I recently went on a work trip to a fancy hotel in South Florida, and in that hotel they had some bottles of Evian water on the desk with a note saying they would charge your room $10 if you consumed a bottle. I know hotel prices are crazy, but $10 for a bottle of water? So, I had to see what was so special about this water. I read the label closely and it says that the water is from the French Alps and has a natural mineral content of 334 ppm. Naturally, I needed to see what this water would be like for brewing tea. Experiment time!
I went to the grocery store and bought a more reasonably priced package of Evian bottles at just over $1 each and brought them home to experiment.
I used Ruby Oolong Tea that I purchased from a store nearby. 5 grams in each vessel with 200F water. First infusion was 20 and added 5 seconds to the subsequent infusions.
I will soon get two of the same vessel to make these experiments as similar as possible, but for now I am using two neutral vessels that don’t add or take away from the flavor.
The first infusion for the Evian had a bright cherry note followed by some hazelnut and some toast. It really just tasted like dessert – sweet and rich. Good start.
The first infusion for the filtered water was just less. Less fruity and less rich and it had a mineral finish to it, which was surprising since the Evian had minerals in it and the filtered water should not have any minerals. Interesting indeed.
The Evian liquor was noticeably darker on all three infusions.
The second and third infusions were very similar to the first. The Evian tea was just more. It was softer, smoother, thicker and had was just really nice. Almost luxurious even.
The filtered water tea was just a bit less. It was not as full or thick or smooth and had a strange mineral finish that I found unpleasant. The tea overall was still good to drink, but compared to the Evian water, it was just lacking.
The Evian leaves are lighter, but the liquor it produces is darker – go figure. Tea is a never-ending journey of learning and experiences and it never ceases to amaze me all the things you can do and learn and never know a lot.
A possible conclusion could be that my filter isn’t filtering as much as I thought it was. I hope to get a TDS meter soon to see just exactly how much it is filtering. Other than that, if anyone knows the science behind this please let me know.
The price on this tea was $7 for 1 oz. (28 g). A quick note on this tea – I am really impressed with this one. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from a tea from Thailand that costs $7 an oz. bought in a franchise store and stored in a clear plastic bag. But kudos to Spice and Tea Exchange. If you ever see one, go in and give it a shot. I was impressed with the other tea I had from them too.
$7 per 28 g at 5 g per session will give you 5 sessions per bag. That comes to $1.40 per session. I have gotten 8 infusions from one session of this tea before so that comes to $.18 per cup. That’s a pretty good deal. Now I used about $2.20 worth of Evian water for this session. If you add that into it, it comes to $3.60 per session and $.45 per cup. I can’t advocate doing that every time you drink tea, it’s just too expensive. But on special occasions when you only want the best, yes bring out the Evian. Look into bamboo charcoal for everyday drinking for something a lot more economical. Cheers!