If you make tea, you have to pay attention to the correct steeping time when preparing it. This depends on the variety and is often different. This happens if you leave the tea bag in the cup for too long.
A hot cup of tea provides comforting warmth, especially in the cold season. Depending on the variety, regular tea consumption can also be good for your health.
For example, green tea can inhibit inflammatory processes and protect cells from attacks by free radicals thanks to the high number of healthy polyphenols and flavonoids. It also stimulates fat burning and can therefore help you lose weight.
That’s why tea is so popular in the cold months
Not only the health benefits, but also the variety of tea types and the ease of preparation speak for the popularity of the drink. After all, you usually just have to hang a tea bag in hot water for a few minutes and then you can enjoy the tea straight away.
Many manufacturers indicate how long the tea should actually steep on the packaging or on the tag of the tea bag. This information depends on the type of tea. But what happens if the tea steeps longer than intended?
This happens when the tea bag has been left in for too long
The cliché of the forgotten teacup is probably familiar to many people. The drink often has to steep first and cool down for a few minutes, which is why you do something else in the meantime – and then promptly forget about it or let the tea steep for far too long.
Contrary to some old myths, the tea does not pose a health risk. So you can drink it without hesitation despite the excessive steeping time – as long as the possible aftertaste doesn’t bother you. Many types of tea taste bitter if you let them brew for too long.
Less caffeine in tea
In principle, some ingredients can be better dissolved from the tea leaves and released into the water by steeping for a longer period of time. This is particularly relevant for green and black tea. Because these varieties contain caffeine and polyphenols (also called tannins or tannins).
While the caffeine is completely dissolved after about three minutes, the tannins are increasingly released into the water after about five minutes. However, these bind the caffeine and thereby reduce the awakening effect of the tea. By the way, they also provide the bitter taste.
Tannins help with stomach ache
However, polyphenols also have an antioxidant effect and are even said to be anti-cancer. In addition, they not only bind caffeine, but also water in the intestines and can therefore be used as a home remedy for diarrheal diseases.
Black tea, for example, is suitable for this, and in this case it should be steeped for a long time (around 15 minutes) in order to dissolve as many tannins as possible. Despite the bitter taste, you should not use sugar or other sweeteners as these could have a laxative effect.
Brewing time for the different types of tea
Basically, you should let your tea brew for about this long:
Green tea: 1-3 minutes
Black tea: 2-5 minutes
White tea: 2-3 minutes
Fruit tea: 5-10 minutes
Herbal tea: 5-10 minutes