Which teas can you not overbrew?

Hi everyone,

I’m looking at buying one of these filter cups: http://www.shangtea.com/store/p/14-Filter-Tea-Cup-12-oz-.html

But I’m worried that the tea might overbrew. Is there a particular tea anyone can recommend that they don’t think will overbrew in this cup?


The Cosmic Teapot.

11 Replies

Assam tea tends to get bitter quickly when left to brew too long.

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gmathis said

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I have yet to ruin a cup of PG Tips, underbrewed, overbrewed, measurements wrong, whatever. But you have to like fairly strong tea—it has some muscle.

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Thanks guys.

Tea won’t stay hot too long in that flask, so it would have to be a tea that is nice cold. So I was thinking a green, yellow, white or oolong.

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Cofftea said

It’s my opinion that the only tea you can’t over brew is cold brewed (which isn’t something I choose to do).

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Cosmic Teapot: I think that a yellow would work nicely because I have yet to oversteep a yellow tea. A good quality Dragonwell would be a good choice as well.

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SBS Teas said

I have found that white teas are very bitter if overbrewed. I would stay away from these while using that cup.

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mate teas like my morning mate seem to deal with ‘abuse’

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Definitely avoid large doses of sencha. That becomes undrinkable when brewed too strong…
(I think lower leaf-water ratios work, though)

You’re pretty safe with most herbals, since those don’t have tannins, so the flavor will just get stronger, not overpoweringly bitter.
I think Pu Erhs tend to handle long brew-times well…but then again, that might be my tastes. If you’re like me, though, you can’t overbrew oolong (moreso the darker ones). I mean, technically, you can, but if it’s not high-quality stuff, it’s drinkable even after being brewed for an hour. And yes, I have had TKY brewed for over an hour – still tongue-burning hot when I drank it. Absolutely delicious, after the cringing part. (I like my oolongs like I like my women; hot and bitter…)

Lungjing (dragonwell) would probably work well, too. When I was visiting China, everywhere we went served lungjing, almost always with the leaves unfiltered in the cup, left to brew. Never tasted stewed or anything. Then again, my Dragon Well experiences varied in the States from in China…

Kind of a random thought, but if you can get your hands on some mugwort tea (if you’re desperate, I can hook you up with a shop that ships), I’m told it turns turquoise if you let it steep long enough. I’ve never had the patience for it, because it seems to take a REALLY long time, but the gorgeous stains on my teacups the next day support the claim. As for taste, it’s kind of artichoke-y.

Hope that helps?

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I just forgot to pour out my Dragon Well (that I bought in Hong Kong) and it was pretty stewed, but that might be because I was using a lot of tea in a gaiwan. Maybe it would work with smaller quantities.

I’ve also seen the Chinese leave their leaves in there all day and not complain. But just because the Chinese do it, doesn’t make it right. Otherwise, everyone would drink Tetleys teabag-in-a-cup like most British people do today!

Maybe there is no tea that this works with. It is looking increasingly like the answer is “if you don’t mind your tea stewed, try xxx, otherwise don’t bother”.

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So of course each culture has different rubrics for how long to steep teas, but the general rule of thumb for staying away from “bitterness” (or the tannin flavor) is not to over steep green, flavored white, oolong or black teas. For more details check below (all for an 8oz glass of tea):

Green Tea (1 tsp of loose leaf): about 1 minute

Flavored White (1.5 tsp of loose leaf): 1 minute

Oolong (1 tsp loose leaf): 3 minutes

Black (1tsp loose leaf): 2-3 mintues

For more details, check out our website .. we will soon be posting an entire “know” section to answer these kinds of questions on tea!

We hope this helps! Happy sipping!

Cofftea said

And for some Japanese greens, even 1 min is too long. I find the 1.5tsp of white interesting- I use 1TB a lot of times. And I don’t think I could ever steep a black for less than 5… but 2-3 definitely insures it won’t be bitter:)

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