Wondering why your tea is tasting strange all of a sudden? Here are some common tea taste-killers along with suggestions for their elimination:
1. Your Palate: If your tea is suddenly tasting funny or “off,” it may be that something is affecting your palate. Oftentimes this can be something as simple as toothpaste residue, mouthwash, mints, gum, or breath fresheners. Wait 30-60 minutes after using these products before drinking your tea, and you will likely find that the problem goes away. Medications, particularly antibiotics, can also affect your palate, so you may need to experiment with different teas to find some that are less affected by your palate changes.
On a more serious note, a funny or strange taste in your mouth can also be a sign of dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay or a medical issue such as acid reflux. Be sure to contact your doctor and/or dentist if you have ongoing palate issues.
2.Your Water: Water for your tea should be fresh and cold. Warm water from the tap doesn’t have as much oxygen and can result in flat-tasting tea. If you don’t have good tap water at home, invest in a decent water filter pitcher. Also, remember that water temperature matters. Too-hot water can destroy the flavor of delicate teas, while water that is too-cool can utterly fail to extract tea flavors.
3. Your Teaware: Do you dry your teaware with a dishtowel that reeks of fabric softener? This can affect the taste of your tea. Also, before you brew or serve some tea, give your teapot, teacup or infuser a sniff. If it smells stale, give it a good rinse in hot water before using.
4. Your Tea: Tea leaves are very good at absorbing scent. If you are storing your tea near other strongly scented products, your tea’s aroma and flavor will be affected. Be sure to store your tea in air-tight containers and away from household cleaners or spices. Keep in mind that tea can go stale, and that most tea does not age well. Drink your tea while it is fresh.
5. Your Measurements: If you drink bagged tea, check the package instructions for the correct amount of water to use. Too much water can result in a bland, insipid cup of tea. If you enjoy loose leaf teas, use a gram scale for the most accurate measurement: Larger leaf teas don’t fit into teaspoons well, making it difficult to get the right amount of tea needed for best flavor.
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