How to enjoy Green Tea

How to enjoy Green Tea 1622 1124 The Tea Chest - Luxury Tea Merchants
How to enjoy green tea

Millions of tea lovers around the world delight in a cup of fragrant green tea for many reasons. Some prefer to think of it as medicine for the body, and some think of it as medicine for the soul. We like to think of it as both. Aside from green tea having natural health benefits, it can also bring comfort, peace, strength and energy to your day.

What most people don’t know is that both green and black teas are harvested from the same tea plant species – Camellia sinensis. Green tea is usually plucked and then fried or steamed immediately to stop oxidisation.

What differs is the way these tea leaves are processed.

1. The Chinese Method

Tea leaves are picked, withered and then fried in large steel woks or drums to stop the process of oxidation. The fried tea leaves are then hand-rolled into balls or prepared for loose-leaf and packaged teas.

Chinese green teas usually have a light yellow to greenish colour, with a distinct toasty and earthy flavour which pairs well with food.

2. The Japanese Method

The Japanese method of processing green tea also involves the halting of the oxidation process, but in this method, the tea leaves are steamed rather than fried. Different types of green tea are steamed for longer or shorter periods to achieve the desired flavour.

Japanese are also known for their Shaded Teas. These tea plants are grown under shaded cloth for about 3 weeks and this method is reserved for exceptional teas such as Gyokuro or Matcha.

Japanese green tea is characterised by a more robust and vegetal flavour with a slightly bitter aftertaste, perfect for a boost when you need it. However, it is important to know what variety of Japanese tea you’re drinking because the taste and colour profiles are quite different. For example, Gyokuro has a savoury, almost seaweed-like flavour and very pale in colour, whereas Hojicha can sometimes be lighter brown in colour with a very subtle roasted flavour.

How to appreciate green tea

Green tea is definitely an acquired taste. Depending on the style and processing method, green tea can have a grassy, earthy and even a smoky flavour which is far from the traditional cup of black tea that many of us in South Africa were first introduced to.

If you have cultivated a taste for green tea, you’ll know that it is in its very own league and simply cannot be compared to other teas.

To really taste and appreciate green tea, it’s important to understand the flavour profile, the ideal method of making green tea, as well as all the factors which influence the taste and colour of the tea. Like anything we all enjoy, tea is also a personal journey and we encourage you to explore your own tea palate while also enjoying the teas that you love.

Common mistakes when making green tea:

  • Type of water. The flavours in green tea are so refined and delicate that your choice of water can actually influence the flavour. We recommend using filtered or spring water.
  • Water temperature. Don’t infuse your precious green tea in boiling water. Depending of the type of tea leaves, you should use simmering water between 80 – 95 degrees Celsius. An easy way to do this is by waiting about 2 minutes after boiling.
  • Length of infusion. You should generally infuse green tea for about 2 minutes to achieve the perfect flavour and colour profile, any longer and you could end up with a very bitter aftertaste and no flavour at all.
  • Tea storage. Green tea is very delicate and can lose its robustness over time. Choose dark or painted tea storage containers instead of clear jars.
  • Additives. Never add milk to green tea, rather pick the right type of green tea to suit your palate. If you like a little more sweetness, the best way to sweeten tea is with white sugar. Both brown sugar and honey are not recommended as they can overpower the delicate flavour of green tea.

But wait, there’s more!

For a theine-free alternative, why not try our PLŪKT Nordic Herbal tea range? Nordic Green is a great alternative to traditional green tea and is easy on the tummy too.

Nordic Green Tea

Imagine the taste of green tea born in Northern Europe. Or try this tea – traditionally dried fireweed leaves, hand-picked in wild meadows and forests of Northern Europe. You imagined right, didn’t you? A healthy, 100% theine-free and refreshing alternative to traditional green tea. Helps boost your energy and improves metabolism.

Try it out!
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