Page 4 - preparation of tea
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II. Start with a Good Beginning
A. Water Filtration 1. Background
• Brewed leaf iced tea is 99%+ local water. Due to tea’s light flavor, the quality of input water is crucial to the end product served.
• Clarity, color and taste are the most important iced tea characteristics. Clarity can be adversely affected by high mineral content in water.
• Coffee equipment, as well as the new generation of automatic iced tea brewers, contain water solenoid valves, spray heads and heating elements which are susceptible to particulate clogging and scale/lime buildup especially in high mineral areas.
2. Water Problems Affecting Ice Tea Quality
• Water Hardness – caused by high mineral content (i.e. calcium and magnesium). Tests show any hardness in excess of 200ppm can cause clouding in iced tea.
• Chemical taste and/or odor caused by chlorination of municipal water and the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the water.
• Particulate Matter/Scale and Lime Accumulation – adversely affects the operational efficiency of automatic tea brewing equipment.
3. The Solution
To minimize problems associated with a less than optimal water supply, the Tea Association recommends installation of appropriate filtration/conditioning equipment.
a.) Desired Water Filter Characteristics
• Mechanical particulate filtration at a minimum 20 micron level (40 microns can be seen unaided).
• Activated carbon filter to remove soluble organic chemicals, taste and odor causing compounds and chlorine.
• Lime/scale inhibitors to keep calcium and magnesium in suspension and separated from product bonding and reduce buildup on heaters and spray heads but do not inhibit clouding tendency.
• Easy cartridge replacement.
• Maximum of 6 months cartridge life for average commercial use. Print installation date on
filter for monitoring purposes.
• One all-purpose filter effective for all identified problems except water hardness.
• If possible, water which will be used cold (or room temperature) for diluting iced tea after
brewing should not be passed through the filter and then stored in some type of vessel, etc. It would be best to use the water directly from the filtering system. If a storage vessel must be used, care must be taken to prevent contamination, which may include changing filters more often than every 6 months, since the filtered water no longer contains chlorine to destroy microbes.
b.) Water Conditioning Equipment
• Water softening equipment to reduce or eliminate water hardness caused by excessive mineral content.

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