How to Make Green Tea Taste Better: Your Top 10 Tips for a Pleasant Brew
I'll admit it. I sometimes find it difficult to enjoy green tea in its natural state – let’s just say it is an acquired taste.
But after drinking it for decades, I've found some simple ways to make it taste better. And of course, as a nutritionist, my 'hacks' are healthy.
If you are on the same page as I am, then this post is for you. Below, you can figure out exactly how to make green tea taste better.
The first few tips focus on getting the basics down and then we'll look at some interesting ingredients we can try.
Let’s get started!
1. Choose a Good Quality Green Tea
If you have ever wondered why some people spend more on their green tea, there are several reasons for this.
Understand, the quality of the green tea can determine how tasty and healthy it is.
More premium teas have the benefit of being sweeter and more aromatic. They are also smoother and leave a refreshing taste on your tongue.
Thus, one of the first things you need to learn about how to make green tea taste good is the selection of top-notch green tea.
So, it’s a good idea to opt for a more reputable tea brand. And, while you are at it, look for the following types of green tea as well:
•Longjing or Dragon Well
2. Choose Loose Tea Leaves Over Tea Bags
Now that you are aware that higher quality tea leaves produce a better taste, let’s take a look at why you should be choosing loose tea leaves over tea bags.
On average, loose leaf tea tends to be of a higher quality than the leaves in tea bags.
For one thing, the loose leaf teas are more carefully picked and processed. Furthermore, they are less likely to be mixed with other green teas, especially if you pay a higher price.
Many store-bought tea bags, on the other hand, contain what is known as tea fannings or “dust”. These can result in a fair amount of bitterness.
Of course, this is a generalization. It is possible to find premium tea bag brands that boast high-quality leaves and have roomier pyramid-shaped bags as well.
In this instance, you may end up with a better-tasting green tea.
3. Brew the Tea Properly
Be honest, have you ever actually read the instructions of the green tea you are buying?
If you are like most other people, you probably don’t do this. Many people imagine that you can brew green tea the same way as black tea. Well, you would be mistaken.
Green tea is more “delicate” than black tea. As such, you need to brew it in cooler water and for a shorter period.
Otherwise, you end up with a bitter-tasting drink. To help you brew it correctly, here’s a step by step guide:
- Step 1: Measure out 2 grams (one teaspoon) of green tea leaves and 6 to 8 ounces of filtered water.
- Step 2: Heat the water to just short of boiling. Japanese green teas work best at 160°F to 170°F water while Chinese teas can be steeped in hotter water – around 170°F to 180°F.
- Step 3: Steep the leaves in the hot water for 1 to 4 minutes. Start tasting the tea every 30 seconds after the 1-minute mark. This will let you know when the drink has reached your preferred strength.
- Step 4: Separate the tea from the leaves and enjoy.
* If you are using tea bags, make sure to avoid squeezing out the bag before you remove it from the cup. Squeezing the bag can release bitter components into the tea, resulting in an unpleasant taste.
4. Drink It Iced
If a hot green brew isn’t your cup of tea, why not try the iced version? Research has found that cold brew green tea has similar levels of antioxidants as the hot brewed version.
The coldness of the drink may help to draw attention away from the tea. Not to mention, iced teas tend to be more diluted as well.
Here is a recipe that you can follow for iced green tea:
- Step 1: Place 1.5 teaspoons of loose leaf green tea in a jar.
- Step 2: Add 6 ounces of cold water into the jar and seal it.
- Step 3: Let mix steep for around 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Step 4: Dilute with cold water as needed.
5. Sweeten the Tea
In case brewing the tea in different ways isn’t working for you, it is time to improve the flavor. One of the easiest ways to do this is by sweetening your green tea.
If possible, stay away from sugar and opt for honey instead. To begin with, honey is a lot healthier than sugar.
Furthermore, it is better equipped to tame the bitterness in the green tea and may even help to bring out sweeter floral notes.
6. Add Some Lemon
If you love the taste of citrus, there is some excellent news for you – a couple of twists of lemon in your tea can actually boost its health benefits.
Scientists discovered that lemon makes it easier for your body to absorb certain nutrients found in green tea, making the drink more potent.
Of course, in terms of taste, lemon can help to improve the flavor quite a bit.
The citrus flavor can mask the bitterness and add some freshness to the green tea. The two flavors compliment each other quite well too.
Once you have brewed your cup of tea, simply squeeze the desired amount of lemon juice into the cup and stir.
If you are trying to shed a few pounds, adding lemon to your drink is a great way to learn how to make green tea taste better for weight loss.
It will encourage you to stay hydrated, keep your metabolism up, and could help with bloating as well.
7. Brew with Mint Leaves
In Morocco, it is traditional to drink green tea with mint. This makes for a more refreshing brew that is perfect for all times of the day.
Now, the benefit of adding mint leaves to the drink is that the sweetness and minty flavor can hide the more bitter notes of the tea.
The actual Moroccan version uses gunpowder green tea and lots of sugar.
For a healthier option, simply brew the mint leaves with the tea. However, don’t discard the mint when straining the green tea leaves.
Instead, leave them there a little longer for a more noticeable flavor.
8. Infuse with Spices
If you want a more potent ingredient to mask the taste of green tea, you can consider adding spices.
The most common option is cinnamon. Some people will even add a few slices of ginger.
Simply introduce one of these ingredients to the tea while it is brewing and take them out before drinking.
Of course, you can feel free to experiment with whatever spice you want. Cardamom pods may be an interesting option.
9. Add Floral or Fruity Essence
Another alternative is to look for tea brands infused with various floral or fruity essences.
While the base of the tea includes green tea, essences like jasmine and peach can do quite a bit to tone down the bitter taste.
So, you may want to test out different flavors and see which one you like the best.
When selecting this type of tea, pay attention to the label. Make sure the green tea is of premium quality and that each serving contains a good amount of green tea.
10. Make a Non-Dairy Latte
If you are truly intent on drowning out the taste of green tea, then adding non-dairy milk can help to produce a creamier, smoother, and sweeter drink.
Now, in case you are wondering why you should be using non-dairy milk, there is scientific evidence for this.
It appears that proteins found in milk, combined with the fat content, can inhibit some of the positive aspects of green tea.
Thus, it is better to stick to non-dairy versions such as soy, cashew, oat, or almond milk.
You can use the following recipe:
- Step 1: Brew green tea as usual.
- Step 2: Pour tea in a blender and pour in ½ cup of milk. Add honey and cinnamon to taste.
- Step 3: Blend until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour into a mug and enjoy.
You should keep in mind that adding milk and other ingredients will increase the calorie count for your green tea. Thus, you may want to reduce your overall consumption.
So, there you have it – all the ways you can make green tea taste a whole lot better. Now that you are aware of these techniques, you will be able to increase your daily consumption of green tea.
In turn, you will be able to enjoy all the excellent health benefits that this brew provides.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.
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