Previously known as Untitled. Not to be confused with Truth Serum (Legacy Version).
Truth Serum is a specially formulated mineral water for brewing tea and coffee, aiming to exemplify the defining features of the best natural waters.
Truth Serum expresses the rich sweetness, startling clarity of flavor, explosive aromatics, and syrupy texture naturally present in just about any specialty-grade tea or coffee.
This water follows the SCAA Water Standard fairly closely, with some adjustments at my discretion.
Truth Serum is user-adjustable to accommodate variability in preference as well as the many tea types and coffee roast styles. This is done by adjusting the concentration (see Instructions and FAQ below) from the default 1x brewing water, which provides the most full-featured experience. Concentrations below 1x yield a light and refreshing profile, while concentrations above 1x yield a mellow profile with deep, ringing flavors and a mouth-coating thickness.
Ingredients: Water, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride hexahydrate.
All ingredients used are present in natural mineral waters at comparable concentrations, and are listed in descending order of amount present.
Standard vs Reformulation
The Standard version consists of a simple 4x concentrate, while the Reformulation packs twice the mileage into the same box by separating the minerals into three different concentrates. The Reformulation is the exact same recipe as the Standard, yet much more cost-effective at just 49.5¢ per liter of brewing water, shipping included. That's just 9.9¢ per 200mL cup of coffee.
Beginners may choose to start with the Standard version, which can simply be measured with a measuring cup. To prepare the Reformulation, the user will need a scale with approximately 5 kilogram capacity and 0.1 gram resolution, and optionally a scale with 0.01 gram resolution to precisely measure the dropper concentrates. The accuracy of the mix is integral to the brewing performance of the water.
Instructions - Standard
1) To prepare the 1x brewing water, mix the following by weight or volume:
- 1 part 4x concentrate (in bags)
- 3 parts zero TDS water (not included)
For instance, mix together 250mL 4x concentrate and 750mL zero TDS water to produce 1 liter of 1x brewing water.
Instructions - Reformulation
1) To prepare 1 gallon of 4x concentrate, mix the following in a 1 gallon container, in the listed order:
- 1870.4g zero TDS water (not included)
- 16.61g white dropper concentrate
- 16.17g black dropper concentrate
- 1883.4g bag concentrate
Mix thoroughly after adding each concentrate, but do not shake. Best practice is to close the container and turn end-over-end with minimal agitation or aeration of the concentrate.
2) To prepare the 1x brewing water, mix the following by weight or volume:
- 1 part 4x concentrate
- 3 parts zero TDS water (not included)
For example, mix together 250mL 4x concentrate and 750mL zero TDS water to produce 1 liter of 1x brewing water.
1) Can the recipe be adjusted to suit my personal preference?
Yes, this recipe has the ability to brew well at a range of concentrations. In particular, concentrations between 0.5x and 1.25x can be used effectively for all tea/coffee types with an adjustment in brewing parameters.
Gongfu tea drinkers may enjoy this fun exploratory exercise: Start with the default 1x brewing water in the kettle, and after each steep either add some 4x concentrate or some zero TDS water. Continue to brew and note the differences as they come with each water change for enrichment purposes.
Please reach out through the contact page if you need any help at all in adjusting the recipe to your preference.
2) How should the concentrates be stored?
To preserve freshness, refrigerate the bag concentrates upon arrival and leave the dropper bottles at room temperature. After pouring out any concentrate from a concentrate bag, squeeze the air out of the bag before closing the cap. This will prevent atmospheric gases from dissolving in the concentrate, which would affect the concentrate's gas composition.
3a) What is zero TDS water?
Zero TDS water is water that contains no dissolved solids, especially in the form of minerals. Using zero TDS water to dilute the Truth Serum concentrate is the only way to ensure the correct mineral composition of the resulting brew water.
3b) What types of zero TDS water are there?
- Deionized - Zero TDS, with natural gases left intact. Ideal. A low barrier to entry option for deionized water is a deionization pitcher like Zero Water.
- Distilled - Zero TDS, but with altered gas composition, which can result in subpar taste in some cases. Lots of variation between brands, so try many.
- Reverse osmosis (RO) - Technically low TDS, with gas composition depending on the source water and whether the RO system includes a degasser unit. It is advised to avoid RO systems which degas the water, since this will negatively impact the brewing. Again, lots of variation between sources, so try many.
3c) Which type of zero TDS water should I use?
Try every source available to you. Not all sources of a given type of zero TDS water are created equal, and the source is make-or-break for the experience. The recommended long-term solution for zero TDS water is an under-sink reverse osmosis -> deionization setup, using your tap water as the source.
4) Will Truth Serum form scale in my kettle?
Truth Serum will not form scale at 1x and lower concentrations. At higher concentrations, scale may form.
5) Why not concentrate the recipe higher than 4x?
Truth Serum cannot be concentrated higher than 4x without significant degradation to the quality and consistency of the recipe in the days following its production, as a result of mineral precipitation.