Mistakes you've made related to tea...

165 Replies

Finding myself in a store that sells tea, but only bagged tea, then buying some bagged tea because I feel like I need to get SOME new tea somehow. Then letting the bagged tea languish on the top shelf.

david said


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Using the wrong water temperature… I’ve been trying to correct that.
The only teas I really oversteep anymore are rooibos. I’ve left my tea ball in there for nearly 10 minutes once.

I still store all my teas together (in liplock bags), but I have no where else to put them.

TeaRunner said

I actually like rooibos after it has been steeped for 10 minutes much more than regularly steeped one. I think the flavor only gets deeper. I do it all the time now.

I do like the stronger flavour. Does it get bitter?

TeaRunner said

I have not noticed it getting bitter, only stronger. But then again – confession here – I usually use more leaves than recommended, and like to increase the brewing temperature by 5-10 degrees, and brew them just a tad longer than recommended… I guess I have a long way to go before I grasp how refined some teas could be and appreciate those more delicate types. Could it be that years of strong, black, unsweetened French Roast coffee and Zinfandel have altered my taste buds?

Dustin said

With rooibos not being made from tea leaves, I think it’s fine to steep it as long at you want without risk of it going bitter. I’ll steep them from 5-10 minutes.

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Chizakura said

My Timoliner was in the dishwasher, so I borrowed one of my parents’ go-cup. The only thing they ever put in it is coffee, but I assumed that since they get washed really well and aren’t used terribly often that it’d be okay.

Not so. D: My poor black tea tasted like … black coffee! The horror! D: (as I hate everything coffee) Sadly I had to dump it. No matter how much I tried to block out the smell and concentrate on the tea, I could only taste coffee. tears
(that said though, I’m not a big fan of keeping tea in stainless steel period. Alters the taste waaaay too much, but I do it when I’m desperate. Usually though, I’ll just have a regular mug in the car. xD; I’m quite skilled at keeping the tea in the cup and out of my lap, so.)

Otherwise, just the basic “oops.” Like thinking “Oh I want tea,” and not setting the timer, and then half hour later I get up thinking “Oh I want tea” and then discover a very very dark and scary looking cup of half hour steeped tea.

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Using the same amount of matcha for flavored matcha as I use for flavored matcha. I find the 1 tsp for 6 oz of water I use for unflavored is FAR too much for the flavored kind. This is quite minor compared to the others though.

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Josh said

I’m constantly overestimating the amount of tea I need to get a full bodied brew. This morning my green oolong unrolled and expanded after brewing to the point at which the top of my teapot wouldn’t close all the way.

It was still tasty though :)

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thinking that just because I like one kind of flavored tea, that I should like them all/many. Assuming that all teas of a particular common type (genmai, sencha etc) would be at least palatable, if not enjoyable/loved

lteg select said

I can definitely second that latter mistake. The diversity within a group is something I’m loving now that I’m becoming more educated about tea (and have this site as a resource to try to find teas that suite my tastes) but it definitely didn’t serve me well when I had first started drinking tea and thought that I could go out and buy the first Earl Grey (there are some really bad Earl Greys…) or Chai I saw.

right! I am by no means new to loose leaf, but I am new to buying it on my own… I also have had this issue with darjeeling. Sadly, I avoid using the reviews on this site to find recommended teas, though I am loving the diversity of company links I have found through deep searching the teas listed here alone.

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I saw this thread earlier and thought, “Man, I really don’t have any mistakes worth contributing.” So I was bummed. And so I purposely made a tea mistake hours later by drinking iced tea from a can (it was free).

WHY DID I DO IT. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Is this really tea??” It tasted like sugary juice, with a ton of corn syrup. The tea? POWDERED. That’s a thing??

I hate wasting food and drink, so I drank most of it until I caved and threw it out. I’m a tea masochist.

Chizakura said

I did that too. I had lunch at Red Robin, and without thinking ordered an iced tea, forgetting that it wouldn’t be … real tea. lol. It’s pretty bad when it’s so sugared that you not only couldn’t tell what tea was used for the base, but couldn’t even taste tea. … In fact, I wonder if there was even any tea in it at all. ._.

Never again. Even when I’m desperate for tea.

reminds me of the night I shared a really good jasmine I got in a trade here with a local tea buddy, and mid cup he pulls out his lipton brisk, which he is never without, and apologizes, saying “that tea is good, but every so often you just need a shot of Brisk, you know?”
me= twich

Chizakura said

Well if my options were pop or Brisk, I’d take the Brisk. I don’t drink pop period. But I’d really rather have a proper iced tea that the taste buds can actually identify as tea than Brisk or Nestea, that’s for sure. xD

I made my Mexican Mango Chili Mate into an iced tea last night because my boyfriend typically only likes tea in iced form. He sipped it and promptly poured his tea into the remainder of mine. Non tea drinkers really don’t grasp what ICED TEA is I think.

This thread made me curious about the history of iced tea. Apparently in recipes dating back a couple hundred years ago people drank spiked iced green tea.

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Lala said

I am a sucker for pretty packaging.

I used buy tea by sight only. If it looks pretty then I want it. Then I get home and it often is not to my taste, or to be honest, not good at all.

I’m working on making sure I taste it or smell it before I buy it :)

david said

Definitely can be deceiving

ughhh me too, or pretty tea for me, like if it has sprinkles especially sprinkles in cute shapes…I NEED IT

yssah said

my aunt was fooled by the scent of Read My Lips. she didnt like the flavor so she is giving it to me. hehehe

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Rie said

Letting leaf/brewed tea sit out for far too long…
Using incredibly hard water for brewing, without filtering it.
Neglecting tea/tea making when things are “too busy”, etc.
Once, destroying a kettle by leaving it on the stove for too long, causing it to burn out. Terrible!
Letting teabags steep forever!!

But the worst would be when I catch myself having the wrong attitude sometimes.

Like blaming the tea quality for a bad brew. Of course some teas are better than others, but part of the responsibility is on me, too. And I’m much more inexperienced than the tea and the people behind it.

Or when I treat “fine” tea a little better than my everyday tea. I shouldn’t let my Earl Grey oversteep even if I can afford to. If I can take an hour to sit down with a Silver Needle, surely I can take the time to not let my sencha sit out on the counter! D:

It’s hard to have to face the mistakes, haha. But I’m happy for the progress, too.

K S said

I like what you had to say here about attitude. This sounds like my feelings. Cheap bag tea can often make a good cup if prepared with the proper attitude and respect. Likewise the best teas can be ruined by a lack of attention to the details.

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When I first started with loose leaf tea, maybe 20 years ago, I brewed it in those tiny metal “tea ball” infusers. You know, the ones that don’t let the leaves unfurl properly. I still cringe when I see reputable tea vendors selling those, or friends who are “into” tea using them.

K S said

I had a large tea ball. I used to think it was great. I gave it to someone who doesn’t know the difference and I am pretty sure never will. As for the vendors – they wouldn’t sell them if people weren’t asking for them. You can teach but you can’t make people learn.

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