If your green tea tastes a little bitter, then you’re making some mistakes while preparing it. I will show you here how to make your green tea taste better.
To ensure that your green tea tastes good, you should do the following five steps:
- Use high-quality tea leaves
- Don’t use boiling water
- Use softer, high-quality bottled spring water
- Steep time should be short
- Use the proper leaf-to-water ratio
These are just the basic things to know when preparing a cup of green tea. By following these steps, which I will elaborate on in detail below, you will always get a perfect cup of green tea that tastes good.
Also, I will show you what the best options are to sweeten your green tea and which flavorings are often used to improve the green tea’s taste.
How to Make Green Tea Taste Good
Use High-Quality Tea Leaves
I know that using tea bags makes making a cup of tea faster and easier. However, every new tea drinker should be aware that tea bags do not provide the full flavor. This is particularly obvious with green tea.
Green tea bags are frequently filled with leftovers. They contain broken leaves and dust, which cannot provide an authentic green tea flavor. These broken leaves might produce bitter flavors faster than loose leaves.
Furthermore, because they are so small, they do not enable the leaves to expand and properly infuse the taste when they come into contact with hot water. Tea bags also separate the warm water from the leaves, which can reduce the tea’s flavor.
So, to make your green tea taste better, the first step is to use high-quality loose-leaf tea. Loose-leaf tea has a far stronger flavor and is less bitter than green tea bags. When I say loose-leaf tea, I mean whole or broken tea leaves steeped in hot water without the protective cover of a tea bag.
Whole-leaf tea offers the strongest, most aromatic flavor that will remain through multiple brews. Loose tea steeped in water provides the most space to spread and unfold, resulting in a more flavorful tea.
If you must use tea bags, consider tea sachets. Tea sachets are often bigger than conventional tea bags and are generally shaped like a pyramid. They include a mixture of broken and whole tea leaves. The pyramid form allows the tea to expand more, resulting in a more flavorful tea.
So, for an average-quality green tea taste, use tea sachets. Use loose tea for the greatest taste. Avoid using green tea bags.
Don’t Use Boiling Water for Your Green Tea. Use Cooler Water
Water temperature is very important when brewing green tea. The most common mistake that new green tea drinkers make is steeping green tea in water that is too hot. Your green tea will taste bitter if the water temperature is too hot. If the water is very cold, the green tea will be weak and flavorless.
To make green tea taste good, you must use the proper water temperature. Brewing green tea at a lower temperature guarantees that its sweet and rich flavors are not overpowered by bitter-tasting components.
Green tea tastes best when brewed at temperatures between 140°F and 185°F (60°C and 85°C).
I should point out that different types of green tea require different water temperatures. High-quality Japanese Gyokuro green tea, for example, requires a water temperature of 104–122 °F, whereas Chinese Dragon Well green tea needs a brewing temperature of 176 °F.
Green teas from Japan are often brewed at lower temperatures, between 150–170 °F. Chinese green teas should be brewed at a higher temperature, typically 170-180 °F.
Water Quality Is Also Important
You may now ask how water may affect the taste of my green tea. Water accounts for 98–99% of the tea you consume. To make your green tea taste good, you must use the appropriate type of water.
Green tea is best brewed with soft water. Hard water has a greater concentration of minerals, which might interact with the components of green tea and change its flavor. Additionally, hard water might impart a metallic flavor to your green tea.
Fresh mountain stream water and high-quality bottled spring water are the best choices for making tea. If you don’t have naturally soft water or bottled water, filtered tap water is your next best choice for preparing a nice cup of green tea. Just remember to use soft water to bring out the characteristic flavor of green tea.
A 2017 study examined several varieties of tea made using tap water, bottled mineral water, mountain spring water, and purified water. The researchers discovered that lower-mineral waters produced a superior flavor, with mountain spring water generating the greatest overall results.
Distilled or purified water is water that has been cleaned of all minerals and impurities. By removing all minerals from the water, it becomes very soft.
Extremely soft water with no or very low concentrations of minerals will produce a flat green tea. As a result, distilled or purified water is not suggested.
Keep Steeping Time in Mind
To avoid bitterness, pay attention to the steeping time of your green tea. As long as the tea leaves are in contact with water, flavor components will be released. This doesn’t mean that if you leave green tea leaves to steep longer, you’ll get a better flavor. It’s the opposite.
During the first or second minute, the desired flavor components are extracted. Following that, you extract undesirable flavors that add bitterness.
Different types of green tea need different steeping times, but a good rule of thumb is to steep green tea for 1-3 minutes. For example, Japanese green tea types taste best when steeped for 30 sec. to 2 minutes. Chinese green teas are typically brewed for 2-3 minutes.
If you have new green tea, steep it for 1 minute before tasting it every 30 seconds to determine the flavor that works best for you. Steep the green tea for a shorter amount of time for a lighter flavor.
Always check the label or ask your tea supplier for the steeping time for your chosen green tea to get the correct steeping time.
