How to remove bitterness from tea?

Tea, an ancient drink originating from China, is consumed and appreciated around the world for its unique flavors and health benefits. Whether you prefer green, black, green, white or other varieties, bitterness can quickly become a disadvantage when tasting tea. The bitterness of theine-containing beverages, such as tea, is often attributed to the presence of polyphenols, also known as tannins. Tannins are plant compounds also found in foods like red wine. When tannins come into contact with hot water when brewing tea, they can cause a chemical reaction that makes them astringent, contributing to the perceived bitterness in the beverage. With a few simple tips, it is possible to soften this flavor while preserving the delicate aromas of your beverage.

Prepare your tea correctly

Preparing tea is an art. When this preparation is done incorrectly, your tea can very easily become bitter and ruin the taste of the drink. One of the most common causes of this bitterness is the length of time the tea is steeped, which inevitably has a significant impact on its taste. To minimize bitterness, reduce the steeping time, especially for green and white teas, which can become bitter if steeped too long. Typically, 2 to 3 minutes of steeping is sufficient for most green teas, while black teas may require longer steeping, up to 4 minutes. The second common mistake is using water that is too hot. No matter what variety of tea or infusion you choose, it is imperative to avoid boiling water, as it risks burning the leaves and damaging the taste and quality of the infusion.

A pinch of salt

If some prefer to add a square of sugar, a spoonful of honey or a little milk to reduce the bitterness of their tea, in her book “Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea”, published on January 24, 2024, the American chemist Michelle Francl shared a surprising tip for replacing sugar.
According to her, a pinch of salt is the perfect ally to mask the bitterness without altering the natural taste of the tea. An assertion which caused the American embassy in London to react. “We want to reassure Britons that this unthinkable idea of ​​adding salt to tea, Britain’s national drink, is not an official directive from the United States. And it never will be,” she said in a press release dated January 24.

Although this tip may not appeal to everyone, it is nevertheless supported by chemistry. Adding sodium, like salt, will block the bitterness perception receptors in the mouth, which helps reduce the sensation of bitterness without compromising the other flavors of the tea.
It goes without saying that adding salt to tea should be done sparingly to avoid making the drink too salty. A small pinch of salt should be enough.

This tip can be particularly useful for those looking to reduce their sugar intake while still fully enjoying their cup of tea.

Similar Posts