In our previous tea blogs, we’ve talked about many common mistakes in tea-drinking. Since there’re so many details to cover, we’d like to continue our conversation and discuss some more interesting and frequently ignored mistakes in our daily tea-drinking (and how to avoid them).
1. One Tea for the entire day
Drinking tea all day long is probably most people’s impression of a tea enthusiast. However, many tea drinkers, especially office workers, often choose to steep only one serving of tea for the entire day. Unfortunately, this can be bad for your health.
Among all tea categories, only green tea and some white tea can be steeped. But even for green tea and white tea, over-steeping can lead to devastating results. Once tea leaves are over-steeped, they produce excessive amount of caffeine. In hot weathers, over-steeped tea leaves are also more likely to turn bad.
Besides the potential health risk, an over-steeped tea also tastes bad. Moreover, after a full day, a tea would be tasteless and “unaromatic”. It can offer us nothing but a bad tea experience.
Tips: use your intuition —— when a tea becomes plain, stop drinking it and switch to a new tea.
2. Always use boiling water?
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you must know that we’ve spent quite a lot energy on emphasizing the importance of using boiling-temperature water for tea. As a matter of fact, we’ve dedicated at least 2 blogs on this topic (see Blog 4 and Blog 7 for more).
Nonetheless, water at the boiling temperature shouldn’t be used for all tea categories. In our blogs, we specifically excluded green tea products from the list of teas that require boiling-temperature water.
Green tea products, especially those with smaller, tenderer and more delicate leaves, cannot be infused with boiling-temperature water. The ideal water temperature for green tea is around 80℃/176℉. For smaller and tenderer green tea leaves, the water temperature need to be lowered accordingly.
Tips: lower water temperature for green tea; boiling-temperature water for other teas; tightly compressed tea bricks can also be brewed.
3. Drinking tea from the previous night/hours ago?
Here is a familiar scenario: you just made some tea, but something happened and you have to leave. When you’re finally back after a few hours, your tea is cold and tea leaves are already dry.
If a tea is set aside for a long time (i.g a few hours), it might become undrinkable. Because of the long hours, most vitamins in tea are already lost. At the same time, substances such as proteins and sugars become the perfect nutrient for bacterias and moulds.
Drinking an “old” tea is not smart. You might not notice it, but your “old” cup of tea has probably changed already. After a few hours, tannins in the tea soup are transformed into stimulating oxides that can be harmful to our stomachs. Tea polyphenols, which are nutrient substances that can be easily oxidized in open air, can generate “tea stain”.
“Tea stain” contains cadmium, lead, iron, arsenic, mercury and other micro-elements. Longer a cup of tea is exposed in open air, more oxidized “tea stain” is generated. When “tea stain” enters our body, it’d react with proteins, fat and vitamins in our foods. Too much “tea stain” in our body will ultimately lead to some digestion problems.
Tips: only drink “fresh teas”; dump your “old tea” even if you’ve had just one infusion.
(We will continue this discussion in the future…)
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