During the last a number of posts we’ve examined 4 of Obubu’s teas from throughout Japan and everywhere in the world. A minimum of as a lot as one can do with eight waters, but it surely does illustrate an necessary truth. Relying on the water used to brew tea, the flavour of the tea could be drastically modified. If that’s the case, there’s one necessary water that we now have not used but.
That’s the water utilized by Obubu to check the teas that we produce. Particularly, we use effectively water proper subsequent to the workplace for brewing the teas at Obubu, and that is the water that’s used to explain the flavors to the world. So right now, we’ll take a look at the Obubu’s effectively water and the way the teas brew with what we’ll name “Prime” water.
One thing that sadly we will be unable to do is to have a look at the mineral content material. There are not any water high quality studies for the Prime water, so far as I do know, so we can’t take a look at how a lot calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium are in it.
Sencha of the Earth
No, I didn’t make this tea twice as a result of the primary time created such a special style that I stared on the tea for minute making an attempt to determine what might have occurred however then I noticed that I put in half the quantity of tea leaf that I regular did, thus bringing about such a sigh of aid that all the pieces wasn’t all of a sudden a lie. No, that undoubtedly didn’t occur.
There was a robust however mild presence of umami. The umami was undoubtedly current and noticeable, however mild. It was vivid with a nice bitterness lifting the umami up, protecting it from crashing. On prime of all of that was a inexperienced vegetal flavour surrounded by very nice floral aromatics. There was additionally surprisingly a really mild nearly licorice spiced gum drop notice, which is bizarre, however in a great way. After I by accident brewed it with much less leaves, the licorice spiced gum drop notice was the dominate flavour which clued me that one thing was amiss.
It’s a disgrace that with us solely testing one water this time round that we don’t have something to match with…
Beneath we now have a coloration chart of Sencha of the Earth for each water that we’ve examined over these final weeks.
I feel that we are able to have some simple takeaways from these visuals displaying all of the tea/water mixtures. And that’s…with valiant makes an attempt to maintain lightning constant, I clearly have some work to do. Additionally, in case your telephone catches on fireplace and then you definitely drop it in water requiring you to get a brand new telephone, the cameras take totally different high quality pictures. Nevertheless, even with the digicam points, the have an effect on of calcium on the water could be seen, the upper calcium waters are all extra yellow (Evian, Solan de Cabras).
I’m tempted once I proceed doing these experiments into eternity to start out off with a number of alternative sections. With the Wazuka effectively water, amber hojicha develops candy roasted notes, flavours which might be harking back to spice, reminiscent of cinnamon, however not. There roast notes additionally leaned in direction of vintage wood furnishings however there was some fruitiness as effectively. Fruitiness shouldn’t be one thing too frequent with the hojicha, an attention-grabbing improvement to say the least. The fruitiness mixes with the spice notes to present a style of raisins soaked in spice.
We’ve seen prior to now that Houjicha appears to buck the pattern of the darker, extra yellow, tea when the water has extra calcium. I’m not fully sure that isn’t what we’re seeing. Though Kuju and Suntory are darker than Acqua Panna and Solan de Cabras (the upper calcium waters), I’d argue that the upper calcium waters are extra yellow. Nevertheless, that wouldn’t clarify the decrease calcium waters being darker (and these pictures have been taken in the identical circumstances). Not one of the research that I’ve discovered although studied hojicha, so there may very well be fully totally different mechanisms occurring.
Pine Needle Wakoucha
I hypothesized that maybe teas might have a number of totally different flavour nodes based mostly on the water, particularly due to earlier exams with Pine Needle Wakoucha. Within the case of Wazuka Prime Water
, the flavour dances between the 2. There are the brilliant pecan shell notes, crisp, with no bitterness, however as well as there are a few of these squash notes. Within the case of Wazuka Prime Water although, the squash is way more of the zucchini selection, not the acorn squash. On the backend there’s the very good astringency that makes you salivate.
Whereas there are variations throughout the totally different waters with the wakoucha, I wouldn’t say the variations are as noticeable as they’re with sencha, particularly when wanting on the teas with essentially the most constant lightning circumstances, with Suntory and Wazuka being essentially the most related. Suntory, as I discussed earlier than, was the water I seen most on the tea festivals utilized by producers. That may imply one thing!
