Did you ever wonder what makes tea really bitter sometimes? You brew up your tea
and in taking that first sip you taste a very bitter taste, so you add more sugar or cream.
I don't like to add sugar or cream to my teas. I love the natural taste of tea.
But I don't like BITTER!
Did you know there is a chemical in tea that can make it bitter?
It's called tannin. The tannin is released when you put hot
water on the tea leaves. So to prevent your tea from being bitter,
you need to minimize the amount of tannin released into the tea you drink.
You need to consider the quality and type of tea you are brewing.
Teabags have smaller "fannings" of the tea that has been processed
in larger pieces for loose leaf packaging. The smaller the pieces,
the larger overall surface area you have to release tannins from.
In other words, you get more tannins per second from teabags
than from loose tea.
Have you ever noticed those brownish stains on the inside of your teapot?
That stain happens to be traces of tannin. If you let it build up, it will
eventually start to effect the flavor of you tea. To prevent this, rinse
out your teapot with warm water as soon as it's empty. After it is cooled,
wash it inside and out with BAKING SODA on the corner of a washcloth.
Soaps can leave a residue that affects the taste of your tea, baking soda
rinses clean and is the natural enemy of tannin since it is alkaline.
Use a baby bottle brush (used in cleaning the nipples) to clean out the spout
Taste the water you are using to make your tea. If you wouldn't drink it,
don't use it to make your tea! Use spring or filtered water. Don't
use distilled water for it has an absence of minerals altogether
and will make your tea taste flat.
Brewing time can be a little tricky. In general black teas are brewed
with water that is let come to "full rolling boil", but with green or white
teas its 140 - 175 degrees F. Some teas don't follow the general rule
so read the labels for your teas. The companies want their teas
to taste good so their directions are probably going to be right.
You need to make sure that you are using the right amount of
tea for brewing. The general rule is one teaspoon or one teabag
of tea for each six fluid ounces of hot water. Measure how many
ounces your teapot holds then divide the number by 6. Now you
know how many teaspoons or teabags to use. Some teas need
a little more or less, so read the label on your cantainer and see
what the company suggest. If it doesn't taste strong enough, it's
recommended not to add more tea, but to buy a
Here's the most important - - the BREWING TIME!
The longer the tea steeps, the more tannin is released.
When using teabags, there are tiny pieces for quick brewing,
which means the tannins are released much faster.
Most teabags should be removed from the hot water
within 40 to 60 seconds. Loose green tea should be
removed in 1 to 3 minutes, black tea in 4, and oolong in 3 to 4.
The best thing about Herbal teas is that you can steep them
as long as you like. They have no true tea in them, therefore
no tannin. BUT once again, read your instructions on
the containers because some teas do not follow the standard rule!
to let the leaves unfurl. The whole leaves have been curled and they
need room to open. If you don't have an infuser, you can use
cheesecloth, which can be cleaned and used again. Or just
make sure to use a tea strainer.
So if all else fails and you still end up with bitter tea,
no amount of sugar can fix it. To make already brewed tea
less bitter, add a very small pinch of baking soda. Remember
that baking soda counter-acts the tannins. But if you add
more than just a tiny bit, your tea will taste like baking soda,
and you don't want that. Just a tiny pinch will do.
Well, there you have it! I love this saying in the above picture.
If you love drinking tea enough, you'll start understanding it
and your tea will always be very tasteful to your buds.
Don't you know, these ladies put in a tremendous time
for their tea time. They both have many lovey
tea sets and some of the most interesting subjects.
Pay them a visit and tell them that Brenda set you.
Here's to your health!