Why Does My Tea Taste Bitter?

Bitter Tea?

You sit down to your favorite morning cuppa, holding it in your hands in great anticipation. You take a sip and…. yuk! Your tea is bitter!

Causes for Bitter Tea:

Steeped too long: Be sure to follow steeping instructions for your tea. If you leave your first infusion in too long, it can become very bitter.

Water too hot: Each tea needs a certain temperature water. In general, no teas should be prepared with water at a rolling boil. If water is too hot, it can burn the leaves and release unpleasant flavors. When in doubt, use 195°F water.

Too much tea used: It’s tempting to cram the pot full of tea leaves, but the general rule of 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water holds up pretty well. That should get you a strong cup of tea.

Tea too old: If your tried a shorter steeping time and cooler water but it’s still bitter, then you may have old tea leaves, or improperly stored tea. Check out our storage guide to see if you are storing your tea properly.

Personal Taste: Certain teas, especially breakfast and Assam teas can have a natural astringency that may be unpleasant to some people.

Hard Water: If your water has a high pH, it can cause your tea and coffee to taste bitter. Try using spring water to see if there is a difference.

Contamination: If your infuser, teapot, or kettle are not properly cleaned and thoroughly rinsed, you may be tasting something other than tea.

The Fix

Before you dump that cup of tea, try adding hot water too it. Often, this can help. If that doesn’t work, try brewing another cup, following the recommendations above and using our steeping instructions.

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