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Green Tea Myths

Is green tea the next Marvel Superhero? If you're reading this, chances are you're wondering is it healthier, more caffeinated, less caffeinated, does it require special tools...can I even drink it without a PhD in Asian Studies? Read on to become the green tea snob your friends love to hate.

1. green tea is naturally bitter

FALSE

Green tea that tastes bitter is either low quality or improperly brewed. We think that the easiest way to always get delicious green tea flavor is using cooler water. In Japan and China, boiling water is commonly used with super short steeping of 15-60 seconds. We recommend brewing all teas for 4-5 minutes and adjusting the water temperature for green tea. Lower temperature will result in a sweeter, non-bitter green tea. However, some people actually enjoy bitterness. Our brewing guide helps you make your green tea as sweet or bitter as you like it.

2. green tea is lower in caffeine than other teas

FALSE

It’s impossible to know the caffeine amount in a cup of tea without lab testing each cup. In fact, the range of caffeine levels is 7mg to 48mg of caffeine per cup. Check out this comparison of major tea brands. Matcha green tea has more caffeine than whole leaf tea because it is a powder made of the entire plant so it has more tea in it than brewed tea leaves. Some green teas have more caffeine than black teas. The only way to control caffeine content is to limit the number of cups you drink or to drink caffeine-free teas or tisanes without any tea plant in them. This article provides a wonderfully thorough explanation of caffeine in tea.

3. green tea requires special brewing devices

FALSE

You can brew any loose leaf tea with simple tools like a one-cup infuser. You don't need those ceremonial fancy bowls, cups or pots to make delicious green tea.

4. it’s fine to leave green tea in your mug or teapot

MOSTLY FALSE

This is tricky. It is fine if you like bitter tea. But now we know that it isn't supposed to taste bitter. What's special about green tea is it has more chlorophyll in it than black, oolong or white teas. And since chlorophyll is extremely bitter, the hotter the water and the longer it steeps the more chlorophyll you get. Once you’ve extracted these bitter agents, there’s no going back. No amount of sugar or milk will get rid of that mouth-puckering taste. Use a thermometer or a temperature controlled kettle to avoid guesswork.

5. good green tea has to be ceremonial grade

FALSE

The best green tea is made with whole leaf tea, dry leaves that are actually green whether they're light or dark green leaves. Leaves that are brown could be a sign of low quality or stale tea. But, roasted green teas like hojicha have brown leaves because of the roasting process.

6. green tea will improve your mood

TRUE

All tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that acts as a relaxant. L-theanine also slows the absorption of caffeine into your blood stream. That means tea won’t give you the sharp energy highs and lows of other caffeinated drinks. Matcha tea has high levels of L-theanine because it is liquid from the whole plant. If green tea isn't your thing, not to worry. Black, white, oolong teas have good amounts of L-theanine so you also get relaxing benefits by drinking other teas.

7. green tea is green

TRUE and FALSE

Some green teas do have a lovely green color when brewed, for example Japanese sencha and gyokuro teas. Many green teas - from China, Taiwan, Korea, and roasted green teas - have a more pale yellow color. The color of the brewed tea does not necessarily tell you about the quality of green tea.

August green tea blends are designed to surprise and delight even the pickiest palate. Some of them are so good, you could ignore all brewing advice and they will still taste amazing. Check out some of our favorites: