I’m a big fan of Margaret’s Hope second flushes, and this one did not disappoint.
We recently installed a new water softener at our house. Since installing the water softener, I’ve noticed a diminished quality to my teas, so I wanted to experiment with this tea that I am familiar with.
I brewed this on two separate occasions. The first time, I brewed using filtered tap water that had been run through the softener (which uses salt to soften the water) and allowed the water to come to a boil. The second time, I brewed using spring water and stopped the heating process just before reaching boiling.
Both occasions revealed the usual astringency and muscatel flavor of the tea, but the flavors were much more pronounced with the spring water. I also had the flavors of apricots and wet rocks with the spring water — flavors I was expecting and hoping for. Neither of these flavors came out with the filtered, softened tap water, but there was a very strong taste of raisins with the softened water.
I am glad I ran the experiment with the water, as it helped me to realize what I am missing when I use the softened, filtered tap water. I think the naturally-occurring minerals in unsoftened water add so much to the tea. I am going to avoid using softened water going forward and try out various waters to find the ones that add the most to my tea experience.
Anyway, this tea is as excellent as it has been in previous years and am looking forward to enjoying it again all summer long.
Date of “Packing” (unsure about picking): May, 2021
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Muscatel, Raisins, Wet Rocks