Fixing Bitter Milk Tea

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If your milk tea is bitter, then this will cover the reasons why the milk tea is too bitter, and what the solution is to fix it. When milk tea is made, it isn’t supposed to be really bitter. It should have a nice milk taste in combination with the natural taste of the tea.

Here are some reasons why the milk tea is bitter, starting with the most common reasons first:

  • You steeped the tea for too long.
    • You may have steeped the tea leaves in the hot water for too long. When this is done, it draws out the entire flavor of the tea leaves, (which is a good thing) but it also draws out the bitterness as well.
    • Try steeping the tea leaves in the hot water for a lesser amount of time. Dark teas take a little longer to steep, but not too long. Try aiming for 3 minutes or less, depending on how hot the water is.
    • If it is a tea that is in between dark and light, then steep the tea leaves in the hot water for even less time. For the lightest teas, like white teas, steep them for even less time.
    • If the milk tea does not have a good prominent flavor from the tea leaves, then more tea leaves should be used with the regular time for steeping them, instead of extending the time of the tea leaves for more flavor.
    • Regardless of how much or less tea leaves are used, it is important to only steep them for their proper amount of time, otherwise they risk burning and giving a bitter taste to the milk tea when combined with the milk.
  • The temperature is too high for steeping the tea leaves.
    • When steeping most tea leaves, the average temperature is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature most tea leaves can be steeped for a short period of time without risking burning them and causing a bitter taste.
    • Use a thermometer if necessary to check the temperature of the water to make sure that it isn’t too hot. If you are heating the water that the tea leaves will steep in on the stove top, the stove can easily climb past this temperature.
    • When the stove top is set to medium, it is already at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for most stove tops. If this is the setting that you are using to steep the tea leaves for your milk tea then it is too high. Turn the setting down some more, then steep the tea leaves for their appropriate time. If you cannot lower the temperature, then steep them a reduced amount of time.
  • You are using a less creamier milk than whole milk.
    • The milk in the milk tea is supposed to mask some of the bitterness in strong tea flavors. The creamier the milk is, the easier it will be able to do this.
    • Using milk with less fat will make the tea in the milk tea more prominent, including the bitterness in the tea if it has bitterness. Use whole milk or a more flavorful milk to reduce some of the bitterness in the tea, instead of fat free or reduced fat milk.
  • You aren’t using enough water for making the tea.
    • Even if the tea leaves are cooking at the right times and temperatures, the tea can still end up too strong and bitter if too less of an amount of water is used to steep them.
    • Tea, like black tea for example, will be really strong if they are steeped at their correct time and temperature, but with a small amount of water. It is important to use more water when you have already have plenty of tea leaves that are being steeped at one time.
    • If the tea is really strong and bitter, try adding in twice the amount water to them when they are steeped. If it is still too strong and bitter, then add more increments of water until it balances out.
    • This fix shouldn’t be used until the tea has been ensured that it isn’t being steeped for too long, and that it is steeping at the correct temperature. If it is still bitter with the milk after doing that, then try this.
  • You are using too many tea leaves to steep the tea.
    • This is the reverse of using too less of an amount of water for the tea leaves, by using too many tea leaves at one time for the amount of water used. It will produce the same results as not using enough water for the amount of tea leaves used.
    • Try using the appropriate amount of leaves for the amount of tea that you are trying to make for your milk tea to keep the milk tea from becoming too bitter.
    • Everyone’s preferences are different, so you will have to experiment with what you have to find the correct flavor for the tea leaves, and the desired strength of the tea, without the undesired bitterness.
    • Some individuals use a teaspoon for every 8 ounces of water, while others use a tablespoon. Finding out what suits you best may fix the problem. Once you find out what is right for you, make a mental note of the amount for future teas. Try your tea to make sure it is good before adding it with the milk.
  • You are not using sugar.
    • Sugar can be an easy way to fix any bitter milk tea fast. When sugar is added to really bitter milk tea, it actually could make the milk tea taste better than what it would have been if it wasn’t bitter.
    • This is why many individuals prefer the darker teas, because the bitterness is neutralized when enough sugar is used, leaving a great tasting tea flavor.
    • If you like your teas really flavorful, but don’t want to use too many tea leaves at once, adding small amounts of sugar to cancel out the bitterness may help.
  • The milk to tea ratio is off.
    • When making the milk tea, male sure that you use enough milk for the tea being mixed with it. Try using a 1 to 1 ratio of tea to milk when making the milk tea. This will ensure that there is enough milk in the tea to help balance out the flavor.
    • If you don’t want to add too much milk, then just try adding a little extra to see if it makes the milk tea less bitter.

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