The Clever Use For Those Tabs On The Ends Of Tea Bags

Dunking tea bag in tea cup
Dunking tea bag in tea cup - New Africa/Shutterstock

Tired of fishing out your Oolong tea bag from your morning mug of cha because the string has slipped into the hot water? Let us introduce you to a little tip; open out the paper tab on the end of your teabag and affix it to the rim of your cup.

Now, allowing the string to hang over the side of a vessel works perfectly well for smaller teacups or shallow mugs. This is because a tea bag can sit safely at the bottom of petite, squat-style cups with plenty of overhang. When hot water is poured into these delicate cups, the strings — and their attached paper tabs — don't sink into the liquid, which means you can easily remove and discard your bags once your tea is brewed. Unfortunately, the strings are likely to be pulled down into taller mugs when the pressure of the water hits the tea bags because of their loftier height. And while finding a teaspoon to haul out your teabag isn't the most immense of problems, it can be mildly annoying.

The solution is to prep your tea bag while the kettle boils so it can be perfectly positioned on your mug. Simply separate the two-leafed tab on the end of the string so it looks like a book and then sit it on the rim of your mug so that one "page" of the tab rests on the inside of your cup and the other "page" on the outside.

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The Opened Paper Tab Anchors The Teabag In Place

Bowl of tea bags with strings and paper tabs
Bowl of tea bags with strings and paper tabs - New Africa/Shutterstock

This neat trick will keep your tea bag in place by anchoring it to the edge of the mug, therefore preventing the string from falling into the liquid even when it's hit with the force of the water. The key benefit to this simple hack is that you can easily remove your tea bag as soon as your tea has reached the perfect sweet spot, preventing it from over-brewing.

A tea bag, no matter whether it contains soothing Peppermint, calming Chamomile, or punchy English breakfast, will create a bitter and unpalatable tea if steeped for a lengthy period. This is because the tea leaves within the bag contain a naturally occurring chemical compound, called tannin, that's released into the hot water, making it taste astringent if over-infused.

While loose-leaf tea is touted as having a better flavor, aroma, and color, it can also taste bitter when steeped for too long. Plus, it doesn't have the same speedy convenience as the humble tea bag, which may explain why more than half of Americans use only tea bags to make their brew while a meager 4% solely use loose leaf to quell their craving for a cracking cuppa.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.