I love a cup of green tea when I’m out for Chinese food or Sushi.The perfect cup of green tea is always soothing, like a big, warm hug. However, when I’ve brewed green tea at home or ordered it at a café, the tea always tasted bitter – Yuck! Totally the opposite of soothing. If you’ve ever wondered how to make green tea that isn’t bitter, this post is for you. It turns out that adding a bag of green tea to boiling water will extract more bitter and harsh flavours.
To get the best tasting cup of green tea, don’t boil the water.
The water should be 30 – 40 degrees below boiling, somewhere between 160°F(70°) to 170°F(80°C). Once the tea bag is in the water, set a timer for 2 – 3 minutes then take the tea bag out. Continued contact between the water and leaves will produce an over-extracted and harsh flavoured tea.
If you order green tea at a coffee shop and their water comes out of a crazy hot machine, ask for the tea bag on the side. When the water has slightly cooled, that’s the time to steep your tea.
Steeping green tea in the right water temperature tames the bitterness and astringency, and also helps retain the greenish colour and grassy fragrance.
PS – my favourite type of green tea is Genmai Cha. It’s a Japanese green tea with roasted rice in it, sometimes called ‘popcorn tea.’ It brings me back to when I was a little kid, in the school library watching my Mom give my class a lesson on Japanese cooking. She would always give us a little tea to sip while we watched her presentation.