Astringency vs. Bitterness

For general/other topics related to tea.


Apr 6th, '17, 14:35
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 3rd, '17, 17:44

Astringency vs. Bitterness

by abnyc » Apr 6th, '17, 14:35

I'm interested in the difference between astringency and bitterness.

For example, the 2017 silver needles from YS ends with a pleasant strong astringency, dryness and tightness in the mouth, but isn't bitter at all. In contrast, the Jin Lan Xian from Verdant is intensely bitter, at any water temperature. It's also got an astringency to it, but it's hard to feel behind the wall of bitterness.

Obviously these are two very different teas, but I've experienced similar qualities in others. What makes a tea bitter, and what makes it astringent? Soil, varietal, processing, water minerality?

User avatar
Apr 7th, '17, 09:35
Posts: 1670
Joined: Sep 2nd, '13, 03:22
Location: in your tea closet
Contact: kyarazen

Re: Astringency vs. Bitterness

by kyarazen » Apr 7th, '17, 09:35

abnyc wrote: I'm interested in the difference between astringency and bitterness.

For example, the 2017 silver needles from YS ends with a pleasant strong astringency, dryness and tightness in the mouth, but isn't bitter at all. In contrast, the Jin Lan Xian from Verdant is intensely bitter, at any water temperature. It's also got an astringency to it, but it's hard to feel behind the wall of bitterness.

Obviously these are two very different teas, but I've experienced similar qualities in others. What makes a tea bitter, and what makes it astringent? Soil, varietal, processing, water minerality?
weather, climate, processing contributes.

the difference between astringency and bitterness can be akin to biting into the skin of green raw fruit or mango, the sappy, coating on tongue feel, and a sharp persistance in its existence is astringent. bitter is something that goes away faster, those that instantly go away give a sensation of a liquorice sweet brew, those that take more time to go away, results in a throat hui-gan feel as it fades, etc

May 8th, '17, 02:10
Posts: 12
Joined: May 8th, '17, 01:39

Re: Astringency vs. Bitterness

by Muel » May 8th, '17, 02:10

Water source could be another reason as well.

Over steeping may also cause the tea become bitter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

May 8th, '17, 02:22
Posts: 12
Joined: May 8th, '17, 01:39

Re: Astringency vs. Bitterness

by Muel » May 8th, '17, 02:22

kyarazen wrote:
abnyc wrote: I'm interested in the difference between astringency and bitterness.

For example, the 2017 silver needles from YS ends with a pleasant strong astringency, dryness and tightness in the mouth, but isn't bitter at all. In contrast, the Jin Lan Xian from Verdant is intensely bitter, at any water temperature. It's also got an astringency to it, but it's hard to feel behind the wall of bitterness.

Obviously these are two very different teas, but I've experienced similar qualities in others. What makes a tea bitter, and what makes it astringent? Soil, varietal, processing, water minerality?
weather, climate, processing contributes.

the difference between astringency and bitterness can be akin to biting into the skin of green raw fruit or mango, the sappy, coating on tongue feel, and a sharp persistance in its existence is astringent. bitter is something that goes away faster, those that instantly go away give a sensation of a liquorice sweet brew, those that take more time to go away, results in a throat hui-gan feel as it fades, etc


I really like the way you explain astringency, you described very well. But hui-gan and bitter are two different taste. Bitter "ku"in Chinese is more like an unpleasant taste. I personal enjoy the hui gan taste a lot but definitely not the ku taste.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

+ Post Reply