Popular kinds of green tea and how to use them
Whether you’re a seasoned tea drinker, or looking to expand your horizons, green tea is a popular choice – for good reason. Not only does it have many health benefits like aiding in weight loss, you can combine different aromas to create fresh blends to explore.
Green tea has been popular among tea drinkers for centuries. It’s a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and at the centre of many ancient traditions from all over the world.
We’ve rounded up the most popular brews to help you discover the different types of green tea and how to brew them.
Brewing green tea: some general rules
Brewing the perfect cup of green tea is an art, and a lovely ritual to break up a long work day. To get the most of your cup, there are a few easy rules to follow.
Don’t over brew it
Green tea can sometimes get a bad wrap for having an overly strong or bitter flavour, but this is often because the tea is brewed for too long, at too high a temperature.
To brew the perfect cup, follow the instructions on the packaging your tea comes in. As a general guide, most teas should be brewed in water between 150 – 180 degrees fahrenheit.
Fresh is best
When it comes to green tea, remember that fresh is always best, so opt for loose leaf rather than tea bags if you can.
Now, let’s dive into some of the most popular varieties of green tea you should try!
Japanese sencha green tea
Japanese sencha tea is the most popular Japanese green tea and is widely enjoyed all over the world. It’s commonly served at mealtimes and during social gatherings.
Sencha tea is known for its grassy, refreshing flavour and is the perfect beverage to complement both savoury and sweet dishes. Sencha green tea can be enjoyed hot or cold.
How to make it
When preparing sencha tea the trick is to brew it in water that is hot, but not boiling – this ruins the tea and creates a bitter flavour. Brew for around one minute in water that’s around 150 – 175 degrees fahrenheit (or around 80 degrees celsius) for a smoother, more balanced blend.
The hotter the water temperature, the stronger the flavour, so steep at a lower temperature for a more mellow taste.
Jasmine green tea
Jasmine green tea is considered the most famous of the brews. This popular Chinese tea is a must-try if you love a stronger tea with floral flavours.
Flavoured with jasmine flower, this tea has a lovely delicate flavour, and when brewed, a light yellow colour.
How to make it
To brew the perfect cup of jasmine tea, add one teaspoon of leaf tea to one cup of water and let steep for five to seven minutes between 160 – 180 degrees fahrenheit (or around 80 degrees celsius).
As with sencha, the longer the brewing time, the stronger the flavour of this tea.
Gunpowder green tea
Gunpowder green tea gets its name from the dark tea leaves that are rolled into small, gunpowder-shaped pellets during production. The practice of rolling the tea leaves helps to preserve the rich smokey and savoury flavour.
How to make it
The ideal water temperature for gunpowder tea is between 158 – 176 degrees fahrenheit (80 degrees celsius). Add one teaspoon to one cup of water and let brew for one to three minutes. This rich tea pairs well with savoury food.
Matcha green tea
Matcha is definitely having a moment – you’ve probably seen a matcha latte on the menu at your local café. Also popular on social media, matcha is made by finely blending tencha tea leaves into a fine powder.
This trendy tea hails from Japan, but is a popular drink in many countries. It is brewed by whisking the pale blue powder with warm water, but you could also use milk and any kind of milk alternatives to make a matcha latte.
Matcha has many uses and is often used in sweet and savoury cooking. It has a lovely, deep, umami flavour.
How to make it
Traditionally, matcha tea is made with a special bamboo whisk called a chasen, but you can just as easily use a small regular whisk.
To make this popular variety of tea, add half a teaspoon of matcha to half a cup of water at 175 degrees fahrenheit (80 degrees) and whisk until foamy.
Make your own café-style matcha latte
To make a matcha latte, follow the instructions above to make the matcha tea. Heat your favourite milk in a saucepan until it is hot, but not boiling, and add to your matcha brew.
To make the experience even better, enjoy your matcha in a traditional glass matcha bowl.
Whether you want to expand your tea horizons or try out a tea for your wellness, there are plenty of green tea blends waiting for you! Whatever your favourite tea, if you follow these instructions you’re sure to enjoy an energising tea drinking experience.