Teaman2 wrote:My point is that for newbies... They always ask how long do I steep it. If you tell them a length of time that is likely or for sure will result in bitterness, then you are risking them having a bad first impression and they will likely decide they don't like tea. I say... error on the too short of a time if need be or better... give them accurate times that don't make the tea bitter. Inform them what happens when you go longer (getting bitter for some teas) and how people compensate for it. Then they can make their own minds up how they want it. But to pass off a time that is too long as "normal" or "typical" and it gives a bitter brew... you are doing a dis-service to the promotion of tea...IMHO!
Great point. Now, I'm not a newbie to drinking loose teas, but I'm no expert. I just joined this forum, realized how much of an expert I'm NOT and am giving myself a fast education just reading through old threads.
But a perfect example of what you're talking about: This morning I brewed Adagio's Spring Darjeeling for the first time (a sample I got ~2 weeks ago). I followed the guidelines on the tin--5 min, boiling water. When finished, the tea, but especially the wet leaves, smelled like cooked spinach/veggies and the tea was "eh." Now, I read here that maybe 5 min is too agressive, and maybe especially so for this particular tea because its Indian. So tomorrow I'll try again with new parameters and see what the difference is--now it could be that I'm just not a fan of Spring Darjeeling either way, but something tells me that I'll like it much better tomorrow than I did today...at least I know to give it a second shot. But someone without the benefit of an educational forum at their fingertips could dismiss the tea completely, and that's sad!