Have you ever gotten super excited about a new green tea, only to be disappointed with a bitter tasting brew? Don’t worry… you’re not alone. It’s actually a fairly common problem, and one that can easily be solved.
Every day, we meet customers who aren’t fans of green tea. Usually, it’s because they find it too astringent. But by adjusting two little steeping parameters – water temperature and steeping time – we’ve seen even the staunchest green tea dismissers fall passionately in love this terrific tea type.
As you can imagine, green tea leaves is are particularly sensitive. Put them in overly hot water, and the leaves will burn. This releases an excess of tannins, which is what causes that bitter taste. Steep green tea too long, and the same thing will happen.
So what can you do to prevent your green tea from turning bitter?
Play it Cool
The first thing is to use the right water temperature. Depending on the tea, this means water between 74ºC (165ºF) and 85ºC (185ºF). If you don’t have a thermometer handy, simply boil your water then let it sit for 5-8 minutes. This should be enough time for the water to cool down to the right temp. Alternatively, if you’re boiling water in a pot, a good visual cue is when the water starts to form small bubbles.
Short and Steep
For steeping time, “short and sweet” are the magic words. Try steeping between 1-3 minutes, and you’ll immediately notice a difference in taste. Your tea will be light, yet flavourful, with subtle notes shining through the cup.
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll learn to love green tea about as quickly as it takes to make a cup.