filtering water, but no luck so far. My fridge has a nice filter and I try to only fill water from there, but I cannot say it’s any better than cold tap. Brita in my experience doesn’t filter enough to help those with such hard water that they can’t enjoy tea (though there are others, but with very expansive filter replacements that people say leads to fishy taste).

I did just purchase an under the sink water filter that’s connecting directly to the water line (filtered water from the tap, no attachments on the faucet). But I’m yet to install it. I might have to still complete the water boiling ritual... but at least it’ll help some.

Best of luck to anyone who sees this! :)

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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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I found that the horrible taste with unfiltered water was because of using tea bags. I started using loose tea, and the taste is much better.

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