Thursday, January 22, 2009

Learning to Love Green Tea


By now you have probably heard many reports of the health benefits of green tea. It has been credited for many things, including reducing cancer risk, enhancing cardiovascular health, and strengthening the immune system. However, many people who are unaccustomed to green tea find its vegetal flavor difficult to drink. So without further ado, here are some tips for the reluctant green tea drinker.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons people dislike green tea comes from improper brewing techniques. With a little practice you can get perfectly brewed green tea every time. Here are some tips.

Start with fresh, cold, filtered water.

Water is, of course, the base of tea. If you start with chlorinated water, the taste of your tea is going to reflect that. I find that either using a purification system, such as a Brita, is an easy and economical way to filter water. Alternatively you can purchase containers of purified water from the grocery store.

Do not use boiling water.

Green tea leaves are much more delicate than black tea leaves, so using boiling water can ruin the brewing process. Using boiling water also effects the level of tannins present in the tea, which could make it bitter. A good technique is to bring your water to a boil and let it stand for ten minutes before use. If you have a teakettle with a thermometer, your target temperature should be between 160 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use loose leaf tea.

Tea leaves need room to expand, so using teabags usually results in a subpar cup of tea. Teabags are usually filled with dust or lower quality tea leaves, so using loose leaf tea will result in a better tasting cup.

Don’t let it steep too long.

Brewing the tea leaves for too long will result in a bitter and vegetal flavor. To avoid this, use a tea timer. Japanese green teas should be brewed for 1-2 minutes, while Chinese green teas should steep for 2-3. Japanese green teas are usually stronger, while Chinese green teas have a delicate flavor.

Try some blends.

If you don’t find straight green tea delicious, you might want to try some blends. These have the same health benefits of green tea while providing some additional flavors for variety. Green tea with mint is a favorite among many.

Written and Copyrighted @ Rylan 2009

Photo copyrighted @ LaTeaDah 2009

Thanks to Rylan for allowing me to repost his thoughts on green tea. Rylan writes on his own blog at http://42leaf.com/blog/

14 comments:

  1. Nice job Rylan! I might add that, in addition to trying blends, you suggest 'experimenting' with the many different types of green teas available - lung ching, silver needles, precious eyebrows, genmaicha! There are so many unique flavors among the different green teas that if you don't like the first variety you have sampled, chances are, the second type will be more to your liking. It's such a wondrous, flavorful journey, isn't it!
    Nancy

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  2. I appreciate this information! I have trouble finding a sweetener that compliments Green Tea. Do you have a suggestion?

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  3. oh this was a great informative post....enjoyed it much...I do enjoy green tea..and use old fashioned sweet n low in it.
    Deby

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  4. I just love this picture ~ so full of joy and happiness!

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  5. Interesting info. I don't really care for green tea, wish I could develop a taste for it. I don't like white tea that much either! Love that black tea!!

    Katherine

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  6. Great info. Unfortunately I found out that for whatever reason green tea is not good for me. I ended up all bottled up when I switched from coffee to green tea. The doctor who did my colonoscopy (sorry TMI) said that I should just go back to coffee! :0)

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  7. Learned a lot of good things here...course I knew not to boil the water, but I had no idea that the time of brewing was so important. I think I've been allowing mine to sit too long. Thanks to Rylan!

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  8. So true. I love green tea w/ peach. It makes really good iced tea xoxoxo Clarice

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  9. lovely post, beautiful picture, and very good advice! thank you so much! hugs from leslie

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  10. My personal favorites are jasmine green tea and genmaicha, and those tips certainly help! I always dread the cup of alfalfa water I sometimes get from coffee/tea houses when I meet coffee friends for a cup and a chat.

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  11. My husband came home with a large bag of green tea today from an Asian grocery called the Hub, here in Australia. It smells very nice.

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  12. Vee sent me over here. Good article on the proper way to brew the green stuff. I do agree, a bit of mint makes my green tea a bit more palatable.

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  13. Very informative. Lots of good information for a novice tea drinker. Thanks Rylan for sharing your thoughts with us.

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  14. I'm not much of a green tea fan, but my dil is so I keep it on hand for her. These brewing tips are helpful. Maybe that's part of the problem for me.

    Thanks,
    Jody

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