Most believe green tea is bitter...

And they’re wrong.

As more and more people flock to drinking green tea for any one of its many benefits: healthy skin, as a digestive aid; weight loss, be more relaxed. Most people don’t enjoy it. Which makes sense because green tea is probably the most carelessly prepared tea - nearly all of them are doing it wrong and the tea gets its revenge by just tasting like bitter hot leaf juice.

If you’ve tried green tea and found it bitter you likely plucked a box off the shelf at the supermarket and threw it into your cart because the brand was familiar or it had a cool picture on the box. When you tried it later you just assumed that’s how it was supposed to taste. Something good for you cannot possibly taste good anyways and as we tend to think of green tea as medicine…  

The truth is you picked up a low-quality tea to start with and to add insult to injury you brewed it wrong, which only made it worse. You can’t simply throw the tea bag in and add boiling water like you’re used to doing for all your other teas. Green tea needs a bit more care if you want to enjoy it.

Most believe green tea is naturally bitter… And they’re wrong.

The bitter taste is because it's either low quality or improperly brewed. Surprisingly to most green tea - when done right - has a sweet grassy or “green” taste to it. The biggest reason for the bitter taste is simply that your water it too hot. You’re burning the leaves, thus the bitterness.

Green tea, like white and oolong teas, are delicate. You’re likely used to just grabbing any tea from your cupboard and pouring still bubbling hot water into your cup. While that works fine with black, rooibos and herbal teas, for the rest you just end up cooking.

Solution: If you don’t have an adjustable kettle which allows you to control the temperature after your kettle boils simply allow the water to sit for about 5-10 minutes. For green tea you want the water to be around 80C.

Most believe it’s fine to leave green tea in their mug or teapot… And they really shouldn’t.

Leaving tea leaves in water past 4-5 minutes will lead to bitterness is most teas because more time puts more tannins into the water. With green tea a longer steeping also puts more chlorophyll in the brew, which is extremely bitter and once you’ve extracted these bitter agents, there’s no going back and no amount of sugar or milk will truly hide that mouth-puckering taste.

Solution: Take the tea leaves or bag out after its allotted steep time! This is true for all teas, however most important for green, white and oolong brews. Not sure the steep time for your tea? Give it about 3.5 minutes and you’ll likely be good.

For a complete guide to your perfect cup a tea, we suggest taking a look at this article.

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