Why Doesn't my Green Tea Taste Good?

If you like tea, but struggle to enjoy the taste of green tea, you are not alone. Plenty of people, even everyday tea drinkers, find green teas unapproachable. If you are one, it’s worth giving green tea another try.

The Right Way to Brew Green Tea

The issue with green tea is in fact, a virtue – it’s delicate. If you like black teas, but find that green teas taste bitter, it’s likely that by the time it touches your lips, the tea is oversteeped. This can be caused by:

  •  a water temperature that is too hot;
  •  steeping the tea leaves too long; or
  •  both.

There are easy fixes.

First, make sure to read the instructions on your tea packaging; a good tea brand will specify steeping directions. If you don’t have the directions on hand, a good place to start is to bring water to 160°F. If you don’t have a tea kettle with a variable temp. setting or a thermometer, watch until tiny bubbles start to appear, then take the water off the heat.

Steep tea at 160°F and begin tasting sips at 2 min., 3 min, and 4 min. The flavor profile should be different than what you are used to. It will depend on what kind of green tea it is, as there are many different kinds, but green teas generally are light and subtle, sometimes with very complex flavors. Does it taste vegetal, floral, grassy, or sweet?

If you find that the flavor is too weak, you can try upping the temperature. Some green teas withstand higher temperatures, up to 185°F.

Play around with steeping temperatures and times until you find what works- there are no wrong answers! And know that a method that works for a particular green tea may have a different result for another tea.

Our Serenity Jasmine Green Tea is a good introductory tea to experiment with, as it is on the more robust side of green teas and can tolerate higher temperatures. We recommend steeping 1 teaspoon at 180°F for 3 minutes. It gives generously for two infusions. It also makes a fantastic iced tea, particularly using the cold brew method explained here.