Green tea is amazing. It's a beauty aid, a digestive aid; helps you lose weight, stay young, be more relaxed. With so much hype, who wouldn’t want to drink it?
But why does green tea taste bad? It's not you, it's the tea.
The problem is that we think of green tea as healthy, it's medicine, and medicine is supposed taste bad, right? Wrong. Green tea is not supposed to taste bad.
We're here to help you make delicious green tea every time. Here are five reasons why your green tea tastes bad, and how to fix it.
1. The wrong water temperature
Green tea has chlorophyl in it. That's what makes it green. And, chlorophyl is bitter. The hotter the water, the more chlorophyl you get in your tea. So if you want green tea that’s not bitter, you must brew it a lower temperature. We recommend 175°f / 80°c for a balanced cup of all of our green teas. But how can you control water temperature?
Solution: Use a Temperature Controlled Kettle
Loads of tea drinkers don't even know temperature controlled kettles exist! They're amazing for making tea with the best flavor every time. We’ve tried them all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Our absolute faves are the Breville Temperature Kettles. They're game-changers. We hear from customers that it has totally changed their tea game for the better.
2. The wrong water
Tea is mostly water. If your water tastes bad, your tea will taste bad. Makes sense, right? But did you know that distilled water, reverse osmosis water, and some well water will also make gross tea? Here at August, we love making tea with natural spring water. Our favorite is Arrowhead. Spring water has the most natural minerals that bind to tea to create those delicious flavors. In some places - yes, LA and NY are among them - tap water makes great tea too!
Solution: Use Spring Water or Filtered Water
Don’t believe it? Have a water shoot-out. Take the same tea, infuse it the exact same way with 2-3 different waters, and notice the difference not only in flavor but color. For example, compare spring, tap and distilled water such as Smartwater. You'll be amazed at the difference.
3. Infusing the tea too long
You have to stop the tea infusion or else the flavor will continue to be extracted until it’s super bitter. Common mistakes include using a french press, which holds the leaves in, or leaving your tea leaves soaking in your cup. Not removing tea from water will guarantee bitter tea every time. Beware, some tea filters have such large holes in them that they allow tea particles and leaves to sit in the water even after you remove it, making the tea turn bitter over time.
Also, use a timer! Infusing your tea for under three minutes or more than five minutes will either leave your tea watery or bitter and over-extracted. A timer is essential for consistent flavor.
Solution: Use Our One-Cup Infuser and a Timer
The holes in our infuser are so small, it makes it easy to separate the tea from the leaves. It makes brewing loose tea so easy you'll wonder how anyone could consider it 'fussy.'
4. Too much or too little tea
Sometimes green tea tastes really weak, and in that case, you need to use more tea. Sometimes it tastes too strong, in which case you need to use less tea. We recommend starting with 3.5g of tea for 10oz of water. Increase or decrease it by 0.5g until you get the flavor that makes you smile. But how can you measure tea precisely?
Solution: Use a Precision Scale
Maybe this seems like overkill to you, or maybe you’ve been waiting to nerd out and didn’t know how. Using a scale with 0.1 gram resolution is the most precise way to be sure you have the right tea to water ratio. When you use a scale, your tea will taste the same every time you brew it.
5. Bad-tasting tea leaves
If you’ve tried all of the solutions above, and your green tea still tastes bad, maybe it’s time to try a new tea! August uses the highest quality green teas from Taiwan, Japan, China and Thailand, and our blends are carefully designed to delight even the most discerning tastebuds.