Did you ever have a cup of green tea and think, "WOW! That's bitter!"
That was totally me! Why would anyone drink this horribly bitter tea. Sure it's good for you, it's helpful in weight loss. Green tea is high in antioxidants and a wealth of other good for you things. But it was soooo bitter!
Turns out that green tea isn't so bad if it is steeped the right way! A little attention to the steeping time and temperature will go a long way in making the perfect cuppa green tea.
Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant just like black, white, and oolong teas. The difference with green tea is that it has not been withered or oxidized like black and oolong teas are. Usually green tea is steamed, sun dried or pan fried to bring out it's earthy flavor. Green tea is both grown in the shade and in the sun, each giving the tea two distinct flavors.
There are many different types of green tea from the ever popular matcha (powdered green tea), sencha, gyukuro, genmaicha, kukicha, gunpowder and bancha. Just to name a few! Say what? Yes I know those names are hard for most of us to say. Keep your eyes peeled for videos these coming Wednesdays on our YouTube channel for tea pronunciations! The farm children are planning to help make them fun!
The green tea pictured above is a sencha based green tea. I love how this leaves are nice and straight and long, They really add an artistic flare to our Farmer's Market Strawberry Green tea.
Gunpowder green tea on the other hand is rolled tightly into little balls, which is where it gets its name from since it looks like gunpowder! This is a richer and darker flavor than the sencha green tea which is more light and earthy. Gunpowder green tea is the base of our Mossy Rock Kombucha blend as well as in our Emerald Garden Mint. I've also been known to use Gunpowder Green Tea in my shampoo rinse! Green tea happens to be great for hair too!
To steep these lovely teas is pretty simple, it's just a matter of watching the steeping time and temperature.
Green teas need to be steeped at 160-180 degrees fahrenheit. A great place to land is about 175°. No thermometer? No problem! I don't have one either. With homeschooling four children, running a home business and a small farm who has time to take the temperature of water?! But I digress...
The trick! Bring your water to a rolling boil and then turn the stove off. Remove your tea pot from the hit and carefully remove the lid from the tea pot being careful to let the steam escape from the side opposite of you and your hand. Let the tea pot sit for 5-10 minutes until you no longer see steam coming off the water.
Your water is now just below boiling and at approximately 175°. It's time to add your water to your green tea. Have your tea bag or infuser filled and ready!
Steep your green tea for 1-3 minutes depending on the flavor you are going for. Any more than 3 minutes will produce a more bitter and less desirable flavor. Now for this I'd recommend a timer. No worries though because we all have a phone with a timer on it, no? Or even the stove timer will work. Because if you are like me, you will forget that you MADE a cup of tea. And therefore you will forget to DRINK your cup of tea. And that just wouldn't be good, am I right? If you want an official tea timer though, one can be found here (affiliate link).
Ok set your timer! 1 minute for a light cuppa plain green tea and if you are steeping our Farmer's Market Strawberry Sencha Green tea I'd recommend 3 minutes. Those extra minutes help to bring out the strawberry flavor from the REAL farmer's market strawberries. If you want, even try 4 minutes for more strawberry flavor.
Steep at 160-180° for 1-3 minutes
What is your favorite type of green tea to drink? Never tried green, which one sounds the best? Let us know in a comment below, we LOVE hearing from you!