Begone, bitterness! We share the tips and tricks to truly enjoy your green tea
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I love green tea because it's flavourful, delicate, refreshing and healthy. But I know a lot of people who find this tea bitter, too strong or even tasteless. It all boils down (never boil it!) to how you brew this antioxidant-rich tea. I was astonished when I learned that some people, and even cafés and restaurants boil their green tea in a pot on the stove like they do regular tea--that will make its benefits disappear into thin air. And steeping it for too long is what makes the tea bitter.

The trick to making the perfect cup of green tea and appreciating its delicate flavour is patience. Here's the perfect brewing method:

1. Heat a cup of water in the kettle.

2. In the meantime, place one teaspoon of green tea leaves in a strainer/sieve and place it on an empty tea cup. You could also put the green tea leaves in a ball-style metal infuser and place it in your cup.

3. Once the water heats to about 80°C take it off the stove. Note: Do not allow the water to reach boiling point. Alternatively, if the water boils, let it rest until it cools down to the correct temperature. We are stressing on the right temperature because it will draw out the right balance of flavour-contributing amino acids and bitterness-specific tannins. If the water temperature is too low, the green tea will not reach its flavour-range potential, while too high a temperature will make the tea taste bitter.

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4. Pour the heated water over the tea leaves in the sieve that rests on the cup.

5. Allow the green tea leaves to unfold and release their flavours. Steep for 2-3 minutes. You could taste the tea with a spoon after a minute, and then every 30 seconds to match it to your liking. If you steep it for longer than 3 minutes, the end result will be bitter. Small leaves generally infuse quicker than large leaves.

6. Remove the strainer/infuser from the cup and let the tea cool down for a minute before you drink up.

7. If you prefer, you could mix a tad of honey or a squeeze of lemon to your cup of green tea just before sipping (don't boil honey or lemon juice), for added flavour.

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TIP: Whole green tea leaves can be reused and steeped two to three times, but the flavour produced with each brew will be different.

Image courtesy: Shutterstock

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