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looseTman said

Reducing Astringency: Most Effective Method?

What has been the most effective method you’ve found for reducing astringency?
A. – Lower temperature
B. – Shorter infusion time
C. – More leaf
D. – More water
E. – A combination of the above
F. – Something else

9 Replies
sansnipple said

B. Shorter time, or
A. MUCH lower temp (as in refrigerator overnight), cold-brewing can save even some really nasty teas.
but really,
F. Get better tea

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Ysaurella said

A + B methods generally work fine for me on most teas but for the ones which keep on going with astringency I apply the F method and let them down

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Dr Jim said

I use A+B, but also find that adding sugar counters the apparent astringency.

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mrmopar said

Shorter time is my choice. I have tried lower temps that helped some.

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WtFGoD said

shorter time for sure, dont wanna limit temps…. assuming you are using correct temp in first place. after you reduce time if the flavor is poor… then add more leaf.

and adding water probably the same as reducing leaf, who knows.

also note that if you are using a poor tea… odds are its going to have more bitterness.

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If it is astringency due to oversteeping I add more water to balance it out a little. Otherwise A+B, or I cold steep it.

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Most definitely A and B are key, but also make certain to use filtered water. Basically any black tea is excellent with 200 degree water, which is short of actually boiled at most elevations. If you do boil the water (212 degrees at sea level) then make certain to let it settle down for 10-20 seconds before pouring over the tea.

My standard for black teas is 200 degrees for 3 minutes, which is almost always sufficient and will not be overly astringent, even with Assams, so long as it is good tea. Keemuns and Yunnans can often go 4 minutes and some Yunnans actually need it, but more than that rarely improves the tea.

I’ll stick with black teas, so I don’t end up typing a novel.

That’s my $0.02 anyway, and I have to test a LOT of tea.

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alice said

Generally more leaf and shorter steeps for me. I will also experiment with the temperature if shorter steepings alone don’t help.

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if all else fails, rinse the leaves with hot water for 10 seconds. works on fukamushi for me.

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