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March 22nd marks World Water Day, on which people across the globe acknowledge the importance of our planet’s most precious resource: Water.

It’s also one of the main ingredients in our planet’s second-most important resource: Tea.

Yes, for most of us tea-holics the thought of living in a world devoid of tea is enough to make us shudder. Tea is our lifeblood. It helps us get up in the morning, accompanies us to work as we struggle to fit our oversized travel mugs into our car cup-holders, and helps wash down that dry shortbread biscuit you thought you wouldn’t choke on the second time around.

We couldn’t possibly fathom the thought of parting with this elixir of life.

Well, it seems the tea-pocalypse is going to be upon us soon enough if humankind doesn’t curb its excessive usage of water.

Most people should already be aware that we use far more water than is required. It’s used extensively in industrial processes and agriculture, but also in our day-to-day lives, and in your neighbour’s inflatable pool parties that you never get invited to.

With World Water Day approaching, you may finally have an excuse to lecture them about their wasteful ways and how it could be leading to the extinction of your favourite hot beverage (or any beverage for that matter).

The acceleration of global warming should also serve as a wake-up call to those who feel their wasteful personal usage of water is not contributing to the next mass extinction event. Excessive water usage could be contributing to scarcity and drought by interrupting the natural water cycle. Imbalances in the natural water cycle can also cause flooding, which in turn affects the supply of freshwater available and by connection - your supply of tea.

The food and drinks we consume depend on the quality of freshwater we use to prepare them. It’s why tea is best prepared using mineral spring water instead of tap water which may contain a high concentration of taste-tainting minerals. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire quality drinking water in many parts of the world.

While it may be impractical to bring your life to a screeching halt for the purpose of saving water, there are ways you can curtail excessive water usage without having to alter your daily routine.

Save the Water, Save the Tea

Brewing hot drinks such as tea can waste water if you’re not careful. People often boil water for tea on stove tops that they leave unattended as it comes to a boil. The longer the stovetop is left unattended after the water has reached a rolling boil, the more water evaporates away, the excessive boiling of water also impacts the taste.

The smarter approach would be to invest in an electric kettle with an auto-shutoff feature that stops the heating process as soon as the water has reached a boil.

You could also save water by using a quality tea strainer when steeping loose leaf tea. Loose leaf tea leaves that settle to the bottom of your pot or teacup can render the last few sips bitter and undrinkable due to the continual steeping process. It means a portion of your tea has to be discarded every time you brew a cup, and nobody wants that!

A tea strainer would be useful in removing the tea leaves once the desired tea strength has been reached and save you from the guilt of discarding those precious last sips of tea.

To maintain our tea-drinking way of life, we must conserve water. So on this World Water Day, develop smarter water usage habits. For all of tea-kind!

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