Many avid tea drinkers often complain of highly unusual, and sometimes absurd notes in their tea. However, if you are a regular drinker of one of the world’s most popular beverages, you might already have a clue.
Funny enough, you should know that there are hundreds of different kinds of teas available, and many of these are usually from different parts of the world.
Different kinds of teas usually have different taste profiles, and in some cases, these might not be up your alley. It is incredibly disappointing when you sit down after a tiring day at work to drink your cup of tea, only to find that it is tasting weird.
One of the strangest tastes that you might have noticed from your cup of tea is the taste or smell of soap.
How can your tea taste like soap? If you never tried tasting soap as a kid, you should know that it does not taste good at all. It has a very sour and a disgusting taste and smell that you certainly wouldn’t want to put in your mouth.
Needless to say, it can be quite disturbing and difficult to sit down and drink an entire cup of soapy tea.
But, why does your tea taste so funny? There are quite a number of different reasons why your tea might be tasting weird, and it is important for you to make sure that you understand these key reasons.
It’s imperative that you rule them out one by one. Let’s talk about all of these important factors in detail.
First of all, you should know that there are several different things that go into making tea. Some people only drink tea made by using hot water, while others also like to pour some milk into their tea.
You can make the tea however you like it, but it’s important to understand that these factors could also increase the factors of why your tea might be tasting like soap.
So, let’s go through the reasons why your tea might be tasting like soap one by one.
1 – You Are Oversteeping the Tea
First and foremost, you should know that there are a host of different compounds in most types of teas, so it’s hard to single them all out.
In fact, many of these compounds actually combine to provide the unique taste that most people are so familiar with when it comes to drinking their favorite tea.
Basically, the concentration of all the compounds that are found in a particular tea combine to give it the unique taste that you are used to.
If there is a significantly higher concentration of certain compounds within the tea, it’s simply going to change the taste. You might end up with a tea that has a very similar flavor and taste to soap.
Basically, there are certain compounds that taste like soap, but their concentration is considerably lower. If you raise their concentration, the tea will begin to taste like soap. Similarly, if you add certain compounds such as sugar in your tea, the taste of the tea will begin to sweeten.
It’s a pretty simple analogy. Furthermore, you should know that there is considerable correlation between the bitterness in your tea, as well as the soapy flavor that you might have encountered.
There are several factors that can have a direct impact on the concentration of certain compounds found in your tea. For instance, if you use more tea and boil it at a higher temperature, it’s only going to increase the intensity of the tea itself.
There are a few parameters that you should keep in mind, such as the amount of tea leaves that you are using, the time for steeping, the temperature of the water in which you are going to steep the tea, and of course, the insulation and the overall size of the vessel in which the tea is being brewed.
You will have to change the number of tea leaves based on the size of the brewing vessel accordingly. It is also important for you to make sure that you adjust the steeping time depending on the ratio of the leaves and the amount of water that has been added to the tea.
2 – Earl Grey Tea Is Likely to Have a Soapy Taste
One of the most common teas that people drink throughout the globe is the Earl Grey Tea. The Earl Grey Tea is one of the most popular, and it is also the likeliest to have a soapy taste. There are several reasons why this tea has the soapy taste that you might have noticed.
First of all, you should know that there are quite a few mass market brands out there that produce different brands of Earl Grey Tea, and they all put their own spin on it. Some add quite a few additives, which are likely to give the tea a soapy flavor.
However, that’s not particularly one of the main reasons, so there’s no reason why you should consider differentiating between the mass market brands.
A common reason for this is the fact that most manufacturers make use of the crush, tear, and curl method. Basically, the tea leaves are broken down into smaller pieces, which increases the surface area.
Ultimately, this allows for a smaller amount of the tea being used to add flavor to a greater volume of water.
However, this also increases the number of bitter compounds, such as the tannins, the polyphenols, the caffeine, and others. Furthermore, various other compounds are also dissolved much more quickly.
When the tannins are dissolved quickly, they don’t give out the feeling that you get when your mouth gets dry, and ultimately, this becomes a problem and it also enhances the amount of soapy flavor that is found commonly in the tea.
One of the main compounds that creates a soapy flavor in the tea is the bergamot oil. This is the key ingredient that makes the tea different from most others, and it is also what differentiates Earl Grey from most other types of black teas.
Bergamot oil tends to have a soapy tinge, especially when consumed in higher quantities or when steeped in a lesser amount of water.
Furthermore, you should know that the quality of tea leaves that are put into these tea bags is incredibly low, and because of that reason, the soapy flavor may persist for a greater amount of time.
That is one of the main reasons why you might want to consider switching to another type of tea altogether if you are unable to shake off that soapy taste.
3 – Your Taste Buds Evolve
Another major reason why the tea might taste different is because of a change in your overall taste buds. For instance, some people’s tastes tend to evolve over time due to a variety of different factors.
A change in your age, your health, and your lifestyle are all going to be important factors that affect your taste buds.
One of the reasons why you might have a change in taste is because of external factors such as pregnancy or sickness. For instance, when a person is sick, their taste buds tend to change dramatically, and even simple things that used to taste good begin to taste bitter.
Humans generally use their nose to identify differences in tastes and smells, and if you are sick or your nose is blocked, you may get a different taste altogether. That is one of the main reasons why people tend to have a soapy taste when drinking bitter tea.
It might have tasted fine before, but it simply may not taste the same again, and the answer for that is quite obvious: your taste buds are evolving as you age. There is always the chance that something that did not taste soapy at all suddenly begins to do so, and you will just have to look for something else or make changes to your diet accordingly.
Furthermore, pregnancy dramatically alters the way people use their sense of smell, so it’s imperative that you understand how this works too. It’s recommended that you avoid drinking bitter drinks during pregnancy, as that could have a negative effect on your taste buds and your overall mood as well.
4 – Soapy Cup or Water
Finally, you have to consider the possibility that the cup that you are drinking the tea out of is just soapy, or maybe the water you are using is not clean and contains traces of soap as well.
It’s incredibly important for you to make sure that you clean the cup in which you are going to drink the tea, and also to boil the fresh water properly so that these variables do not exist.
These are just a few things that you should know about why your tea might taste like soap, and what you can do about it.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.