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rabbysmom said

Strange question about tea drinking

When I drink certain teas, they leave a “parched” (for lack of a better word) feeling in the back of my throat. Is this a desired thing? I don’t care for it and for some reason have really noticed that sensation (or not) when drinking certain teas. Anyone have some insight?

8 Replies
Spot52 select said

I know some teas have a quality that is called astringency. And this simply means that they can cause cells to shrink. This can lead to a dry or parched feeling. I do not know if it is a desired quality or not. I have noticed it with silver needles.

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Brian said

It’s something I look for in some black teas, but the opposite occurs in sencha. Astringency is the right word! :D

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Cofftea said

There’s astringency, but also most hot beverages do nothing to quench my thirst… infact, they make it worse. Separate things, but definitely especially bad when they mix.

Batrachoid said

I beleive that’s because hot beverages are usually caffeinated and in the realm of tea, contain some tannins. Caffeine is a diaretic and tannins are astrigant.

Cofftea said

Hot water would make me just as thirsty. Cold caffeine and astringency do not have that effect on me.

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Yes, astringency is not necessarily a bad thing, not too strong and it can be pleasing to the palate. It comes from the tannins in tea. Red wine too has tannins.

Yet, this aspect of tea is how the addition of milk or lemon in tea developed.
Casein in milk binds with the tannins and smooths the puckeriness. Lemon juice breaks down tannins making the tea less astringent.

In serving tea daily, I come across many folks who say they’ve never developed a taste for tea, or outright say they don’t like it. I suspect a bad tannin experience is the reason. Tastes have such a profound influence on memories.

Time the infusion of your teas from 3 minutes to 5 and see if less steeping time affects your enjoyment. Oversteeping brings out the tannins.

Just because you don’t like the stronger tannin teas should not limit your enjoyment of
other types of tea. Keep experimenting till you find your own palate pleasers.

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Lori said

I find that Chinese teas such as yunnans have minimal , if any, astringency. I also tend to avoid astringent teas.

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Marcus said

I agree with everyone here. One way to reduce the amount of astringency is to steep your tea for less time. But even with a short steeping time, some teas are just meant to be astringent, like a 2nd flush Darjeeling.

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