Shaggy dog story. I selected this tea to check as a result of I’ve had a number of gokou senchas beforehand that I liked. I by no means really tried Gokou Matcha earlier than, and I by no means tried it with Wazuka effectively water earlier than beginning this experiment. So this time was the very first time I attempted the Gokou Matcha with Wazuka effectively water. I discovered the peach flavour! Properly, there was a robust fruitiness that I’d undoubtedly not disagree with somebody in the event that they stated it tasted like peach. The matcha was extremely clean with no bitterness or astringency with candy inexperienced vegetalness as effectively. Out of all the waters I’ve tried throughout these experiments, the Wazuka effectively water is the one one which has introduced out the sturdy fruit notes, so I’m assuming it’s magical.
On the very starting I assumed that matcha can be the tea that water wouldn’t make too massive of distinction within the coloration. And whereas, sure, there could have been some…errors with the pictures, the Gokou Matcha colours are all very related, Kuju however. In truth, Crystal Geyser, Wazuka Water, Suntory, and Solan de Cabras’s RGB values are all solely a pair digits totally different. Why is that this? We lastly figuerd out the phrase I’ve been looking for this complete time. Pigment. Matcha would act as a pigment when blended with water as an alternative of an infusion. The science that we’d have to discover is the have an effect on of water content material on pigments. And guess what? I completely looked for that science. And guess what? I completely couldn’t discover something on it, other than one weblog the place they mentioned it. (After which the remark part was filled with artists speaking concerning the significance of water. Pricey Artists, please cease making artwork and begin writing intensive scientific articles, please and thanks.)
So…Now what? Nearly all of you don’t have entry to the water from Kyoto Obubu’s effectively, and as we’ve seen during the last a number of of posts, it’s not so simple as discovering one other Japanese mineral water. If you happen to go to Obubu for a tea tour, they’ll most likely assist you to take some water however aside from that? Is there something that may be finished?
No. So lengthy! Farewell! It has been a blast researching these waters and writing these posts over the previous few months, however it’s time to deliver it to a clo…
A number of posts in the past, we did some experiments with calcium chloride. I by no means totally defined why I even had calcium chloride available. The 4 minerals that we’ve saved monitor of have been calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Might…might…might we simply…make our personal waters? Completely.
A secret aim of those experiments has been to come back out on the finish and design a water that may be a shut facsimile to Wazuka’s effectively water, a water that anybody on the planet might make, with the suitable supplies, and be capable of expertise Obubu’s tea with one thing near Obubu’s water.
Distilled or purified water with no added minerals is crucial. It acts as a pallet for us so as to add our different minerals to. To the distilled water we are able to add types of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, on this case we shall be utilizing calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium bicarbonate. All of those are present in mineral water so we’re not including something that water wouldn’t naturally have. Now that we now have our constructing blocks, lets make some water!
However the place we do begin? We are able to’t simply throw minerals into water and hope for the very best, there must be some technique. Our first step goes be taking a look at water studies for Wazuka, Japan. These studies record the concentrations of a mess of various chemical substances and minerals in Wazuka’s water. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply it is going to be the identical for the effectively water. We’re going work beneath the belief that the studies are literally detailing the faucet water, however it’s nonetheless a spot to start out.
In line with the 2018 report, Wazuka water has 10.2 mg/L of calcium and magnesium (and and many others…), 4.8 mg/L of sodium(and it’s compounds), and no listed potassium. The mixture of calcium and magnesium into the identical quantity will trigger some points recreating the water, however once more, we’re assuming that is the faucet water, so it’ll not less than be a begin.
The First Trials
For this primary trial we’re merely going to take the calcium and magnesium worth and simply use calcium and see what occurs. We’ll use the sodium worth and no potassium, and from there we’ll maintain going.
First off, the Wazuka effectively water brews up a bit of extra yellow than the manufactured water. From earlier posts and experiments, what does that imply? We’d like extra calcium. Maybe further magnesium will enhance the yellow coloration as effectively. A lot of the experiments have been finished with calcium, so per…Ought to we do a fast experiment with magnesium?
The manufactured water has a lightweight umami that shortly fades away. The Wazuka effectively water has a for much longer lasting umami that fills the mouth. Virtually a bit of an excessive amount of with this tea (We’re utilizing a special tea than the previous blogs for these preliminary trials. Our internship involves an finish in a number of days, and I’ve some tea I have to do away with. There’s a little sharpness to the manufactured water as effectively. An indication that the steadiness could also be off in direction of sodium? Maybe. (Little did they know, they have been mistaken).