Use the Proper Leaf-to-Water Ratio
This is also a crucial factor to consider if you want to improve the flavor of green tea, especially if you are a new green tea lover.
How does the leaf-to-water ratio affect the flavor of green tea? It’s easy; if you use too many tea leaves, the flavor will be unpleasant. If you use very few tea leaves, the tea will be weak. This may lead you to steep the tea for a longer period of time, which, as you know, results in bitter green tea.
So how much green tea do I use per cup? Use 2 grams of tea leaves per 6 ounces of water as a basic rule of thumb. Because tea leaves vary in size and shape, measuring by weight is preferable to measuring by volume.
Start with 1 teaspoon of leaves for every 6 ounces of water if measured by volume. After that, you may tweak it to your taste. You can use up to one and a half tablespoons for bigger leaves.
You now know what to do to make green tea taste better, but do you know how to properly brew green tea? Here is my detailed article on making green tea with zero bitterness every time.
How to Sweeten Green Tea to Taste Better
If you follow the above guidelines, I am sure that your green tea will taste good. If, for any reason, you like to sweeten it a bit and don’t like to use sugar, here is what you can add:
- Maple Syrup
There are many other sweeteners that you can add to your green tea, but I will pay attention here to the three most commonly used.
Green tea and honey make an excellent combination, especially for those who like a sweeter cup of tea. Honey is a sweetener that has long been used as a natural remedy in many cultures.
Honey, particularly raw honey, is gaining popularity due to its antioxidant properties. So, adding honey to your green tea is a fantastic way to sweeten it while also reaping some additional health benefits.
While adding honey to your green tea, remember to do it when the tea is warm, not hot. If the tea temperature rises above 104 °F/40 °C, the honey’s healing properties will be lost. When you can easily hold the teacup in your hands without it becoming too hot, you know it’s time to add honey to your tea.
Although honey is the best natural sweetener for green tea, you should only use a teaspoon per serving.
Stevia is a nonnutritive sweetener, meaning it has nearly no calories. Because it is considerably sweeter than table sugar, you will not need as much. A pinch of stevia powder is about equivalent to one teaspoon of table sugar.
Tea sweetened with pure maple syrup is becoming increasingly popular. Pure maple syrup dissolves well in hot beverages, so you’ll never have a clump of crystals at the bottom of your cup. It also contains minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants.
Flavorings for Green Tea to Suit Your Taste
If you don’t like the earthy or grassy flavor of green tea, you may add a few flavorings to make it taste better, such as:
- Lemon slices or lemon juice
- Citrus Peel
- Floral-flavored tea
Lemon Juice or Lemon Slices
One of the best flavorings used to improve the taste of green tea, especially when it is a little bitter, is lemon juice or lemon slices. Lemon juice is the most effective natural way to reduce bitterness in green tea.
Furthermore, according to 2007 research, adding lemon citrus juice to green tea increases the bioavailability of catechins, which are beneficial antioxidants found in all true teas.
Adding mint leaves to green tea is a traditional way to flavor it. Morocco’s legendary mint tea, which consists of green tea mixed with a large amount of fresh mint leaves, is now a symbol of Moroccan culture.
When added to green tea, mint may quickly refresh you. If your green tea is bitter, mint leaves might help to balance it out by providing a cooling effect.
If you want to add mint to your green tea, use a bit more than you would for herbal tea. This way, you get enough flavor from the mint in the 1-2 minutes you allow the green tea to steep.
Adding ginger to your green tea will undoubtedly improve the flavor, and you’ll be astonished by the beautiful aroma. It is well known that ginger and green tea go well together.
If using fresh ginger, add it to the water while it is still boiling. If you combine it with green tea, it will not have enough time to unleash its flavor since, as previously said, green tea’s steep duration is short.
So, when the water is boiling, add the fresh ginger, wait until it cools, then add the green tea and let them brew together for 1-3 minutes, and you’ll have a ginger green tea with a beautiful flavor and wonderful scent.
Please keep in mind that dried ginger takes more time to steep than fresh ginger.
Green tea tastes great with orange, grapefruit, or lemon peel. Use only the citrus peel, not the whole fruit. You don’t need a whole citrus fruit peel for one cup of tea.
The fruit peel will unleash its aroma after only 2-3 minutes. Begin with a little less than half of the peel of your selected citrus fruit. If the flavor isn’t quite right, add a little extra.
There are numerous green tea and herbal tea blends available today. Chamomile green tea, jasmine green tea, tulsi green tea, and lavender green tea are the most popular green tea blends. They are a perfect choice if you really don’t like the taste of green tea.
There are so many different ingredients you can add to your green tea to improve the flavor. For a green tea beginner, I think that the flavorings mentioned above are enough to start with.
At the end of this article, I recommend that you follow the steps outlined above to get a delicious, non-bitter green tea. If you still don’t like the flavor, you may add a sweetener or other flavoring.
I’m confident that if you use high-quality tea leaves and follow the other recommendations, such as using cooler and higher-quality water, paying attention to steep time, and leaf-to-water ratio, you’ll always get a tasty cup of green tea.