Friday, 30 December 2011

On Drinking Tea

In my Thankful Thursday post yesterday I mentioned my lack of ability to taste.  Dawn Treader commented that given that it was rather odd that I liked my tea weak.  That made me wonder.  Why do I like my tea weak?  So today I set about finding out and the conclusions so far have been rather startling.  I would always have said that I drank it weak because I don't like the bitter taste of tea when it's strong.  I can now confirm that I can taste the bitterness in strong tea and that I don't like it.

I have also discovered that I cannot tell that the Green Tea with Lemon and Ginger that I drink in the morning has ginger and lemon in it although I can tell that it's not 'ordinary' tea and not plain Green Tea.  I can tell that the Earl Grey is what it is and that it's different from 'ordinary' tea but I can't tell the Lady Grey apart from it.

I can tell the Lapsang Souchong apart from the others.

The Red Bush tea is quite different from everything else and I can actually drink that stronger.

So I have come to the conclusion that my tea drinking habits are exactly that - habits.  I've been drinking the tea that I do in the way that I do for so many decades that I hadn't even realised  that I couldn't taste them properly.  Monica what have you done?!  Life will never be the same again!


  1. You are so cute, Graham...I could play 'test the tea' with you. I LOVE tea....especially green tea! I've been boiling two cups of water every morning, adding two tea bags - one being green tea, for sure and the the other, spice, or decaf chai. I've experimented with many flavors over time - those are the two that I prefer for now. I do, however, enjoy a chamomile in the late evenings :)

  2. Sorry Graham... Didn't mean to turn your world upside down like that! ;) I don't like my tea bitter-strong either.

    Sweet, salt, sour and bitter as I remember learning back in school are the basic tastes not depending on our sense of smell. (Maybe disconnected from other aroma, bitter gets even harder to accept?)

    As much as I like tea, I'm not all that good at telling ingredients apart, especially not when mixed. Some of my favourite tea blends I have no idea what they contain and would find it hard to define what it is that makes me prefer those over others.

    Bitterness, I've been told, has to do with letting the tea steep too long, rather than the amount of tea used. You get the best of the tea in the first few minutes. (Which is also why dipping the same tea bag in a second cup never gives as good result as the first.)

  3. We both ought to get out more. I fill a flask with green tea as I find it keeps without going bitter.

  4. Trust me GB, Lady Grey is nowhere near as good as Earl Grey.

    I drink mine so week that you can see right through it...and black too.

    What about peppermint tea? Could you maybe taste that?


  5. Yes I can taste peppermint tea SP. I keep some in Eagleton because a friend who visits drinks it but whilst I love peppermint I rarely drink peppermint tea. I wonder why not. I shall get some and see. It might become my new waking up brew.

  6. Yes Adrian you have a good point about getting out more! Good idea about the green tea in the flask. I'll try that. I always use coffee in the flask because I've never liked flask tea from the days of childhood picnics.

  7. I love Lapsang it's my winter warmer.

  8. Tea! Tea and chocolate in the same few posts???!!! We're chatting about some of my favorite subjects.


    I leave the teabag steeping in each cup I drink throughout the day. I guess that means I prefer my tea to lean toward the strong.

    Peppermint is how I begin my day. This morning I'm on my second cup of herbal and on my way to the cup with caffeine. ;^)

    Some black teas are too strong unless you remove the bag earlier. But I do drink mostly herbal.

    Also, I think it was part of my early training to remove the bag and "save" it for the next cup. I no longer do that, but my mother does. ;^)


    Miss C