When’s the last time you had a bitter cup of tea?
If the answer is anytime in the recent past, then it’s time to change up your tea-brewing habits.
Though many people are satisfied with sticking a tea bag in piping hot water, they probably don’t know what an optimal cup of tea really tastes like.
But those dedicated to perfecting their tea-brewing technique will be rewarded with an aroma and an array of health benefits that only tea can afford.
So keep reading to learn more. Below, we’ll cover four mistakes with brewing tea and how to avoid them. They’re only four out of quite a few more, so make sure that you’re reading to keep learning throughout this process!
It’s true that under-steeping your tea can result in a bland and underwhelming cup. But over-steeping can release the tea leaves’ tannins. This can cause your otherwise comforting cup of tea to taste bitter and even dry.
The right amount of time to steep your tea leaves depends on the types of tea you use. But generally, tea should only be steeped for about three minutes. Black tea might warrant a steeping process of up to five minutes.
So don’t ruin your tea by forgetting about it while it steeps. Or if you want a stronger cup of tea, try using a larger tea infuser! This will allow your tea leaves to expand a lot more, letting the water surrounding them soak in their aromatic flavors.
Of course, you might be part of the minority that likes a bitter cup of tea. If that’s true, then by all means! But make sure that you brew it for the right amount of time if you’re entertaining company.
2. Using Water That’s Too Hot
When the chill settles in, a warm cup of tea is a delight. But tea that’s been steeped in too-hot water for tea can also release bitter tannins that thwart that aromatic pleasure.
Tea is delicate. So if you’re pouring very hot water all over your tea leaves, you’re ruining many of the positive properties that you started drinking them for.
Beyond taste, water that’s too hot can actually ruin healthy compounds such as catechins. Catechins are fantastic for your health since they can improve weight loss efforts, prevent neurological disease, and regulate blood pressure. If you’re drinking tea for health reasons, then you’re only foiling your own motivations by pouring piping hot water over tea.
The temperature of your water will depend on the tea in question. But never pour boiling hot water directly over your tea leaves. When your kettle is on the stove, making sure it’s just under a roiling boil, when small bubbles start forming on the kettle’s surface.
Green tea should be brewed between 180-185° Fahrenheit while black tea should be brewed at 206° Fahrenheit. These are just a few types of tea out of many, so make sure you do your research on your desired tea. Then, invest in something like a heat-resistant thermometer to ensure that you always have a good cup.
3. Using Tea Bags
If you truly want an optimal tea-drinking experience, you’re going to want to invest in loose tea leaves such as the ones at https://nmteaco.com/. Sure, tea bags are convenient and easy to whip out. But they’re usually the leftovers in the tea leaf-packing process, which means that you’re almost never getting the best quality possible.
These broken tea leaves are also more bitter and contain less of those essential oils that provide a crucial aroma. Tea bags also usually use bleached tea bags, which impart chemicals that aren’t great for your health or your palate. And since the tea leaves are cramped in that tea bag, there’s less chance for the tea leaves to expand and impart their gorgeous aromas and flavors.
By using tea bags, you’re getting a much lesser experience. Both health and flavor are compromised by using tea bags. The convenience may not be worth it if it means significantly inferior tea drinking.
However, there’s a way to have both quality and convenience. Look for tea servings packaging in pyramid sachets. These are optimized for water flow and contain quality tea leaves.
4. More Is Not More
After you’ve worked hard to brew your perfect cup of tea, don’t ruin it. Sure, a spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk might make it tastier. But loading your tea with add-in ingredients for tea can offset the health benefits of tea and not let the tea’s delicate flavors shine.
You’re free to do whatever you’d like, ultimately. However, we strongly urge you to not let this fragile process you’ve facilitated go to waste. Add a small amount of sweetener and only enough milk to complement your cup, not overwhelm it.
Once again, adding too much also isn’t great for your tea’s health benefits! You can’t control your weight if you’re adding a lot of sugar and fatty milk to your drink. Sugar is also inconducive to blood pressure regulation, and can actually raise blood pressure to an unhealthy degree.
Even if you want a bit of everyday indulgence, avoid using your tea to achieve it too. If you’d like an occasional treat while drinking your tea, try eating a bit of pastry with your drink. Lemon bread would go great with earl grey tea, a croissant would be fantastic with white tea, and a chocolate mousse with green tea.
Don’t Make These Mistakes With Brewing Tea!
When it comes to the question of how to brew tea, the answer is simple. But it’s a question many get wrong if they don’t seek out the answers themselves. But once you learn, you never have to drink another bitter and degraded cup of tea again.
This guide was meant to explain some common mistakes with brewing tea. If it did, then check out the rest of our blog! We’ve got plenty of other content for those loving exquisite culinary experiences such as you.
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