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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Water Tests I

A 1980’s Wang Zi from Nada
The Contestants for this are Filtered tap water from the City of Bethlehem, PA, using a Britta filter with a relatively new filter (1 week old), against Iceland Spring, spring water, which is said to have nearly no Total dissolved solids. This test is being taken on under suggestion of my friend Brandon.
The Parameters the test will run for 4 days, alternating days will be with different water. The water for each will be heated using my Electric kettle, which will be emptied and dried before the different water is added. Roughly the same amount of tea will be used each time.

Day 1: Filtered Water
Quick rinse, and let the leaves steam slightly and open up.
1: Boiling, 15 seconds
The color of the broth is actually a bit more transparent than the 90’s tuo, yet smells much more complex. It still brings the same in the woods after a rain in late fall picture to mind, but I seem to be picking up pictures of certain trees, like somehow I get a lot more dead leaves out of it, I want to say maple because we had quite a few of those around our house in Ohio. There also is a nice spice smell to it, like something is being baked with cinnamon as a main ingredient, but not without a decent bit of butter.
Now I’m surer of the partial wet storage that could still be picked up in the 90’s tuo, as this is earthy, but not musty or swampy. It also got hints of cinnamon, and perhaps other baking spices. But I don’t think I can say smooth, and mean it more than with this, there is definitely a lot there, but there is nothing offensive about this at all. The finish is an extension of the taste, which just carries through and sweetness (Hui Gan) emerges in the back of the mouth, which just lasts and lasts.
2: Boiling, 20 seconds
The broth has gotten slightly darker, and some ripe fruits (apple) are starting to emerge in the autumn scene.
There is something else there when tasting it, but I can’t quite describe it, its fuller and developed.
In the third infusion, it was slightly spicier, and slightly darker.
In later infusions (5-6) it became more fruity, almost like an apple.
Yet a long brew (approx 2 minutes) brought little life back into this tea by the 8th infusion or so, but I must say, this had a nice very calming chaqi to it, which builds slowly, but once you notice it’s there you are already feeling great.
Day 2: Iceland Spring, Spring water.
Quick rinse, and let the leaves steam slightly and open up.
1: Boiling 15 seconds.
Quite interesting, it still has the strong autumn smell, but they are much more pronounced, and the apple almost dominates the cinnamon. But there are other spices I can’t quite place like cloves, and perhaps a cranberry and orange relish type smell.
Still got the great feeling of Fall, and I don’t think a lot has changed with this water in terms of taste. But the aroma is definitely something else. I think I could drink this all day, and possibly every day.

2: Boiling 20 seconds
I’m still getting so much more with this in terms of aroma, lots of things I didn’t pick up on yesterday. Lots of baking spices, and just very pronounced.
This is odd, I thought I picked up a hint of this in the nose, but this infusion tastes more like it had some more wet storage. I should note that since this tea is from the 80’s it probably did have moderately wet storage at one point in time. But it’s far from noticeable with this tea.

Later Infusions:
Tomorrow I am going to have to try and observe signs of wet storage, as I thought there was very little in the filtered water brews, but I am noticing hints of it today.

Day 3 and 4 will be focusing primarily on the presence of chaqi, and the relative strengths.
Day 3: Filtered tap water.
This has a very calming chaqi, which seems to extend throughout the body quite evenly. I wouldn’t say its strong at all, but it is there ever so slightly, just nudging me ever so slightly towards being very calm.

Day 4: Iceland spring, Spring water.
With respect to the chaqi, perhaps a slight bit more energy with the relaxed state, but it almost feels as though its subdued and hidden.

I should note that my friend Brandon, who asked me to run this test in terms of Chaqi, said he had a more pronounced chaqi from the Iceland Spring. I myself think these chaqi’s are slightly different I wouldn’t say one is stronger than the other. The filtered water, with this tea almost put me to sleep, it relaxed me to such a degree. With the Iceland spring I am still relaxed, but I am much more awake.
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