Why does your tea taste bitter, and how to avoid it

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You know that Tea is great for you but what if it doesn’t taste that great? Buying the most expensive kind of tea leaves will not guarantee you tasty tea necessarily. Your brewed tea’s taste depends on many different factors such as leaves quality, proper storage and of course correct brewing techniques. 

Preparing Tea is not rocket science but it is also not as simple as boiling some water and throwing a couple leaves in it. Often you end up with an awfully bitter cup of tea and we know how frustrating that is. We don’t want a negative experience to threaten your relationship with tea for a lifetime so bear with us because www.1001TeaFacts.com will explain what causes bitter tea and will give you some useful tips on how to make the perfect cup of Tea.

Why is my Tea bitter?

  • One of the main sources of bitterness in tea is caffeine. Usually the more caffeine your tea has the more bitter it tastes. Caffeine has a distinct bitter taste so choosing teas with less of it will result in a less bitter cup.
  • Besides caffeine, Tea also contains tannins, naturally bitter compounds which release when adding hot water in tea leaves. Tannins have the ability to make tissues shrink, resulting in that dry feeling to your tongue when drinking bitter tea. Tea depending on their type and leaf color contain different levels of tannins. More oxidized teas like black or green tend to be more bitter than less oxidized ones like white tea. Herbal tea is generally less rich in tannins.
  • Another factor to consider is water, the importance of which is often overlooked when making tea. Tap water is usually “hard” and contains lots of minerals affecting its taste and as a result your tea’s taste. Learn more about why water quality is so important about tea here.
  • Another reason why your tea can be bitter is tea quality. Tea bags usually contain only fannings and dust of leaves which increases the amount of tannins in tea.
  • Also, using too much tea will make your tea bitter and is totally unnecessary.
  • Improper tea storage can make your tea less flavorful. If your tea has been sitting for too long or has been exposed to light it looses its essential oils and as a result its taste.

How to avoid bitter Tea?

  • Use high-quality loose leaf teas. The better the tea you buy the better the taste and aroma it will provide and less bitterness.
  • Store your tea away from the sun and in airtight tea tins to prevent it from catching smells from other foods and getting moist. The life span of tea is usually 6 months to 1 year.
  • Use the proper equipment and make sure you properly clean everything before and after each use. When using a teapot with a strainer make sure it is wide enough giving your tea leaves adequate room to expand fully.
  • Use fresh, filtered or bottled water to make tea. Do never use distilled water or water that has stayed in your kettle for many hours.
  • Use about 1 teaspoon of tea for each 6 fluid ounces of water you use.
  • Do not over boil your water. Once it reaches boiling point, immediately remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. It should be hot but not boiling.
  • Do not over steep your tea. Each type of tea requires different steeping time as well as different water temperature. Generally you should let your leaves steep for no more than 3 minutes for regular tea. Herbal tea can be steeped for longer. For more detailed information check this time and temperature chart for tea preparation.
  • When your tea reaches the flavor you desire, strain immediately. The longer the leaves and hot water stay together the darker and bitter your infusion will become.
  • Sweeten as desired (optional). Adding some sugar or honey to your tea will add some extra flavor to it and take away some of its bitterness.

Follow these tips and we promise you your Tea will never make you squint again!