Louis E said

New to tea. Am i doing something wrong?

Hello everyone. I consider myself new to tea. I’ve been drinking black tea a few months now but it feels that im doing something wrong. I have bought some teas like twinnings, Taylor’s of Harrogate, and dilmah(im i allowed to say brandnames here?)the first two English breakfast and the other one said pure ceylon, and every time the tea is too bitter.Even the smell of it isn’t pleasant. I tried everything from changing steeping times to more sugar or milk but every time its bitter. Sometimes a little better than others but most of the time its just bitter. One day i bought two unknown brands that some super market import to my country and i was shocked to how tasty the tea was. It was just ceylon tea but it was so much better than other ceylon teas that i tried in the past and even the smell was wonderful. (one of them was teabag and the other loose leaf).So are the previous brands that i mentioned bad or because im new i find bad tea to be good and the good ones bitter? Sorry if my question is a bit weird.I tried some Chinese greens and i really liked them. Also i want to mention that English is not my first language so im sorry about any mistakes.Have a nice day :)

5 Replies

Welcome! You can certainly talk about brand names here. I’d suggest trying the bitter teas with much cooler water and maybe even 30 seconds steep. Or maybe you just don’t like stronger black teas. Whatever teas you like is completely up to you! What someone considers the “best” tea might be your least favorite tea, and of course that is fine. It’s tea – just drink what you like/what you want. :D

Louis E said

Thank you very much for your answer :) i tried different steeping times, temperatures and found out what i like. Even if it becomes a bit bitter i add a sweetener and im good to go.

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The tannins in the black teas you have tasted contribute to the tea’s flavor but can also lead to bitterness if there is too much tannin in the cup. Tannin in tea varies according to the level of oxidation of the tea. Black teas, particularly Assam, have higher amounts of tannin.

Tannins are released as the tea steeps or brews. To reduce tannins, and bitterness, reduce the quantity of tea being steeped and the amount of time the tea leaves are in the pot or cup. A general guide is to use a teaspoon of tea per eight ounces of water.

One of the pleasures of tea is experimenting and finding what makes our own interpretation of “the perfect cup”. There are many guidelines however on water temperature, quantity of leaves and steep times to get you started.

Enjoy your new discovery of tea and keep discovering!

Louis E said

Thanks for your answer!My problem was that even with the same tea and the same times it tastes different every time.I experiment a lot and now most of the time i get a cup that i find pleasant. There’s still some cups that come out too bitter but im working on it :)

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Leafhopper said

I find Assam teas, which are often used in English breakfast blends, to be bitter as well if they’re steeped too long or at too high a temperature. I like second flush Darjeelings because they tend to have fewer tannins and a sweeter profile. Also, you might want to experiment with green, oolong, and white teas, which are generally less bitter than black teas.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your results!

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