Some people told me they thought it a pity that my blog does not deal with local issues and that it should be written in czech entirely. With the second, I disagree as most readers come her from afar and it is a good feeling to be in contact with the world. The first issue - right ho, here is an entirely local affair (of little interest to other readers, I am afraid, unless you plan to come to Prague sometime - a visit I heartily recommend though). Today, it is a duel of two waters you can get in Prague for free.
Let us introduce the gladiators:
Prague 6 tap water: Generally a good enough water. I did not think too much of it, but after finding out that wherever I was, the tap water was worse, I do like it now.
Petřínka spring water: Although there are many springs in Prague, most of them are polluted. The Petřínka spring on the Petřín hill, where the mirror maze and a lookout tower are to be found is supposed to be healthy though (even aphrodisiacal). Petřiny where I live, although kind of eponymous, bears little connection to Petřín hill and Petřínka spring I think.
(the photo linked from http://www.estudanky.cz/200-studanka-petrinka)
Not knowing how good will the spring water be, I took a bike, a barrel, and rode there. It is in the slope of Petřín hill, near the Nebozízek restaurant. The hill offers some very nice walks, especially in the morning when people are few and birds many.
In the afternoon, I had a look at the water. Is the extra effort to get the spring water worth it?
The first test tea - 2010 YS Purple Yi Wu again, as it is rather sensitive to water.
The difference is not as large as when I compared local tap water with Evian. Using Petřínka water, I got a bit smoother, thicker drink, without the tiny chemical taste of the tap water. However, I do not think the difference is overly significant. In the tap/Evian experiment, even a non-tea drinker would see the difference. In this 1st test, the difference is small and subtle.
The second test tea is 2006 Haiwan Pasha. The Purple Yi Wu may be sensitive to water, but this Haiwan Pasha still leads by a mile. Back where I used to live, in a different part of Prague, I was positively dashed by a sample of the Pasha and quickly bought two tongs. Later, when I moved, it ceased to be consistently good. Using the tea stove, I got more or less very good result every time, but the complexity and pleasantness, it was not there anymore really, not mentioning the sessions with tap water. I tried many a water, but it was not the same anymore. Good feeling, good taste, to a degree, but some pleasant aspects were missing.
And yes, you may have guessed it already - the Petřínka water brings everything back and adds something on top (it may be the two years of aging too). Therefore, it is an aphrodisiac to a degree indeed - I am in love with Pasha again!
Right from the start, one could see the water is a hit. Where the tap water gave me a hard-ish aroma of wet leaves, dry wood and all that (not bad, definitely, the leaves are very good I think, it is just not so lovely at the first smell), the spring water made a surprisingly complex, sweet-fruity-woody mix with some honey on top. Is it even possible that water changes tea so much? The taste reflects the aroma well - it is soft (as much as Pasha can be), very complex (so many tastes swirling around, in a pleasantly dazzling way), tasting for a long time, with a lovely light aftertaste and good mouthfeel.
I'll try some other "too hard to enjoy" teas in near future and will let you know in case of any interesting results. Until then, try the water for yourselves, it is worth it!