Friday, July 22, 2011


Hello everyone! I know you are probably upset with me for not posting frequently enough, and I apologize. I promise some yummy summer dishes coming soon. In the meantime, I thought I would enlighten you with some tea knowledge. Though right now it is 102 degrees out, on many not-so-sweltering summer days I like to go to tea with my mom, or anyone else who is willing. I love tea in all seasons. But whenever I go out and order a pot of tea I end up feeling really irritated because the tea thrown in the pot which makes it over-brew and taste bad after a few minutes. This happens so frequently (even in tea specialty places) that I got up the guts to ask Harold McGee about it in the New York Times.

Here's the exchange:

I was wondering why restaurants seem to think it is a good idea to leave tea leaves/bags in their tea for long periods of time after brewing is finished. I was taught that the tea should be removed from the water after its optimal brewing time (four to five minutes usually) so that the tea doesn’t get overly strong and bitter. This preserves the taste of tea, and doesn’t ruin what’s left in the pot for the second cup. However, almost every time I go to a restaurant and order a pot, the leaves are dumped in there, or the bag is solidly wound around the lid so I can’t get it out, which means I get one really good cup, and the rest I can’t even drink. Why is this the norm? Am I just in the wrong?


You’re right, the longer you leave tea leaves in the tea after optimal brewing, the more bitter and tannic it gets. What you describe is unfortunately common brewing malpractice.

YES! I knew it! So please, don't do this to yourself at home; I promise a much tastier tea for you! Maybe restaurants will soon follow our lead.