Have you ever had a really bad cup of green tea? How about a really amazing one? Do you find that your cup of tea tastes better at the coffee shop than it does when you make it at home? Fear not - we’re here to help!
Great cups of green tea can be hard to come by in the common household. The most common issue we hear of people having with green tea is that it tends to taste “bitter” or have an astringent mouthfeel. While some people prefer their green tea this way - many many people do not.
The great news is - your green tea actually doesn’t have to taste like this! With just a few tips and tricks, your green tea can feel smooth and taste grassy, sweet, and even a little magical. Take our Hanami tea for example - over steep this tea and you’ll think we’re crazy for including it, but steep it just right and you get the most delicious blend of mellow grass, sweet cherry and simple rose flavor.
How do you achieve this magical cup of green tea, you ask? Simple, treat it with a little tender love & care:
Water temperature makes ALL the difference
Did you know that green tea and black tea are actually derived from the same leaves on the same plant? The reason they are so different is all in the method of production. Black tea is exposed to much more processing than a green tea, and the more that it’s exposed to, the higher the leave’s tolerance to heat become. As green tea is processed more minimally, the leaves don’t have as much protection from heat. When you pour boiling hot water on your green tea it often singes the leaves which is what gives you that bitter/astringent feeling.
What to do instead? Try using the recommended temperature on the tea’s label, or aim for around 75 degree water. Don’t have time to test the temperature of your water? Try stopping your kettle just as the water starts to simmer.
Be mindful of your steeping times
Just as water temperature can impact the flavor of your tea, so can the length of time that you steep it. Like your tea strong? For many kinds of tea, the longer you steep it the stronger your flavor will be. This is sometimes true for green tea, but generally speaking the longer you steep it the more likely your tea is to oversteep and become bitter.
What to do instead? Put that iPhone timer to good use! Depending on the type and amount of green tea in the blend you are steeping, start with 2-3 minutes and increase steep times from there.
Use more (or less) loose tea
Like your tea super strong? As mentioned above, steeping your tea for longer doesn’t always lead to more of the same delicious flavor.
What to do instead? The best way to impact the strength of flavor in your tea is to simply use more (or less) of the loose tea itself, and stick to the above temperature/steep time guidelines.
The beautiful thing about tea is that every cup can be different. Maybe you love super bold, lively and astringent cups of tea, or maybe you prefer more mellow or sweeter ones. The above tips can be applied to any type of tea, so experiment with different combinations of temperature, amounts and steep times and we’re sure you’ll find a tea that you fall for.
Want to mix it up even more? Get creative! Add milk, sweetener, alcohol. Make them as iced teas or lattes. You can even try using tea in your baking or cooking!
Are you someone who has historically been a non-green tea drinker who has changed their mind? We want to hear about it in the comments!