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Babble said

Tea steeping question

Hey Steepster buds. My friend asked me this question that I’m not really sure how to logically answer. Perhaps you can help:

Why is it that you can reuse tea leaves three or so times, but if you steep longer than five minutes or so it becomes bitter? There seems to be an inconsistency here.

3 Replies
Lynxiebrat said

not really. it can depend on the tea…(and maybe the quality?) I think the shorter steeps just enables the leaves to get more out of them in the long run. I am not an expert on this, I rarely resteep, because usually if I want more tea I want something else.

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WtFGoD said

its because the longer you leave the leaves in to steep the more flavor comes out…… but also Tannins build up and they = bitter.

so long steep = Lots of flavor+Lots of bitter = not drinkable
shorter steep = some flavor + some bitter = drinkable
1-1 – drinkable
1-1 – drinkable
1-1 – drinkable
3-3 – not drinkable

atleast that is how i understand it.

also maybe the tannins have delayed release or come from inner parts of the leaves… but who knows(not me)… maybe thats why CTC have shorter steep/get bitter quicker.

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WtFGoD basically has it right. When you are making tea, the big issue is how long the leaves are in contact with that cup of tea. The longer they are, the more astringent or bitter the cup of tea can become. There is no contradiction here. By resteeping leaves, you are inserting a new cup of water which starts the process over again. The only difference is the tea leaves open up more with each steeping and depending on the quality of the leaves and type, this may mean that the new cup of tea will be stronger of weaker.

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