Easy Brewing Mistakes and How to Solve Them

At Cup of Tea, we're often asked, "why does my tea tasting funny?" or "why doesn't my tea taste quite right?"

This is common, and we all make easy mistakes when making tea, but the good news is that there are a few factors that you can control to ensure every brew is perfect!

Loose-leaf tea and real-leaf tea bags are sensitive to chemical reactions. Like all foodstuff, tea leaves can react differently in higher temperatures, can take on surrounding aromas and be affected by chemicals in water and, of course, brewing time. The good news is that we're in charge, so we can make teas that even professional tea experts will be proud of. 


Water Temperature

The temperature of the water you brew your tea with makes a huge difference to the overall cuppa. As a general rule, the more tea leaves are processed in their production, the more caffeine the tea will contain. So, black tea has the most caffeine and, therefore, will need a higher temperature in the water, while white tea is the least processed and contains less caffeine. Therefore, it will need lower temperatures to prepare. 

Please refer to the packet instructions. 

The Temperature 'Rules':



Quality of Water

Water quality also plays a part in how your tea tastes. If it sits in a kettle for a while, it will contain less oxygen. Oxygen helps to draw out the flavours of your tea. So we always recommend a fresh pour from the tap. And only ever boil what you need, your electricity bill with thank you! 

Hard and soft water can also affect the taste, so we recommend a water filter to extract some of the nasties in hard or soft water areas. 


Brewing Time

How often have you left a tea bag in your mug or left a teapot unattended for a good few minutes, and the tea hasn't tasted right? We've all done it, but the recommended tea brewing time on the packet is there for a reason. If your water temperature is correct and you time the brew, it will be as it should be. Tea timers are affordable, fun (especially the grain drop ones) and great for timing your tea. We love our Paradox tea timers because they are battery-free and come in an arrangement of fun colours. 

The Timing 'Rules':


Tea Storage

Loose-leaf teas and real-leaf tea bags taste better and stay fresher for longer if stored in tea caddies. We always recommend that our customers store their teas in airtight tins to keep them at their best. 

Tea and other foodstuffs benefit from being held in the dark, so non-transparent containers are perfect (sorry, jars!) because all foodstuffs can be affected by the elements. 

Sunlight can degrade the strength of the flavour and the aroma of tea. If teas are not stored in airtight containers, they are prone to oxidisation. This is especially important for fresher teas with moisture retention, such as green teas. 

Heat in our homes, especially in the winter, can threaten the freshness of your tea leaves if they are not stored correctly. One of the most effective ways to protect the flavour and aroma of your tea is to keep it well away from other strong-flavoured or scented foods. Likewise, never store your tea anywhere near aromatic spices or herbs. Even other bold teas will affect the integrity of your tea. 

Moisture is also bad for any dried food product, not least tea. Tea has been withered, rolled, oxidised, dried and packaged to provide the consumer with the perfect tea leaves for your cup. Moisture can undo that lengthy process, and we advise teas to be stored away from the oven, kettle, and any other forms of moisture and humidity. This can be tricky in kitchens where moisture is inevitable, so a tea caddy really is the perfect answer.


Quality of Tea 

If your tea doesn't taste great, and you've ticked all the above boxes, it could be down to the quality. Teas, especially those produced using orthodox methods like ours, take a long time to grow and make. Our teas are of high quality and therefore taste great, and we pride ourselves on sourcing only the best teas that we have personally tried and tasted over and over again.  

Posted by cup of tea admin
12th September 2022

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