Tea Troubleshooting ProTips | How to Fix Weak, Bitter, and Astringent Tea

Tea Troubleshooting ProTips | How to Fix Weak, Bitter, and Astringent Tea

Not satisfied with your last cup of tea? Don't throw away those tea leaves yet! Try these Troubleshooting Protips™ from New Orlean's finest tea purveyors to fix your weak, bitter, and astringent tea. Never have a bad cuppa again!


Problem: Tea Tastes Weak

Troubleshooting Protip: Add more tea leaves

The number one brewing problem people come to us with is weak tea. More often than not, people were brewing a small amount of tea leaves in a larger than average mug or teapot. 

The general rule of thumb is to use 1 gram of tea leaves for every 2 ounces of water. Don't have a food scale? Congratulations, you're normal. In laymen's terms, you want to use about 2 teaspoons of tea leaves for every average mugs worth of tea. If your mug is bigger than average, add extra teaspoons of tea leaves accordingly. This should add more flavor to your tea. 

If problems persist, try increasing the brew time, then try increasing the water temperature.


Problem: Tea Tastes Bitter

Troubleshooting Protip: Reduce brew time

It's common practice for a lot of tea drinkers (even cafés) to brew tea leaves in water and then... leave them in there. That's fine if you want to add milk and sugar to your tea, but if you're drinking tea black then tea shouldn't be steeped for more than 4 or 5 minutes, half that for green tea. 

If your tea is tasting bitter, take your tea leaves out sooner. Some green teas only need as little as 1.5 minutes. Most teas have a 'tipping point' where extracting flavor becomes extracting bitter tannins. Experiment to find a brew time that works best for you. 

If problems persist, try decreasing the water temperature.


Problem: Tea Tastes Astringent (Dry Mouthfeel)

Troubleshooting ProTip: Brew tea in cooler water

Most people who make tea at home use boiling water, regardless of tea type. The problem with using boiling water with most tea types (especially green tea) is that the leaves get scorched and release a high concentration of bitter chemicals.

If your tea is too astringent for your taste, try letting your water cool before using it to brew tea. If you're using a kettle, bring the water to a boil then let the water cool for about 7 minutes. Experiment with the cool time and the flavor profile in your tea. Work towards dialing into that sweet spot where the tea is just how you like it. 

If problems still persist, try decreasing brew time.



Tandem Tea Company is New Orleans’ finest Tea Purveyor.

Our mission is to spread the love of tea by sourcing high quality, single origin, loose leaf teas and organic herbal blends from around the world to create the perfect tea menu. Whether you’re steeping loose leaf tea for the first time or looking for premium grade leaves, we are here for you with a variety of teas and information curated to meet your needs.


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