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The Perfect Brew: Green Tea

A great green tea is sweet but crisp and refreshing with spring harvests tending to yielding the most aromatic and sweet greens.

Like avocados and bananas, tea leaves turn brown as they oxidize, which in the case of tea begins the minute you pluck a leaf off the bush. Let this process continue unabated and you get completely oxidized black tea. To make green tea, you have to stop this oxidation in its tracks as soon as possible, by oven-roasting, pan-frying, or steaming the leaves. Doing so fixes the tea’s flavor to something on the fresh, grassy, and herbal side of the spectrum and produces a very green leaf and a green brew. All green tea should be green, but if you let it boil for too long it will turn brown.

Within green tea is a wide set of flavors, a particular green might turn out creamy and nutty, melon-sweet, or seaweed-savory and as crisp as a sharp whiff of pine. The specifics all come down to where the tea was grown and how exactly it was processed, higher grade greens tend to be far less bitter and much more sweet and aromatic. Their flavors are more balanced, making for a smoother, rounder sip. If you’re looking for the most full-flavored green teas, you’re actually better off on the lower end of the price spectrum.

With green tea the clock starts ticking once you rip the package open. Green tea’s fresh, sweet vibe is an ephemeral thing, and stale green tea tastes just like that: stale. As much as possible it’s best to store green in a refrigerator in a sealed airtight container that completely blocks light and that you can remove as much from air as possible to retain freshness.

A pro tip for brewing; the lower your temperature, the sweeter and less bitter your green tea will taste. Green tea tends to thrive around 160 to 170°F which brings out just a bit of bitterness as a compliment to the teas’ sweetness.

  • Your water should be poured at 80 ºC into the teapot.
  • Brew for 3-5 minutes.
  • Too high a temperature will burn your tea leaves and give the tea a bitter acidic taste. As well, you will lose the benefits of any antioxidants.

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