We’ve so as to add the magnesium and potassium. It’s so simple as that. A minimum of that a part of the choice. How a lot is the actual query. As a result of there’s the missing umami, I feel we’d as effectively simply attempt to including the identical quantity of magesium as we had in calcium. That’ll enhance the hardness with out relying too closely on the calcium. We are able to additionally see if there a rise within the yellow coloration as effectively. As a result of we don’t have a lot data on potassium, this trial goes to be guess work. Perhaps, let’s simply add within the magnesium and maintain the sodium the identical and no potassium. As we’ve seen earlier than in Evian, potassium shouldn’t be at all times listed. If there’s one factor I despise, is altering a number of variables on the similar time.
Now with the second try, the colours are fairly darn shut. The addition of the magnesium has given the tea a bit extra physique. The umami is boosted a bit and the sharpness is a bit more clean. The majority of the umami although seems nearer to the top of the style with the manufactured water whereas the Wazuka effectively water has a way more upfront umami with a bit of extra size and an total earthier flavour. The again finish of each the waters really feel fairly shut. Very shut in reality. The entrance finish wants the work although. This leaves me with a query although. Does magnesium have an effect on the umami extra on the again finish whereas calcium impacts it on the entrance finish? Extra importantly, do I’ve time to check that thought?
The Following Trials
It might have seemed like I used to be shut with the second second and in some methods, I used to be, and in a variety of methods, I used to be not. What adopted have been a number of trials that sorta hit across the similar space, however have been simply lackluster compared to the Wazuka effectively water. There was one thing lacking. My major deal with most of those first trials have been calcium and magnesium, partially, as a result of many of the analysis on the impacts of minerals on the flavour of tea handled calcium and hardness. The turning level got here once I determined to test the TDS. In actuality, I ought to have been doing that with all of the experiments. The TDS of Wazuka’s effectively water is 103, and these first trials, effectively they have been hitting the 30s. This was an indication that I simply wasn’t including sufficient to the water. So I did. Most significantly, I elevated the quantity of sodium I used to be utilizing.
Bear in mind how earlier I assumed the steadiness of sodium was off, making a sharpness in flavour? Nope, I used to be mistaken. After I began to extend the sodium within the manufactured water, the flavours began to change into extra daring and vibrant. After which, Trial 6, sodium was the outstanding mineral within the manufactured water, versus calcium.
These forwards and backwards trials continued on for about one other ten trials. Lastly, and with the assistance of Rie from Tea Curious, we got here up with a solution. Is it excellent? Sadly no. It wasn’t seemingly we’d be capable of make it excellent, whereas we deal with calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, there are numerous different minerals within the water. These are essentially the most outstanding, however a dozen different minor flavors add up. However is it shut? It’s fairly darn shut. With out additional ado…
Prime Water Formulation
Calcium Chloride – 0.0225 g/L
Magnesium Sulfate – 0.0125 g/L
Sodium Bicarbonate – 0.027 g/L
With these numbers you can also simply…Okay, sorry. It actually isn’t all that simple make this work. It does take a average quantity of effort to make your individual water. Firstly, in case you are to purchase these minerals, make certain to get meals grade. There are a variety of non-food grade variations, ignore them. Personally, one of many major ways in which I’ll make water at house is weigh out sufficient to go in a 3.78 L of distilled water. However even then, you’ll have to ensure to get a scale that is ready to go to not less than 0.XXX. Different choices, you can also make liquid concentrates of every of the minerals. Throughout these experiments, I made 50 ml vials of various concentrations of the of minerals. If that was a route you’d prefer to go, a number of these numbers by 50 and add them to 50ml of distilled water. Filling a 1 ml dropper and including it to a liter of distilled water will get you to your degree. If that is all a bit of an excessive amount of, an alternative choice can be the Springtide formulation from Tea Curious. They promote premade vials of concentrated minerals. Whereas it isn’t Prime Water, it’s in the identical ballpark, and scrumptious.
Whelp, my time at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm has come to an finish, and thus these trials have come to an finish as effectively. Lastly, I’d similar to to say. There isn’t something mistaken with faucet water. Bottled water, whereas enjoyable to experiment with, actually shouldn’t be the go to for brewing tea. Certain, some waters could make a extra scrumptious tea, it’s much more necessary to be taught to get pleasure from tea whatever the water.