Are you a habitual over-steeper? Are you that hyper-focused or dreamy individual, who, once caught in an idea, has trouble coming back to the demands of reality?
Hi. My name is Heather. And I am (sometimes! just maybe!) guilty of over-steeping.
What can we do? I mean, when I’m truly focused, I’m just a passenger on my brain’s runaway train, coursing along rails of caffeine and imagination. Remembering to time my tea? Ha! I’m too busy hurtling toward some new thought that sounds promising. Every time I put in new leaves, I look at the clock and just think that I’ll somehow remember.
Over-steeped tea happens. So if you’re like me – try planning ahead! When you’re about to start on a new project, do yourself a favor and choose a forgiving tea that will love you even if you make it sit in the bath too long.
Certain teas stand up to longer times swimming in the drink, it’s just a matter of knowing which ones; we offer several teas that can handle being “a-steep” at the wheel. (I know, I’m sorry. I deserve pun-ishment.)
African Red Teas and Herbals
All of them! Rooibos and Honeybush teas simply get a little stronger in flavor without the natural theaflavins from camellia sinensis (the tea bush) that cause the cup to get bitter and highly astringent. All of our herbals fit that bill, especially Rum Runner’s Red, which just starts tasting like cookies after a while.
Surprisingly, this tea is also very forgiving and a new favorite of mine. Even though Japanese senchas don’t typically take oversteeping lying down – they get decidedly astringent – the abundance of tiny, toasted rice grains mellows the brew quite a bit. The tea just gets nuttier, more full-bodied. I admit I brew this one on the longer side on purpose because I love the taste!
Plums & Pears
Another exception to Japanese senchas, likely due to the combination of delicious flavors! I routinely take Plums & Pears to long meetings, especially if I don’t have somewhere to actively dispose of the leaves. It becomes fruitier and more floral over time, and it doesn’t approach bitterness until about 30 minutes of steeping (!). Typically I finish a cup before that time, so generally it’s not an issue.
The Rare Forgiving Black Teas
For our stronger caffeine needs, black tea isn’t usually kind in this regard. Of what we’ve found, good Yunnan breeds tend to be the kindest – the Royal Yunnan Gold we offer will forgive a few extra minutes of steeping without going bitter. It just gets more robust – and that’s okay in a good, strong Yunnan tea!
Of course, you can often rescue an over-steeped tea with a little milk and sugar, if available and to your taste. Just “steep” your cool! (Honestly, I’m done, I promise!)
Good luck in all you do,