2nd time round, this time i steeped for only 3 minutes; followed the directions to the letter, putting the leaves directly into a tea pot & straining. yes, it was much, much better. no trace of bitterness, just a good substantial cuppa. i’ve always used those tea balls or some kind of in-yr-cup strainer. never occured to me to use this right-in-the-pot method before. revelation!