Cup of Brown Joy

All too often, when making the perfect cup of tea, the quality of water is almost completely overlooked. Depending on your location in the UK, you will experience different types of water with different textures, flavour and aftertastes. As you can see in the map below, the more north you travel across the UK, the softer the water becomes. Hard water is a result of soft rainwater mixing with minerals like magnesium and salt, once it has fallen to the ground. Softer water occurs from purer rain waters with far fewer minerals mixed in. If you’re tasting a bitter undertone to your cuppa, this could be a result of copper, iron or galvanised pipe residues.


In extreme cases the water may take on colour, we recommend contacting a qualified plumber, as there could be a water issue in your neighbourhood or your household pipes may need maintenance. To reduce the twang of bitterness, some swear by adding a few drops of lemon to your tea, which is useful when water is slightly acidic. Basic chemistry! Consumers with a more sensitive pallet to others are able to detect the flavour of Chlorine in water. Chlorine in water is fine to drink and is added to water as a precaution to kill any nasty germs which may be residing in it.

If, like some, you want the ultimate cup of brown joy – many go for the more obvious and simple solution of boiling bottled water for a soft and sweet result. When it comes to boiling water, some of the nations well-respected chefs have in fact declared, that to make the perfect tea, water should be boiled to a temperature of 80 degrees for leaf tea to 100 degrees for bags.  In fact, Heston Blumenthal feels so passionate about this topic, that a couple of years ago he launched the ‘Sage Tea Maker’ which gives you complete control over the temperature you want your water boiled at.

In the Victorian era, tea was tailored to compliment the water of the area you were drinking it in. Now, we can easily pop to the supermarket and find several brands of tea which cater for both hard and soft waters. We’re sure you can tell that here at Drain Doctor, we’re really passionate about our line of work (and good tea). If you would like to discuss how hard and soft water can affect your cups of tea, white goods and plumbing in and around the home, contact the Drain Doctor Chester, North Wales and Wirral team today.