However, if you’re an avid tea drinker (like myself) who enjoys this beverage daily - with no respect whatsoever for the legit ways to brew it - you might want to hear me out.
Here’s what I do: turn the electric kettle on, inattentively drop the tea bag in a cup, wait until I hear the “click”, pour the (boiling) water into the cup, and let the tea steep for...to be sincere, I never remove the teabag from the cup. I steep it for as long as it takes me to drink the entire cup of tea.
That’s the kind of ignorant-tea life I’ve led up until now. British will be probably look at me with horrified disbelief. I apologize for that.
However, in my unwitting state I have done one thing right.
Oversteeping allows to impart more nutrients and flavors found in the tea to the water.
In particular, brewing tea for 7 minutes delivers three times more antioxidants than if you just do it for the recommended 3 minutes. How about that?
The downside is that the longer you steep tea, the more bitter the tea is going to taste. This happens because tea leaves begin to release bitter tannins into the water after about 4 minutes. At the 10 minutes mark the tea can be extremely bitter. However, the tannins responsible for the bitter taste bring the antioxidants along. In other words, bitterness equals more health benefits.
For instance, when herbal teas are used for medicinal properties, they are left steeping for longer periods (15-20 minutes) to enhance effect.
Personally I don’t care for the bitter taste. I actually quite enjoy it. I’m just happy to know that with my inconsiderate way of steeping tea I’ve done something good for my health.