Secrets to better green tea
Get the most out your cup of tea with these easy preparation tips.
1. Use water that's the right temperature. Water that is at a rolling boil is usually too hot for making green tea. If the water temperature is too hot, the tea will taste bitter and astringent. If the water is too cold, the full flavor will not be extracted out of the leaves. Water that is between 160 and 180 degrees is best. When you're boiling water, this is when the water is hot and there are bubbles beginning to form on the bottom of the pot, but not on top. Some tea brewers recommend heating the water until there's a steady stream of steam rising from the pot. Alternatively, you could boil the water completely and then let it cool for a few minutes.
2. Steep for just the right amount of time. Because green tea is so delicate, it’s important to steep for 2-3 minutes. Less time will prevent the tea leaves from releasing their full flavor while more time will garner a bitter taste. Brew for 2 minutes and then taste every 30 seconds thereafter until you get a taste that you like. A study has found that antioxidant activity is significantly affected by time and temperature of steeping. The best outcome for green tea, according to the researchers? Cold steeping!
3. Add a splash of honey or other sweetener. On its own, green tea can have a somewhat "grassy" taste. Some people are addicted to the flavor and others just can't get into it. If you fall in the latter category, adding a bit of honey will help to make the taste more palatable.
4. Add mint or lemon juice. Either one of these can help subtly bring out the flavor of your green. Try each one separately or try them both together. Sometimes, a little mint or lemon is all your tea needs to bring out delicious flavor.
5. Be sure to use quality water for brewing. Water with too many minerals can sometime counteract the natural minerals found in the tea and produce a pungent taste. Purified or spring water is best since they are free from pollutants than can alter the tea's taste.