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Have you ever wondered why some teas can't be brewed for long, while they can be boiled? It seems to be conflict: we know that long-brewed tea would release more substances that cause the tea infusion bitter. So doesn't tea boiled in high temperature release much more bitter substances and taste worse? No, not really. Following we'll learn the reason for it.
Why long-brewed tea tastes bitter?
When tea is brewed for a long time, its tea polyphenols and aromatic substances will oxidize, thus its color, aroma and taste will be reduced to a lower level. Meanwhile, there is also a decrease of Vitamin C, vitamin P and amino acids in tea due to oxidation, so the nutritional value of tea falls. What's worse, long-brewed tea is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
When we say tea is not suitable for brewing long, it's mainly because much caffeine and tannic acid come out affecting the taste and quality of the tea infusion. And the beneficial components have been damaged due to oxidation and other reasons. When tea is being brewed, most of the leachable substances have been released almost in the first few infusions, thus there is no need to continue. But the result will be different if the tea is boiled in water.
Why is boiled tea good?
But a recent study by British nutrition experts showed that the tea boiled in water is more nutritious than the brewed one, therefore it is more beneficial to our health. Research shows that the antioxidants in tea reached the highest concentration after five minutes of boiling.
In addition, some tea lovers who have tried boiling tea hold that the boiled tea has a sooth and sweet mouthfeel and a totally different aroma than the common brewed tea. How come? Let's unlock the secret now. When tea is boiled for minutes, the high boiling point aromatic substances in it will be released, and the sugar content in some coarse fibers will increase, so the tea smells well and tastes better.
But not all the teas are suitable for boiling. Generally, we choose two types of tea to boil: one is fully fermented tea, such as black tea (120g Tanyang Kung Fu Jin Guanyin of Black Tea), ripe Pu'er and Liupao tea; the other is aged tea, such as aged Pu'er and aged white tea. For fresh green tea, it'll be fine as long as you use 85 degrees of water.
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