The decision between drinking tap water or bottled water isn’t as straightforward as you might think. For many, either option is safer than the other. For bottled water, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees labelling and content, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for both tap water and ground water. That means that in most cases, the water you drink will be free of common contaminants, such as pesticides, microorganisms, chemicals and heavy metals.
According to the Tea Association, more than 159 million people in the United States drink tea every day, with millennials being particularly enthusiastic tea-drinkers — 87 percent of millennials enjoy the beverage regularly. The reasons why people drink tea are wide and varied, of course; for some, it’s about the caffeine, while for others, it’s about tea culture. For many, though, it’s about two things in particular: Health benefits, and taste. Green tea in particular has been shown to have a wide array of health-related perks; it can boost your immune system, help with anxiety, and aid in heart health, among a whole host of others.
According to the study, which was published in the journal Nutrients, both that taste and those health benefits may be more closely linked than we think. For the study, 103 participants, all of whom drank green or black tea three to five times or more a week, were given three samples of green tea or three samples of black tea and instructed to evaluate them on a few different qualities: On a scale of one to nine, they rated how much they like the appearance of the tea, how much they liked the flavour, and how much they liked it. The participants also tested each tea for sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and astringency; additionally, the green teas were tested for how vegetal they were, while the black teas were tested for earthiness. Lastly, the participants were instructed to choose a colour on a colour matching sheet they though best matched each tea’s shade. Before they left, they also answered a few questions pertaining to demographics, as well as their tea drinking habits.
When it came to the green tea, the type of water used to brew it had quite an effect on what the participants thought of it. Overall, they preferred the tea brewed with tap water; although there were no major differences noted in astringency, sourness, or vegetal flavour, the participants said the tea tasted much less bitter, as well as sweeter, when brewed with tap water.
However, the decision on what’s best for your family is solely dependent on the individual’s lifestyle. For some families, the convenience of bottled water is better for the family, however it usually comes with a pretty hefty price tag, depending on location and brand of water. Other families who choose to drink tap water however, may save a large sum of money more frequently.
We would suggest a compromise between tap water and bottled water — one that’s both easy on the bank account and convenient for your family.
Another common investment for many families is a filtration pitcher or reverse osmosis unit. These will give you drinking water straight from the tap that is comparable to bottled water. This allows you to dispense water into reusable bottles of glass, aluminium or steel, all options that don’t have you worrying about ingesting leached chemicals. No matter what type of water filter you go with, it will quickly pay itself off. And you can rest easy knowing that your family is drinking safe water, not generating truckloads of wasted plastic and you’re using your money in a more constructive manner that will benefit your family.