Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Old 16-12-2009, 12:15 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default Too much tea or stepped too long?

On Sat, 12 Dec 2009 13:14:50 +0900, "chance"

"Prof Wonmug" wrote in message ...
On Sun, 18 Oct 2009 15:20:41 -0700 (PDT), "Dominic T."

On Oct 18, 6:12 pm, Prof Wonmug wrote:
On 18 Oct 2009 16:36:04 -0400, Lewis Perin wrote:

Prof Wonmug writes:

Fairly often when I am trying to figure out the right brewing
parameters for a tea, I get a cup that is too much of something, but I
can't always tell whether it's too strong or bitter.

Is there some way I can learn how to tell the difference?

Maybe I am looking for a difference that doesn't exist.

I have done tests where I brewed a tea at a low strength (1g/cup) for
a long time (5 min) and got a cup that seemed to me to be both weak
and bitter.

On the other hand, in trying some suggestions here for much more leaf
(3-5g/cup) for short times (10-30 seconds), I've gotten a cup that did
not have any of that biting bitterness, but was too strong.

Unless I'm way off base, I think I can detect the different when it's
extreme. The problem is when I brew something at medium strength for
medium time. If it's off, I can't always tell whether I should reduce
the amoubnt of leaf or the time.

I'm not sure what "too strong" would mean if the liquor is neither too
bitter nor too astringent.

I think I can detect astringency.

I think I can recognize when it's gotten very bitter, because of the
"bite". But when it's only slightly bitter, I have difficult
distinguishing that from just too strong.

Also, some of the strong blacks, like Assams, have a taste that is (to
me) a lot like bitter even when brewed for very short times.

Is it true that bitterness only occurs from steeping too long? I would
think that no tea would be bitter in a 30 second steep no matter how
much leaf is used. Is that right?

Not for me, at least. Last week I made some Assam that was too harsh
for me in 15 seconds. Too much leaf.

By "harsh" do you mean "bitter"?

The basic steps, of approx. 1tsp of leaf to about 6oz. of water is
where to start almost always when unfamiliar. Then change time and
water temp to adjust. For a black tea go with boil or just off boil
water, start at 15 seconds. Go to 30, 45, etc. until you hit the sweet
spot for you.


I just wanted to thank you for these tips. I was brewing most teas way
too strong and way too long. Since you posted this, I've been trying
much less leaf and much shorter steep times. The results are
remarkable. I've even been able to reclaim a couple of teas that I had
given up on.

It's a sort of amazing revelation, for I thought that what I have given up on
can't have any saving grace except for being a trash, for you can't pull out
no matter how much you tried any from what is not there in the first place.

What we are seeking here is a tea which gives tea taste and tea smell,
which 'whiffs' you no sooner than you open the package.

But you say you have been able to recover the 'impossible'.
Would you please kindly give us more detail, so we can know
what is done and how it is done.

I'm not sure what more I can say. I was brewing several teas too
strong and too long. I am now using much less leaf and much shorter
steep times. I don't recall saying anything about the 'impossible'.

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