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Green and Grinning

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Like a child made to eat all the greens on their plate, many people grin and bear a bitter cup of green tea for it's health benefits. But what if you could make those healthy greens on a child's plate taste sweeter? When it comes to green tea it's actually quite simple.

The mistake we're all making is steeping green tea at the same temperature as a black tea. Fully boiled water very quickly brings out the bitter qualities in the greener, unoxidised leaf. Green tea should be steeped at 80°C for 2-3 minutes to maintain a light sweetness which can vary from foral to fruity.

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The very antioxidants we seek can also give the astringent mouthfeel in the form of polyphenols. Unlike bitterness, astringency is a positive characteristic highly prized in good tea. Bitterness is a taste characteristic and only becomes prominent when a tea is made wrong. 60% of the amino acids in green tea are theanines which balance astringency with natural sweetness and deliver the calming sensation through stimulating alpha waves and increased dopamine levels in the brain.

In a busy commercial environment, you can still achieve roughly 80°C for green tea quickly and easily. Have a jug of clean, filtered cold water next to the hot water dispenser. Add 1/4 cold water to the pot or cup first followed by 3/4 full temperature hot water. Finally add the green tea to the water immediately and allow to steep for 2-3 minutes.

Never squeeze a teabag
as that forces bitter qualities from
the leaf.

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