Why does my essiac tea taste sour?

Sheep Sorrel

Many call sheep sorrel ‘sour grass’ as its leaves are bitter like the taste of a lemon. But the bitter taste may not always translate well in your Essiac Tea. Let’s find out what contributes to the sour taste you may experience.

The distinctive taste of sheep sorrel comes from oxalic acid, also known as oxalate. Both terms are used interchangeably. You consume oxalate when you consume other green, leafy vegetables. Many other common vegetables with high oxalate content include spinach, swiss chard, and chives. Sheep sorrel is in good company. Yum!


Sheep Sorrel Maturity

Now that we know oxalate causes Essiac Tea to be sour, let’s address why it’s sometimes sourer than other batches you taste. More mature plants contain higher levels of oxalate. Depending on both the time of the year and how old your sheep sorrel is, you may notice a difference in taste.  So it makes sense that sheep sorrel that’s had the opportunity to grow for many seasons taste sourer than others.

Bottom line, you can expect your Essiac Tea to vary a bit in flavor throughout your time taking it, but it’s nothing to be concerned over.


How Much Water You Use

We will cover the type of water you use in another post, but for now let’s talk about how different amounts of water affect the taste of your tea. During the brewing process you add herbs to a certain amount of water. Please note not every company recommends the same amount of water. The amount you use will determine the ‘potency’, or concentration of the tea. If you use less water in your brew expect to have a fuller flavor as it will be more concentrated. Notice we do this with our Premade essiac tea. Also expect your Essiac Tea may be sourer than you’re used to if it is concentrated. If you’re confused on how much water you should use, check out our brewing instructions HERE.

Bottom line, not every manufacture of Essiac Tea recommends the same amount of water in their tea and you WILL taste and see the difference.


How You Boil Your Tea Matters

Soft Boil

Soft boiled water

Soft boiling your Essiac Tea is the recommended way of brewing. It will continue to pull the necessary vitamins and minerals during the 10-12 hour steeping process.


Hard Boil

Hard Boiling Water

Hard boiling your Essiac Tea is not recommended during the brewing process. It will make your tea sourer than necessary. Medicinally speaking it is more beneficial to hard boil your tea to pull the vitamins and minerals from the herbs. Expect your Essiac Tea however to be more bitter if you accidentally let it get to a ‘rolling boil’.


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