Your Cart is Empty

A Few Words About Green Tea

September 11, 2008


For a very long time I believed that I did not like green tea, so I avoided it. To me the taste was reminiscent of three-week-old grass clippings swept up off of a dusty garage floor. I still hold this as an accurate description of the taste of teabags of poor quality green tea steeped in boiling water. Green tea had always struck me as one of those things that people drank because they were told that it was good for them, not because they actually enjoyed it. But with added knowledge and experience I determined that my dislike had been formed through encounters with poor quality teas, brewed improperly. After choosing to give green teas more of a chance, and arming myself with better information about proper preparation methods, I have found that even reasonably inexpensive loose-leaf green tea, when fresh and made properly, can be quite a pleasant drink.

In general, green teas are more sensitive and unforgiving compared to black teas and oolongs. It is very easy to brew really awful green tea even if the tea is very high quality. Some very delicate teas have a steep learning curve, resulting in a few miserably brewed failures before the proper methodology can be identified and followed.

One of the most important factors in brewing good green tea is water temperature. The hardier of the greens, like Chinese Yunnan green brew nicely at 170-180 degrees. Really delicate Japanese teas like Gyokuro are best brewed with water at about 140 degrees.

There are a number of methods used to produce water at the correct temperature, varying in their levels of ritual and science. The most convenient tool for lower temperature water is Adagio’s variable temperature UtiliTEA kettle. It works very well and is convenient and fast. The more traditonal method is to use cooling vessels. The Japanese yuzamashi, pictured below, is used for this purpose. This particular yuzamashi holds only 4 oz. of water and is intended to be used in the preparation of Matcha.

used for cooling water for matcha

The general rule is to cool boiling water for two minutes, but naturally factors other than time affect this: volume of water, material the cooling vessel is made of, temperature of the environment. If you have the patience and a good thermometer, you can do some experiments to figure out what works. If you are less patient, just knowing that the water used to steep green tea must always be cooler than boiling can get you a lot closer to brewing better green teas.

I am frequently amused by green tea apologists who hail green tea as the solution to all the world’s ills, from the personal to the global, from athsma to the Federal deficit. But actual green teas themselves don’t need these evangelists and their hyperbole. The teas are perfectly respectable and enjoyable when given proper care and preparation, bringing out their best attributes. They require more attention and care to produce good results, but it is worth the effort.

Possibly Related Posts:

Also in Blog: Cheap, Deals, Reviews, Best, Online, Free

On Tea Evangelism – Part 1

April 24, 2019 0 Comments

I wanted to write a short opinion-oriented post for T Ching for once; to get away from the interviews, research, and topic-summary themes.  I talk a lot about tea; why not cover how that goes? Google + ending had me thinking quite a bit about social media, but I’ve posted … Continue reading

The post On Tea Evangelism – Part 1 appeared first on T Ching.

Read More
2018 WuyiOrigin Smoky Lapsang [Episode 311]

April 23, 2019 0 Comments

This episode, Denny and I drink another fantastic tea from Cindy at WuyiOrigin. This time we drink her smoky Lapsang which is sweet, smoky, with an alluring depth. Thanks Cindy!
Read More
What My Tea Says To Me: Song of Tea

April 23, 2019 0 Comments

Spring danced its dance – cups filled. Wonder.The scent of life floats through the air, as if for the first time. Become.Caged in winter the song of tea opens us up. Consumed. Image provided and copyright held by author Read more articles by this author here!

The post What My Tea Says To Me: Song of Tea appeared first on T Ching.

Read More


Spin to win Spinner icon