Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

rsaw said

Does anyone else have a problem with rooibos leaving an aftertaste/smell on their strainer?

So I just bought an Adagio rooibos sampler pack and spent the past few days trying out different rooibos blends. Fast forward to yesterday, and I decide to brew some Bai Mudan, and it comes out tasting completely awful, with a strong rooibos smell and taste overpowering it. I go and wash my silicone Tuffy Tea Steeper with soap and water, take a sniff, and smell nothing but rooibos after-smell on the thing. I haven’t made any new cups of loose tea since then, but I have a feeling that my strainer is now ruined after repeatedly scrubbing with soap and water and soaking in hydrogen peroxide (the only thing I have to soak with other than vinegar). I’d try vinegar too, but I don’t want my strainer to end up smelling like vinegar, because that would be a lot worse.

Has anyone else had this problem with rooibos and strainers? I don’t mind going out and buying a new strainer/tea brewing device (especially the ingenuiTEA), but I don’t want to ruin it by imparting a rooibos taste/smell onto it.

EDIT: So, the smell/taste problem actually goes away pretty easily if you soak in water after washing. Just leave the strainer in water and enough of it will go away that you probably wouldn’t be able to detect it on your next steep. I’ve returned to using my Tuffy steeper.

14 Replies
Kittenna said

I haven’t specifically had that problem, but I am having trouble with my Timolino mug from DavidsTea retaining the smell of various teas in its presumably-silicone parts. One tea of which was a rooibos. I wonder if it’s just a problem with silicone. I would suggest picking up a stainless steel strainer (infuser basket, tea ball, just something without silicone). (Besides, from personal experience it’s nice to have more than one infuser, especially if you like to do multiple infusions and drink more than one tea at once :D)

I have the same issue with the Timolino, and with the silicone insert in the cap of the Noble. I think it’s just that the silicone is much more porous than stainless steel, and thus absorbs scents/flavors much more strongly. I’d recommend either a stainless steel infuser, or something like the ingenuiTEA from Adagio.

Login or sign up to post a message.

SimplyJenW said

No issues, but my infusers are stainless steel. I have infuser baskets from ForLife.

Login or sign up to post a message.

cteresa said

I always use metal strainers and never had a problem – and some teas I use are much stronger smelling than than rooibos!

Silicone can be weird. I use silicone instruments for baking and while it resists high temperature it gets all grungy, oily, disgusting, after used in the oven.

Any chance you used hotter water than usual for the rooibos? Rooibos is the tea for which I use the hottest, free boiling water, and for longer infusions.

Login or sign up to post a message.

DaisyChubb said

Yes. I do have this problem on certain elements – ei: any plastic instruments or silicone parts, etc. Which is why I usually only use stainless steel strainers or glass mugs! I digress – you CAN get rid of the smell!

Soak the offending piece in vinegar and baking soda, then scrub like a mad person, rinse and repeat. You can let soak for longer period if you want, but it always works on the first try for me.

Then, rinse and soak in plain water to get rid of the vinegar smell, which goes away pretty quickly.

But yeah, I HATE that rooibos smell, it always smells rotten to me D:
Good luck!

EDIT: I see now in your original post that you’re afraid of it smelling like vinegar, if you think your strainer is ruined, it might be worth the try. It will smell like vinegar when you first take it out of the soak, but after a few rinses (with soap and water if you’re paranoid), it goes away.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Missy said

I’ve not ever had that problem with rooibos. I think the baking soda+vinegar would probably do the trick. If I want to get rid of tea stains or mineral build up, I use cream of tartar. I add 1/2 teaspoon to a kettle or a pot with stained tool, and boil it for 5 minutes or so. Wipe down and rinse. Seems to work for all sorts of tea stains and the like perhaps it will work for your infuser. There is no smell that I can detect to worry about getting rid of. Good luck!

Login or sign up to post a message.

Scott B said

I’ve had problems with mint tea and masala chai aroma being retained in a mesh basket with a plastic-y frame. I imagine rooibus would be retained too if I drank it very often. I try to remember to rinse the basket very thoroughly when I am done with the leaves-don’t ever let them dry or sit overnight. Nothing worse than tasting mint in my morning assam-yuck! I did buy a stainless steel infuser basket and haven’t had problems with that yet.

Login or sign up to post a message.

rsaw said

Alright, I tried soaking in vinegar (don’t currently have any baking soda as I haven’t needed it for anything in my dorm yet), but now I just have a vinegar smelling strainer. Currently soaking in plain water, so we’ll see how that turns out.

Anyone have recommendations for a stainless steel cup strainer that’s under $10 shipped? I’d like it to be fine enough for rooibos too, without any plastic/rubber parts that might get stained with scent/taste.

Login or sign up to post a message.

teaenvy said

if you have a natural food store neat you they might have the infuser from republic of tea. its fine mesh ss and works well for five bucks

Login or sign up to post a message.

teaenvy said

sorry about the phone pidgin speak.
look for “the peoples tea infuser”. it has a large deep basket and the mesh is fine enough to contain almost anything. probably could be ordered for less than ten bucks too.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Not quite $10, and not sure if the offer’s still on, but if you can spend a little more, this is worth checking out:
http://steepster.com/discuss/2635-free-kati-tea-brewing-system-tea-forte

Login or sign up to post a message.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.