Everyone makes mistakes. But when it comes to tea brewing, mistakes can turn the most comforting cup into something you can’t bear to drink.
Here are mistakes to avoid the next time you make tea:
1. Don’t squeeze the tea bag!
Let’s skip over the fact that you’re using tea bags in the first place.
But when you squeeze the tea bag you release the tannins in the tea leaves, making your tea really bitter. Just the thought sends shivers down my spine – and not the good kind!
2. Using tap, microwaved, or reheated water.
The water you use has a big impact on the taste of your tea. Tap water adds a chemical flavor. Microwaved water adds a metallic taste. Reheated water, or water that was previously boiled, has lost its oxygen, making your tea taste flat.
For the best tasting tea, always start with cold, fresh, filtered water.
3. Using water that is the wrong temperature.
It’s a common mistake to use water that is too hot to brew tea. This only makes tea taste bitter. And the longer you heat it, the more oxygen will be released from the tea, producing a flat taste.
Green tea shouldn’t be made with boiling water! It needs water that is 180-200°F, which is a rapid steam.
Black tea uses water that has just reached the boiling stage: 212°F.
And please don’t boil the tea leaves in your teapot or kettle. You’ll scorch the leaves, producing a bitter taste.
4. Adding cream or half-and-half to tea.
The fat content of cream and half-and-half is too heavy for tea. It overpowers the flavor. Only a touch of milk should be used.
5. Steeping your tea for too long.
Steeping your tea longer to make it stronger doesn’t make a good cup of tea. It releases tannins in the tea leaves, leaving a bitter tea.
Instead, add more tea leaves or another tea bag for stronger tea.
6. Don’t store your tea properly.
Tea needs to be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. It can absorb both moisture and other flavors.
Tea is usually best stored in a tea tin or box, away from the stove.
Don’t store it near your spices or it will begin to taste like them…unless turmeric flavored green tea sounds tasty to you.
Don’t store it in the refrigerator! And unless the store you buy tea from a place that sells its tea very quickly, avoid buying any tea stored in glass jars.
7. Using a rusty teakettle to boil water.
Over the years, the bottoms of teakettles can rust. Check your teakettle regularly. If you start to see rust, it’s time to get a new one.