prescribed steep times
almost a quick question but here it goes
when steeping tea how do you decide how long to steep for? i mostly drink black teas; the prescribed steep times are usually 3-5 mins.. in my experience if i where to do that i would get a horribly bitter tea. i usually steep for under a minute and judge mostly by color, going longer teas just become bitter(in general)
is this a unique experience due to local water? or are steep times just mislabeled or something else?
My “cautious” steep time for blacks is generally three minutes. I like my tea strong, but not very bitter; but then, I also sweeten it. So that would help cut bitterness.
Are you really, really sensitive to bitter tastes in other foods? If you’re very sensitive to start with, maybe you are picking up more bitterness than other people.
I don’t know exactly why local water would make tea get bitter faster, but perhaps you could try it with filtered water and see if that helps. I definitely use filtered water, but our local water is nasty.
i thought that a hard or a soft water may make it infuse faster…im not sure if im sensitive to bitter things.. i drink my tea straight and usually after 30-45 seconds the teas are a dark color … i have experienced tea bags/smaller infusers do require a longer steep
For blacks I usually do about 3 minutes as well, but of course it’s all preference. If you ARE sensitive to bitterness than you should just continue with your steep time. It may also be the temperature of the water that you’re using. Sometimes if you use water that is too hot or not hot enough it can damage the process as well. Are you using the recommended temperature for the tea? It may also be that your tea is going bad. I’m not completely sure but just spit balling here. If none of these things apply I think you should just figure out what works best for you and stick to it. I always say that tea is a personal experience and everyone’s will be different. So do what best suits you and enjoy! :)
It also strongly depends on your leaf:water ratio. If you are getting a very strong dark cup after 30 seconds you it could be that you are using a lot more leaf than most places are talking about when they say 3-5 minutes. The standard amount is 1tsp leaf for 6oz of water. The other way to brew is gong fu, where you do many, very short steeps, and in that method you use a lot higher leaf:water ratio.
I’m pretty sensitive to bitterness in black teas, but a 3 minute steep is my standard for blacks (thats with 2tsp for 12oz of water). Sometimes poorer quality blacks are a little bitter after that, and so then I drop the water temp to 205°F instead of boiling.
But really, whatever floats your boat. If you are happy with the flavors you are getting then you don’t need to change your methods… just disregard steeping times.
i don’t use what i believe to be large amount( use normal spoon) ill try letting the water cool down/using small amounts =o
I find that some black tea’s benefit from a lower temperature. I sometimes go as low as for green teas. It depends on the tea and I’m pretty sensitive to bitter flavors. Sometimes you have to ruin a cup to figure out how to brew it right too.
It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that ignores steeping parameters for most blacks. I generally stick to 205 for and 2-3 minute infusions. For me this works as a general rule. There are some blacks I’d go even lower in temp. I agree that tea is a personal journey for each person. Stick with what pleases you. :D
If you use Gaiwan to brew black tea, we’d like to suggest you do a quickly step of rinsing tea for the first time. Also here are some information maybe help you:
Keemun Black: 10 seconds for the first infusion after rinsing, then with an additional 5 seconds are added to the steeping each time.
Dian Hong: 25 seconds for the first infusion after rinsing, then with an additional 25 seconds are added to the steeping each time.
Because everyone has his or her own preference, so you can try different brewing times to find the most suitable way which makes that cup perfect.
I love black tea but find myself quite sensitive to bitterness – I steep with a heaping teaspoon per cup (usually an 8 or 12 oz cup) and steep for 2.5 to 3 minutes in recently boiled (or nearly boiling) water. Some teas I am more delicate with, but that’s usually a trial and error issue.