It’s exquisite, that faintly verdant water. Steaming hot in a thick-walled cup, it looks simultaneously medicinal and comforting, as if once drunk—while you’re curled up on a down-stuffed something—it will cure whatever ails your tummy, toes or anything in between.
You take a sip. It snarls at you. Oof! It’s bitter.
Treat your green tea right, so it treats you right, too. Follow these steps, and it will never act like that again.
Choose whole, loose-leaf tea. The bagged stuff often comprises smaller bits of tea, meaning it brews faster than loose-leaf tea. This may be good for your schedule, but it’s likely to go bitter (quickly!) if you’re not paying close attention. It also lacks the subtlety in flavor produced when you rehydrate whole leaves.
Avoid boiling water. It should be just short of boiling, about 180°F. Too cool, and it won’t draw out enough flavor from the leaves; too high, and your tea will be bitter. Rude. Cruel.
Let it breathe. The leaves need room to unfold and release flavor, so we like to brew them in a large teapot instead of using a ball infuser. Use 2 Tbsp. leaves for every 32 oz. of water.
Steep 3 minutes. Well, really, it depends on your preference. Most green teas will need at least 1 minute and up to 3 minutes to brew properly, so time it and start tasting at the 60-second mark. Like it? Strain now. Want a deeper flavor? Keep it in the pot for a bit longer.
Strain immediately. Once the flavor is where you want it, strain the liquid. The longer the leaves and hot water sit together, the closer the flavor skews towards bitter. So separate them! Now!
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