Many people will avoid green tea stating its too earthy, bitter or just lacking in flavour altogether, which is understandable in comparison to the standard black teas we are all used to. Green tea can appear to have less flavour and this is usually due to black tea having a very powerful ‘first punch’ as the tea hits the taste buds.
The truth is much like coffee (which is only ever bitter due to poor brewing technique, not the bean) if the tea is bitter or too earthy it usually down to user error.
Some key elements of producing quality green tea are
- Water temperature
- Quantity of tea
- Brew/steeping time
- Size and quality of leaf
Water temperature – Water boils at 100’c most of us will take the kettle straight from the boil and pour into our mug or teapot, the water at this point is far too hot for green tea. Water for a green tea should be in the range of around 65-75’c degrees Celsius around 170f – 180f. This means a kettle straight from the boil should be left for a minute at least to cool before pouring over the leaf.
The quantity of Tea – Usually tea have how much you should use, how many bags or how many spoons of leaf tea.
Believe it or not, there isn’t a standard quantity of tea per tea bag. Some manufacturers will put low-quality tea into a bag to get the flavour and save money. At Grizzly’s we use a smaller amount of quality tea leaf and pure tea.
Brew Time – Brew/ steep it’s all the same really, it’s about how long you leave the tea bag or leaves in contact with the water. Generally the longer you leave them the stronger it will get as more flavour will be extracted from the leaves. Each of our teas come with specific product instructions for the bag or leaf. However, we would usually recommend a timeframe for example with our Gunpowder Green tea we suggest 3-5 minutes, this means anywhere between this time is when we believe the tea tastes its best. We would recommend tasting the tea every 30 seconds until the blend is to your liking. Remember tea drinking is a culinary experience like no other, you have the ability to create and blend infusions to your taste very easily. This process should be enjoyed, not endured!
Size and Quality of Tea – With Gunpowder Green tea the smaller the pellet the stronger the character of the leaf and higher quality.
Gunpowder tea is known as this because of its tightly rolled balls of leaf that lock in the flavour resembles gunpowder pellets of olden times. Other green teas can have various shapes and sizes, but generally speaking, it should always be leaf, stems and other bits of organic matter don’t belong in tea or tea bags, these don’t add to the flavour, just to weight and they are a sure sign of a low-quality tea.