What is Over Steeping Tea?
Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and many enjoy both the taste and the various health benefits that sipping a cup of this brewed leaf has to offer. However, when it comes to brewing, it is easy to accidentally over-steep your tea and end up with an overly bitter and unpleasant experience.
The Effects of Over Steeping
When tea leaves are left in hot water for too long, the tannins in the tea leaves, that are responsible for the more astringent and bitter flavors, are released in excess. Tea brewed using this method will not only have a stronger flavor, but also a darker color. It can be difficult to tell if a cup of tea is over-steeped just by looking at it, so you may want to take sips while you’re brewing to make sure it doesn’t taste too bitter.
How to Avoid Over Steeping
It’s easy to over-steep your tea if you’re not paying close attention. To ensure that you get the perfect cup of tea every time:
- Measure the dry tea leaves carefully. The amount of tea you use will depend on the type of tea you’re brewing and its intended strength. Using too much tea can easily lead to an overly bitter brew.
- Choose the correct brewing temperature. Lower temperature teas like gently brewed white tea should be steeped with water lower than 175°F, while more full-flavored teas like oolong and black teas can be brewed with water closer to 195°F. Brewing your tea at the right temperature means you don’t have to steep the tea for too long.
- Set a timer. Different types of tea have different brewing times, so it’s important to know how long to let your tea steep. Usually 2-5 minutes should be enough. Once the timer is up, remove the leaves and enjoy your cup.
While over-steeping your tea may not sound like such a big deal, it really can make or break your cuppa. By taking care to measure the tea leaves, using the right water temperature, and setting a timer, you can make sure that you enjoy the perfect cup of tea every time.