Looking for smooth non-astringent teas
Just had an extremely smooth tea from Nina’s Paris, who is branching out to North America. The tea was called Grand Amour. Check out the Nina’s thread in steepster discussions. You can order it through amazon now. It’s a little pricey, though.
Blood orange black from Drink the leaf
Thanks a lot.
Just about any tea can become astringent and/or bitter, if you either make it too strong or let it steep for a long time (sort of the same thing, in the end). However, greens seem to be most touchy, oolongs less so, and black teas the least.
Thanks to all for the wonderful advice. I’ve been following brewing instructions carefully, but several of you seem to suggest brewing for shorter times and at lower temperatures even for black teas. I will definitely try your suggestions and look up all the teas mentioned.
Very nice community! :)
Yeah, I pretty much never follow black tea steeping instructions… They always come out bitter and nasty! The one exception is high quality Chinese blacks from Teavivre or Verdant. But I will almost never steep a black tea longer than 3 minutes, unless the plan is to put milk and sugar in it (which is rare), and some blacks (especially low quality bases to flavored teas) really need a lower steeping temp than called for.
I hate brewing instructions. :)
Brewing instructions are worthless. I was really unimpressed by harney’s labels saying ‘the RIGHT way to brew black tea.. etc etc’ the right way is what makes the tea good for the person drinking it, not some silly instructions. And teh instructions say 5 minutes which is IMO too much for nearly all black teas unless you plan on milk/sugar.
Thank you all!
I hate bitterness in tea. Years back I’d wonder why my earl grey would be great sometimes, then turn my stomach others. Turns out I was letting it steep too long. As others mentioned, I like lower temperatures and/or quick steeps for getting smooth tasting cups.
Hey friends, check out my latest tasting note. Thanks again for all the good advice! http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/35331-zo78-tie-guan-yin-oolong-second-grade?post=160060
For an oolong you might also try the same amount of tea but steeping in 6 oz of water for 60 seconds. Then repeat for at least 2 more small cups.
In countries like Britain, where milk is commonly added to tea, companies will blend and produced tea designed for milk and/or sugar to be added. These teas when drank plain may taste bitter or astringent. So it might be worth while looking into the company selling the tea to see if they recommend the tea be drank with milk or additives.
Good point, thanks!
Excellent question for a new thread! This is a very practical topic that should be of interest to many tea lovers. Kudos!
Thank you! I’ve gotten some great advice here. :)
I usually have issues with black tea/ bitterness, but have found that Butiki Tea’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black is free of astringency (I steep around 3 to 3 1/2 minutes) and has a really nice flavor profile.
Looks like you got a bunch of really neat replies here. Thanks for starting this topic. It’s helping me out, too!
Made a list of all the teas mentioned in this thread and will work my way through them…
Also, just finished reading The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook. The teas it specifically mentions for having little to no astringency are:
Everest Hand Rolled Tips (Black)
Golden Monkey (Black)
I then emailed Mary Lou Heiss (co-author of the book and co-owner of Tea Trekker) to ask if she had any other teas available that would also fit the bill. She suggested:
“For green teas, the Lu Shan, Gan Lu and Yunnan Spring Buds are light,
delicious and less astringent. Baozhong will return in the spring but
another great oolong choice is the Nepal High Himalaya Jade Oolong.”
Cool. Thanks for sharing!