For a long time, people in Asian countries, particularly China and Japan have opted for green tea as their main beverage. The trend is now changing. People in other countries are also going for this type of tea because of the many health benefits it provides. The Chinese and Japanese used it for medicinal purposes and more recently, it has become a centre of health research.
If you like the vegetal taste, you can get it easily with quality green tea. To get the flavour, you just need to follow all the right steps and choose the right brewing equipment. You will have to control the brewing temperatures properly. Green tea provides a nutty, grassy, vegetable herbaceous taste that most people enjoy. Here are the tips you need to make better tasting green tea each time.
But first, how should green tea taste like?
The taste of green tea beverages highly depends on the quality of tea used. Bad tea will result in a bitter taste but premium quality tea will result in rich vegetal taste with a creamy texture. Japanese matcha is the commonest type of green tea and people serve it as matcha latte with frothed or steamed milk. Some people might add spices like ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to their tea as a way of improving the taste.
Japanese green teas are usually steamed so they will offer vegetal tastes with nutty undertones. On the other hand, the Chinese roast their tea, which means that their versions provide mild smoky or roasted flavours. The tea preparation also plays an important role in the taste. Steeping the tea for a long time or choosing a very high temperature will result in bitterness.
Here are the tips you need to improve the taste of your green tea:
1. Choose the right tea bags, powders or leaves
If you need to prepare your green tea beverages more conveniently, you will have to opt for tea bags. Unfortunately, they contain the lowest quality of green tea. That is because producers supply dust and fanning of leaves in addition to broken tea pieces in the tea bags. So, you will have to be more careful when preparing the tea to reduce the chances of ending up with something bitter. Observe the brewing time. Steep the tea for only 2-3 minutes because any additional minute will ruin it.
If you are planning to consume the highest quality green tea, you should choose loose leaves. They come as whole leaves that you can steep for 2-4 minutes to get the right results. Loose leaves great flavour in addition to many health benefits. To prepare your beverage, add one teaspoon of the leaves to 8 ounces of water and steep for 2-4 minutes. The preparation is easier because the tea infuser such as tea balls or large sachets makes removal of the leaves easier.
Powdered tea is the third type of green tea you will find in the market. It is very popular in Japan where people like drinking matcha tea and in the United States, people brew it as matcha latte. For many centuries, the Japanese have been grinding green tea to make fine powders, which they use to make their beverage. Unlike other forms of tea, matcha tea allows you to consume the whole leaf. Therefore, there is no wastage and the tea does not turn bitter easily. If you hate using timers, powdered tea is a good choice.
2. Do not use boiling water
As we have mentioned above, the water temperature is key to the preparation of tasty green tea. If you steep the tea for a long time or use boiling water, you will end up with a bitter flavour. And if you will use cold water, the result will be very weak tea with little to no flavour. So, you have to time your brewing. If your budget allows, you can purchase a kettle with inbuilt temperature control so that you can enjoy good green tea each day. For tastier tea, ensure that the water temperature is between 160 degrees F and 180 degrees F. If you have a timer in your kitchen, set 2 minutes. Boil the water, remove it from the heat and wait for 2 minutes before you start the brewing. That way, you will always get the best flavour.
3. Use lemons and other fruits
You can follow all the steps and set the right temperature only to realize that the tea is bitter. If that happens each time, you can use fruits to provide your beverage with a good flavour. Citrus fruits like lemons are known to improve the taste and to increase the fragrance s of most beverages including green tea. You just need to add a little lemon juice or a few slices to your tea to get your desired flavour. For the best results, muddle the lemons to make tea before you blend with your green tea. The other fruits to try to include green apples, oranges and peaches. They will help you get a good flavour each time.
4. Add sweeteners
Most sweeteners such as sugar, honey and stevia leaves will lessen the bitterness while improving the flavour of your green tea. However, when choosing the sugar to use for sweetening, remember that not every type of sugar will offer good results. Granulated sugar will not work for green tea. That is because it does not dissolve well in the tea at low temperature and you will find it collected at the bottom of your cup.
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Honey is a perfect choice because it dissolves easily in hot water, regardless of the temperature. And apart from being an all-natural choice, it offers many health benefits. If you love stevia leaves, you just need to add 1-2 leaves in your teakettle or cup. The leaves are all-natural and will improve the flavour of your tea. And because green tea is delicate, you will have to avoid milk. Milk will work well with black tea but when it comes to green tea, it will overpower the flavour.
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5. Add some other types of leaves
Apart from sweeteners, mint-infused tea used in many countries such as Morocco will improve the flavour of your green tea and make it more refreshing. The mint crisp taste will break down the bitter notes in your green tea beverage to provide you with what you need. Just add 2-3 fresh mint leaves for each teaspoon of green tea. For the brewing part, you have to stick to hot water and avoid boiling or cold water. And before you start drinking, remove all the mint leaves.
6. Make flavoured floral tea
Not everyone will enjoy the taste of green tea. There is no problem with that. However, by going for other types of tea, you are unlikely to enjoy the many health benefits that green tea provides. That is the reason the market offers blends of green tea and various forms of herbal tea. Jasmine green tea and lavender green are just two examples. If the herbal tea blends do not sound good to you, you can make your blends by infusing the green tea with chamomile fresh petals or rose fresh petals. The market offers endless choices. So try other alternatives available in the local grocery shop.
7. Spice it up
The local grocery shops provide you with endless choices when it comes to spicing up your green tea. Most of the available spices will soften the tea and add some more flavour. Ginger, cinnamon and cardamom are the three main choices when it comes to improving the taste of green tea. Ginger offers many benefits for the digestive system, but it will also add a piquant flavour to your green tea. If your goal is to add some sweetness to the green tea, you will have to choose cinnamon. Cardamom is one of the ingredients in Swedish sweet bread. When used in green tea, it adds a citrusy flavour. That might be what you need.
8. Drink it cold
Did you know that ice-cold beverages have a better taste? That is the case with green tea. Iced green tea is usually more watered down that the hot version and it is more refreshing. To prepare ice-cold green tea, you have to follow the procedure of preparing the hot beverage. Allow your mixture to cool down before you refrigerate it for several hours. For the best results, serve it with some ice cubes and lemon. That way, you will enjoy the vegetable taste and all the health benefits.
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Perhaps, you have realized that the process of preparing green tea is easy to follow. However, you have to observe all the guidelines if you do not want to end up with a bitter beverage. Green tea comes with many health benefits such as prevention of cancer and accelerating weight loss process. The main causes of green tea bitterness are the choice of very high temperature and steeping for a long time. So, in addition to choosing the right preparation technique, you will have to stick to the recommended temperature and steeping time.
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