How to make green tea taste better.
This is the number one question I get asked at events. How do I make my green tea taste good? Many people want to enjoy green tea for its health benefits, but for some people drinking green tea can be a chore because they don't enjoy the taste. If you are one of those people I am happy to say that help is at hand. With some knowledge and a couple of tricks, we can have your green tea tasting delicious in no time. You are right about the health benefits so if you can enjoy your green tea how amazing would that be.
How to choose the right green tea
Did you know that green teas from China and Japan taste very different? With Japanese green teas, you get a grassy umami vegetal flavour. Chinese green teas very much more widely, some can be bitter and smoky, and some can be very vegetal. Finding a good tea merchant who can listen to your personal tastes and preferences and give recommendations is key to finding the right green tea for you. We have written a blog about green tea and the processes that go into making it that may help inform your decision and you can read that here. Of course, you can always message us too for bespoke advice.
How to brew your green tea
One of the common mistakes with brewing green tea is using boiling water. Many of the larger tea companies even recommend this on their packaging!! Over the years I have convinced many people to drop the temperature of the water and they are always surprised by how much better the tea tastes! Here is a collection of my best tips for a tasty brew.
The right temperature water for green tea
The temperature of the water that you make your tea with is more important than you think. We have a guide on the side of our teas that suggests the tea temperature we believe that tea should be brewed at. To get that number we have spent time experimenting and stress testing the tea to get the very best flavour out of those particular leaves. So start brewing the tea at the temperature we suggest and then tweak it to suit your taste. Generally the cooler your water, the smoother the flavour. Green tea leaves will become shocked if placed under boiling water and will produce a more bitter flavour.
We are lucky enough to have temperature adjustable kettles here at the Tea Enthusiast headquarters, you can find many of these online. If you are not so lucky you can use a kitchen thermometer or if you are on the go just add a splash of cold water to the leaves before you add the hot water.
The quality of the water
Let's face it, your tea is flavoured water. If you don't start with good water, you won't get good tea! Use freshly drawn or filtered tap water where possible. If you are lucky enough to have great-tasting tap water that does not fuzz up your kettle then don't overthink it, just use that. Some may say that spring water is ideal but these days we have to consider the environmental impact of our daily cuppa. Mineral water is too hard and will leave a metallic taste in your brew. Distilled water is too soft and will leave your tea flat. You are looking for a PH of 7. If you need to filter your water it is best to use freshly filtered water that has not been standing around. Do not use water that you have reboiled. Please do not microwave your water, this removes all the oxygen from the water and will leave you a very flat-tasting brew.
Tea leaves will expand when wet. They need space to move, this lets the flavours and health benefits infuse into the water. Make sure you are using an infuser or teapot that allows the tea to swell and move, like these ones. Start with the low end of the recommendations on the packet. If it says 2-4 min then take a sip of your tea after it has been brewing for 2 minutes. Then do a test sip every 30 seconds until you hit perfection. You will discover lots of flavour nuances as you experiment with time and temperature, it is one of the joys of real tea. Remember to keep your leaves; you can make more than one cup per serving, and the second or third steeping will have different flavour spectrums. Golden rule: If you want stronger tea, add more leaves. Do not steep for longer, that will lead to bitterness!
Try naturally flavoured green teas
Why not try some green teas blended with other natural ingredients. Lemon, ginger, mint and all manner of fruits and flowers have been blended with green teas for centuries. It's not cheating to add these flavours to green tea, in fact, it can add more health benefits! If it helps you to stay hydrated and healthy then it's all good!
Above all, talk to us. You can reach out through our contact form or over social media. We are always delighted to talk tea. Our mission is to match each person with their perfect cuppa.
Liza and the TEA…..M