Have you ever left a cup of tea to steep for too long, only to become overwhelmed by the bitter, harsh taste? This bitterness comes from tannins, which are chemical compounds found in many plants. Too many tannins in a beverage will result in a bitter taste, and can cause great stomach upset if consumed in high quantities. Appropriate temperatures and steeping times are vital to achieving the perfect cup of tea!
White and Green teas can be “burned” by excessively hot water, causing your finished beverage to taste too bitter and off-putting. Steeping your tea for too long can also have a similar effect. These teas are very delicate, and should be treated as such.
Black teas are aged longer, making them slightly more temperature-tolerant than Green teas. Treat them with care, however. They will quickly go bitter.
If you’re like us- you may like your black tea with a little more “oomph” than the package recommends. Instead of steeping the tea longer, add more tea leaves. Steeping the tea longer releases more bitter tannins, and we want to avoid those! Adding more tea leaves and steeping for the appropriate time allows for a stronger flavor, but avoids the presence of high amounts of tannins, so you can taste the complexities of the ingredients in each cup.
Rooibos (Red) tea and most herbal teas (tisanes) are very temperature-hardy, and can be brewed at high temperatures, for much longer times than other teas. For any herbal teas, we recommend referring to the packaging for steeping instructions.
Refer to the chart below for appropriate steeping times/temperatures for all of your favorite teas!