The last water experiment I did was so fun, I decided to do another one. Someone suggested I try Volvic water, so when I saw it at the grocery store, I bought one. I also love carbonated drinks so I just had to see what a tea brewed with carbonated water would taste like. I bought a bottle of Polar seltzer water for this test.
I used 4 grams of Tieguanyin tea that was gifted to me for each water type. I used 200 F water and infusions of 20 seconds plus 5.
The Volvic tea definitely had a mineral taste to it, but it wasn’t too sharp. Rather it was fairly soft and rounded tasting, which was nice. I also picked up a floral note on this one. The texture was about medium and it was very smooth with no bitterness. A pleasant brew.
If you take nothing else from this blog, please remember this: Don’t brew tea with seltzer. This was nothing short of an utter failure. I was really amazed at just how bad it could be and it really had no redeeming qualities to it. It tasted like old vegetables that have gone bad, with some sourness. It also tasted very flat. Like a coke that has been opened too long. Except tea isn’t usually carbonated and this water is but it still tasted flat. Just don’t do it. I do it so you don’t have to!
I managed two infusions of the seltzer, but that was all I could do. I gave it a chance. It just didn’t work at all for me. Please don’t take this as a knock on Polar water itself. I drank some of it from the bottle and it was perfectly fine water by itself. It just doesn’t work with tea. But it does work, however, as a palate cleanser between drinks.
I went four infusions with the Volvic tea. I noted that it was much more sharp and harsh when it was first brewed and still really hot. But it changed a lot when the liquor was cooled off. It became a lot smoother and softer when it was cooled. I have noticed this in other teas before, especially the floral oolongs, but not usually to this extent.
Also, the Volvic liquor was noticeable darker than the seltzer. I’m not sure why that would be, but if you have an idea, please let me know.
The price on the Volvic was just over $2 for that bottle and I believe $1 for the Polar. In my humble opinion, neither of these waters improved the tea more than either filtered tap water or bamboo charcoal water would.
I say skip these for tea brewing. Cheers.