“Bring fresh water to a boil”
What is fresh water?
Is this a good question? A better one might be: When is water fresh?
In the context I found the instruction in – on the back of a tea bag wrapper – it’s the better of two, I would say.
Water is fresh, I’d then go on to try and answer it right away, if it has just been extracted from the well, tap, boiler or coffee percolator. It is water in the state of recently having been introduced into a space.
But is this sufficient as a definition for freshness? Is any water fresh as long as it has just been accepted into this space of yours? Obviously not. If it has already been tainted before, it will not be fresh afterwards, just because you moved it. It has to be made fresh again through the complicated miracles of water reclamation.
Regardless: Moving water seems to be a valid solution for getting fresh water, if not for making fresh water. But when starting out with fresh water, does it need to moved to stay fresh? Does it need to be moved constantly to be fresh water, when you finally pour it into your cup?
Or, to ask in more general terms: Can water be kept fresh? Are there conditions that allow water to stay fresh while being stationary – and if so, what are they?
I’m not sure. Pristine water sitting in a perfect container, stored at 4°C for decades, centuries, millennia – would you still call it ‘fresh’, when you pour it over your pyramid sachet? I would hesitate to do that. I might call it ‘pure’. But ‘fresh’?
There is of course one container we accept water from, without asking how long it has been in there, and still call it ‘fresh’ without hesitation: the ground. The unmoving basis all movement has to measured against seems to be the only acceptable place of origin for fresh water – aside from biotechnological temples dedicated to redeeming the unfresh.
“Steep for 3 – 5 minutes” – I might have messed that up a little.
“Store in a cool and dry area” – When reading this images of cities and countries float by, thought of geography and meteorology. In that sense my pyramid sachet was not stored under the right conditions.
Also: I didn’t pour the water in the cup as the second step, after having put in the teabag, as depicted. (How many times can you write the word “sachet” before you turn into a dandy?)
Bent rules, broken rules – the taste is still good.
The title of this text was originally “Fresh water”. But now I changed it in honour of a character from the one game, I am most sad to have never played. Those who know it will understand and agree.
The word “percolator” is not common in the circles I learned English in/from, so I want to thank Jason Webley and Jay Thompson for introducing me to it.