Is it possible to oversteep tea?
The directions on the back of the tea bag states that the tea should be steeped for 3-5 minutes. What happens if the tea is steeped for, say, 10 minutes or more?
I would have to say no. Of course there is not steeping it long enough as the directions imply, but from the teas I've tasted in the past and even in comparison to the gourmet teas I sell, the longer the bag stays in, the richer the flavor. I even leave the bag in a cup while drinking it hot, or in the pitcher I've made for iced tea until the pitcher is empty. Honestly, I think the directions are simply for first time tea makers because "how long does it take to steep tea?" is not an uncommon question.
Oversteeping tea can cause the tea to taste bitter. For teas and herbal teas made from leaves, flowers, buds and stems, 3 to 5 minutes is recommended for best flavor. However, herbal teas brewed for medicinal effect can be steeped longer (10-15 minutes) to enhance effect if you're not too concerned with taste, and in fact some herbs have to be steeped that long to release their medicinal components, like the tough Valerian root.
Be aware water temp also plays a factor. Tender parts of the plant (teas made from flowers, buds, leaves, and stems) should be steeped after the water reaches 1st boil (small, continuous bubbles), while tougher teas like roots should be steeped after
Thank you. It is nice to know the subtleties and nuances of preparing tea.
In my experience, oversteep will cause bitter taste especially when brewing tea by gaiwan. I usually use gaiwan to brew tea so I think time is quite important. Different tea need different time to brew. I think 3-5 minutes is for teapot brew, this time will be a little longer for me. For green tea I use glass cup to brew, I usually brew for 2-3 minutes. For white tea I use gaiwan to brew less than 1 minute and do not cover the lid because it may badly stew the tea. Oolong and pu-erh is best to use Yixing teapot to brew.
The time for brewing tea is actually according to your taste, stronger more time, light less time. I usually try with different time to see which result the best taste for me.
It is very easy to over steep tea. Tea leaves begin to release bitter tannins into the tea after about 4 minutes. after about 10 minutes your tea will be extremely bitter.
Yes, When having a very philosophical conversation with my parrot and I forgot about the tea bag steeping. But the positives out weigh the negatives
+ 1/ Involved in an interesting not to be missed discussion
+ 2/Missed out on that unneeded caffein and tanin
+ 3/Tea +teabag a good addition to my compost bin
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