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Reboiling water

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36 replies to this topic

#31 Emily_R

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 08:31 PM

So glad to read this thread, so I can stop wasting water -- I've also been in the camp that somehow heard that reboiled water wasn't as good. That said, I have really hard water, so it may be time to give my kettle a good descaling...

#32 Simon_S

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:03 AM

I'm pretty sure I read an entire discussion about this in one of those New Scientist Last Word books, but I can't seem to find it online. The premise there was that tea made with twice-boiled water tastes differently, and people attempted to explain why.

In truth, I don't notice the difference myself and I drink a fair bit of tea. It still doesn't stop me boiling a fresh kettle every time.

#33 slkinsey

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:38 AM

FWIW, I have used the same copper "whistle top" kettle for around 15 years. I replenish if there is water in there from a previous boiling, but it's also not uncommon that my usage empties the kettle. It's quite easy to see inside the kettle, and there is clearly no appreciable scale.

It seems pretty clear that this idea grew out of places where the water had a high mineral content (in which case reboiled water probably would taste worse than the already not-so-great-tasting fresh water), and then turned into an old wives' tale that spread to parts of the country where it didn't make any sense. There are plenty of parts of the country where even a single boiling of the water will leave a small amount of white scale on cookware.

Edited by slkinsey, 24 October 2011 - 04:43 AM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#34 DanM

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:44 AM

I use a reverse osmosis water filter and never notice a difference between boils.

I guess we can make an experiment out of this. If someone wants, you can fill a kittle with 1 litre of water, bring it to a boil and pour off 100ml. Return the water to room temp and repeat. Once you have enough samples, taste the water to see if you notice any difference.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#35 nickrey

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:14 AM

I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, driest state on the driest populated continent. Reputedly one of two places in the world where ships would not fill up their ballast water (the other being Aden). One boil would be enough to scale a kettle for a lifetime. I envy you New Yorkers your wonderful water.

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#36 Mjx

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:13 AM

There might be a difference between freshly-boiled and reboiled water, and up to a certain point, I acted as though that was the case (never tested it, however), but then decided that the difference was unlikely to be significant enough to justify my wasting water by pouring it away.

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#37 Ashen

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:12 AM

It is very unlikely that I would ever notice a difference even if there is one. I do often drink tea in the winter , but it is bagged black tea brewed strong , and then I bruise it.. (I wring that teabag for all its worth) Then add a good hit of lemon and honey. It is a decent fairtrade organic ceylon black tea though.
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