why does warm water taste different than cold water?


Even as it barely starts warming out of the tap, the taste changes. But why?!

In: Chemistry

Microscopic channels in our taste buds react differently at different temperatures. So when they’re warmer, they will react stronger, which is why ice cream tastes sweeter as it gets closer to body temp.

[this is a good read if you’re curious!](https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2005/12/19/Food-temperature-affects-taste-reveal-scientists)

One reason is that cold water and hot water are mixed to form warm water in your tap. This means that compared to cold water, you are including the mineralization and contaminants in your hot water heater.

It’s harmless, but noticable.

While it’s true something will taste different depending on weather it’s cold or warm, this isn’t the main reason why warm tap water tastes different than cold tap water. Cold tap water that you heat up in a pot will taste different from hot tap water.

Cold water that comes into your home goes from the water main outside, through your water pipes, to your tap. It doesn’t interact with anything or have much time to absorb anything on its way to you.

Hot water that comes out of the hot water tap sits in your hot water heater for a period of time, sometimes days. While it sits there, it dissolves small amounts of metals from the inside of the hot water heater tank. These metals are what give the water a different taste.

Bonus Fact: It’s recommended to only use cold tap water for drinking cooking. Hot tap water’s metallic taste can make things taste funny. This is why people use tea kettles but not hot tap water to make their tea.