Black tea steeping times
So, I’ve been in love with black teas for… well… forever. I’m curious though. Does anyone know why some black teas say to only steep for 3mins and some you can steep for 4-6mins?
The ones that say to only steep for 3mins, I find that if you do any longer they get incredibly bitter.
Is it the difference in quality or leaves just from different places?
Difference in the leaves but also quality. Smaller pieces get bitter faster, whole leaves tend to take more time without issue but don’t necessarily need it. I drink primarily black tea and my default is 2.5 – 3 minutes. Most teas can’t get bitter in that range but have a pretty good strength. If a tea needs more or less than that, I’m less likely to drink it. : )
Not necessarily a difference in quality but differences in the leaves themselves. For Mariage Freres FF Darjeelings, tea estates like Ambootia are suggested to be steeped for 5 minutes while the suggested time for Castleton is 2 minutes. Both are of outstanding quality. Also depending on the climate conditions each year, the suggested steeping times will change even when it is from the same estate, same Spring flush, same grade SFTGFOP1, but a different year. The suggested steeping time for the 2011 FF Castleton was 5 minutes.