My mother is famous for making “strong tea” as she calls it. Her version of strong tea involves using a little bit of tea and steeping it for an insane amount of time, about 10 – 15 minutes. While I love my mother to death, I can’t stand her tea. When tea is brewed this way, it is a bit light in flavor and overpoweringly bitter.
What is strong tea?
Strong tea is usually a Black Tea that has a lot of body and a bit of a punch due to its astringency. Strong tea is almost always served with milk and is often labeled a “breakfast tea.” The reason for this is because a lot of people who wake up in the morning want something that is strong and brisk to get their day started right.
Steeping tea for a long time makes it bitter
When you steep your tea it releases little bitter molecules called tannins. Tannins are actually a good thing. They provide incredible health benefits and give tea that astringent flavor that some people love. But, like most things, tannins need to be used in moderation. Too many tannins will cause the tea to become bitter and almost undrinkable.
Instead of increasing the time, increase the amount of tea
Even if you like astringent tea, adding more tea is preferred to adding more time. Adding more tea will give you the added bonus of drinking a tea that has more flavor. So while you still get that nice, strong astringent kick, you will also get the yummy taste of the tea.
If you like a brisk cup of tea in the morning, consider adding another half teaspoon of tea. You will get a lot of astringency plus added body and flavor. Now, if I can only convince my mom to do the same…