Green tea tastes great, especially when you try a sample of it at grocery stores and tea festivals. When you got home and brewed your tea, the result was a bitter green tea or just a drinkable tea that lacked flavor. Cheer up! You just did not know how to brew green tea, right? Please don't give up on tasting good green tea, and let's learn how to make it right by discussing the following mistakes:
1. Not using leaves and just buying green tea leaves in the grocery
Green tea bags and powders are convenient, but it is better to use green tea leaves to reap the most of the benefits of green tea. It does not mean that you can just grab green tea leaves at the grocery store. You must look for quality because some leaves were inconsistent in shape and color. A greener or drier tea does not mean a high-quality tea. Look for color and shape consistencies and the rolled leaves' texture to see how well these were packed. Don’t just be fooled by beautiful packaging. Bright green or very green leaves do not mean fresh green tea.
2. Buying bulk for your consumption
Besides taking note of the expiration date, buy green tea leaves that can last you up to 3 months because buying too many stocks will make the leaves too old for steeping. It is not true that storing green tea for many years will make an aged and better-tasting tea. The freshest tea is the one with proper storage, and it won't take too long for the leaves to be made into tea.
3. Using distilled water and mineral water
Water should taste good, whether it is soft tap water, spring water, or bottled water. You may use bottled water except for mineral and distilled water. Distilled water makes boiled or hot water with tea taste metallic or dull, while hard water has more mineral particles, making your drink taste flat. It also wreaks havoc on the green tea leaves while brewing.
If you don't have soft tap water, use filtered water or get a good water filter system. Note: To be sure, taste the water first before using it to make a green tea drink. The water to be used must not be acidic or alkalized.
4. Using boiling water
Hot water at boiling point will make green tea lose its flavor because the water will burn or cook the leaves. Boil water and let it sit for a few minutes before using it to brew green tea. When using a stove and kettle, remember how low or high the flame is. Remember the minutes, so If the tea tastes good, that’s the waiting time. An electric kettle with temperature control or a kettle with a thermometer is a better option.
5. Rushing the tea brewing process. Tea drinking is supposedly a time to calm and relax.
Small green tea leaves will brew more quickly than large ones, and you can see after 1 minute if green tea tastes good. If not, just wait for another 30 minutes and taste it again. In the case of a caffeine energy boost, you can steep the green tea for 3 to 5 minutes; steeping it longer than 5 minutes will not make an energy-boosting green tea. Steeping it too long will result in a bitter taste, which will be toxic for you instead of refreshing. For good-quality green tea, you can re-steep these 2-3 times.
Here’s a fix. If you overbrew your tea, just make it into iced tea or milk tea. You may add honey, lemon, or lime when the tea is warm but not too hot.
6. Using Ball Infuser Type
Leaves can become larger in size when steeping, and using a wider or larger filter or infuser is better than using a ball-type infuser. Don't you have an infuser? You can pour the water directly on the leaves inside the teapot or glass pitcher and strain the leaves when drinking this in a cup. For beginners, it is great to use a mug with an infuser.
7. Use a teapot for green tea only
Washing the teapot will remove the residue, but the tea smell still lingers there. Having steeped too many teas or juices in the teapot will surely ruin your tasting experience with green tea, unless you just want to drink green tea with several flavors in one.
8. Do not put less than one teaspoon
For best extraction of green tea flavor, use around one teaspoon of tea leaves; you may add more if, after one and a half minutes, the taste is still bland to you. When the taste is too strong, you can use fewer leaves the next time you drink.
9. Using a wide-mouthed cup
Same with the teapot; there must be designated cups only for green tea use. If you notice, most green teacups have narrow mouths. A wide-mouthed cup will turn almost all your tea drink cold quickly, unlike in narrow-mouthed teacups, where only the top will become a bit less warm so you can sip, and then the rest of the tea drink is still warm. The most common type of Japanese teacup, the one without handles, is called Yunomi. The other common types are Chawan and Matchawan.
10. Using a non-airproof container for storage and keeping it in a bright-lighted room
Tea leaves will lose their freshness in a short time if you just roll the packaging or transfer it to a plastic bag. Store green tea in an airtight container and place it in a dark place because light will eat away its abundant chlorophyll, making green tea taste metallic.
Drinking green tea is enjoyable and a great way to relax. Whether you are alone or having a chat, a good-tasting tea will make your body feel rejuvenated. Enjoy your drink. We hope you can improve your tea brewing skills, and making several mistakes won't stop you from being a green tea lover.