Have you tried green tea before and decided you just can’t stomach the taste? Maybe you find it too bitter or grassy flavoured? Before you put that packet of green tea back in the cupboard, perhaps look at your brewing method.
Green tea, in particular, is a much-loved favourite of tea drinkers globally. Filled with a whole lot of plant-based goodness, this tea comes with a range of benefits, from boosting energy levels to calming the mind and even giving you a good dose of antioxidants.
Finding the right way to brew your perfect cup of green tea is all about experimenting. Here’s a quick-and-easy guide to help you master the art of the perfect cup of green tea in no time!
What you’ll need to make your green tea
First things first, let’s look at what you’ll need to brew your green tea. Before you get to brewing, make sure you have all the right equipment on hand. You’ll need:
- Green tea leaves (you can always use tea bags, but loose leaves yield a stronger flavour).
- One cup of water. Filtered water, if you’ve got it, will improve the quality of the tea.
- A stainless steel pot or glass teapot.
- A tea strainer.
Helpful tip: Remember that as the tea leaves unfold, they release their flavours, so you’ll want to give the leaves plenty of room! Opt for a roomier infuser or brew the tea leaves directly in a pot and strain as you pour.
Brew at the right temperature for the right amount of time
Now you’ve got the tools, it’s time to turn your attention to your method. Green tea comes in many different types and blends, but there are a few easy guidelines to follow to make sure you get the perfect brew each time.
The optimal brewing temperature for most teas is between 150 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit, or 60 and 80 degrees Celsius. If the brewing water is too hot, your tea will take on a bitter flavour.
Another common mistake when making green tea is letting it brew for too long. Green tea only needs to brew for 1 to 3 minutes to draw out the refreshing flavours. Any longer and you will over steep the tea, leading to that bitter flavour again.
Experiment until you find your perfect brew
When it comes to brewing green tea at home, fresh is always best. Tea leaves have a fresher flavour than tea bags and are less processed, so opt for loose leaf tea wherever possible. There is a huge variety of green tea. Flavours range from fresh, grassy or umami to deep, smokey or nutty. Some popular teas to try include Japanese sencha, gunpowder tea, matcha and jasmine.
When you’re starting out, try adding small teaspoons of your tea to make sure you get the flavour just right. Remember, if in doubt, always check the instructions on the pack.
While loose leaf generally has a better flavour, tea bags can be more convenient if you’re short on time or making a tea to drink on the go. Simply pour one cup of hot – but not boiling – water into your cup and steep for the recommended 1 to 3 minutes.
To help intensify the flavour of the green tea, place a small plate or lid over your cup while brewing.
Helpful tip: Always store your green tea in an airtight container to make sure the flavour stays strong for as long as possible.
Add extra flavour
If you find the subtle flavour of green tea too plain, you can enrich the flavour of your cup by adding any of the following:
- Essential oils.
- Herbs (tea infused with mint has a deliciously refreshing flavour!).
- Lemon juice or peel.
- Spices like ginger or cinnamon.
- Lemongrass (steep with your tea and remove when ready to drink).
- One teaspoon of honey (for one cup of tea).
If you find that your tea isn’t strong enough, play with the amount of tea until you’re happy. Just add an extra teaspoon of tea, or an extra tea bag, but brew for the same amount of time (1 to 3 minutes).
If you’ve over-brewed your tea, don’t stress! Try to turn it into an iced-tea or sweeten it up with a bit of honey.
Remember that brewing the perfect cup of green tea is all about your personal taste. Some tea drinkers will love the bitter flavour that comes with a stronger brew, while others will enjoy a sweetened version with honey. Play with different flavours and methods until you find the right recipe for you!