Want to make your own green tea at home? Learn how to make green tea perfectly in this guide to the different ways to prepare it.
Whether you’re sipping away for relaxation, health, or just for the taste, green tea makes an excellent addition to your daily routine.
This light, fragrant drink is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that have been linked to a decreased risk of cancer and dementia. Plus, green tea has been proven to support weight loss when added to a healthy diet and exercise plan.
But, if you want to enjoy all the health benefits and bold taste green tea has to offer, you’ll need to know how to brew it properly. If you’re wondering how to make green tea at home, keep reading. We’ll walk you through the process and share our top tips for brewing the perfect cup.
Get to Know Green Tea
Green tea is made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, as black and oolong tea. And, it’s grown in the same regions, primarily in China and India. What makes green tea different is how it’s picked and processed.
Green tea leaves are the freshest and newest leaves on the plant, picked from its apex. This new growth is richer in vitamins and nutrients than the mature leaves used for other brews. And, it has a more delicate flavor.
Once harvested, green tea leaves don’t undergo an oxidation process. The result is a dried leaf that remains rich in antioxidants, unlike other teas.
How to Make Green Tea: Our Top Tips
If you’re hoping for a delicious cup of green tea, loaded with health benefits, you’ll need to start with high-quality leaves.
Loose tea is usually fresher than bagged tea. And, because the tea is allowed to breathe, it’s often tastier, too.
Keep in mind that tea doesn’t last forever, even though it’s dried. If your supply has been sitting around in the cupboard for months untouched, your best bet is to buy a new bag.
You can extend the life of your green tea, regardless of quality, by storing it in a sealed airtight container out of direct sunlight.
You’ll want to start with one teaspoon of tea leaves (or one teabag) for every cup of water. In the future, you might prefer a stronger or weaker brew, but this basic green tea recipe is the perfect starting point.
For a perfectly balanced tasting cup of green tea, you’ll want to let the leaves steep for two to three minutes.
So, if you want a weaker tasting tea, you can reduce the time. But, brewing green tea for longer than three minutes usually delivers a bitter taste.
If you’re brand new to tea making, start by brewing a cup for two minutes. Then, give it a taste every 30 seconds until you find the perfect flavor.
Boiling water is too hot for green tea making, because of the leaf’s delicate flavor.
Using water that is too hot will result in a bitter and astringent flavor. And, using water that is too cold won’t extract the tea’s full flavor.
If you don’t want to use a thermometer to watch the perfect water temperature, we’ve got a trick for you.
Watch the water in your pot as it warms up. Soon, you’ll see tiny bubbles beginning to form on the bottom. Once these small bubbles form small but steady streams rising toward the surface, your water is ready.
If you’re using loose tea instead of teabags, you’ll need to strain it after steeping.
A traditional “ball” strainer works well for brewing green tea, as long as its exterior is made from fine mesh. Larger holes will allow pieces of tea to pass through, creating sediment and bits at the bottom of your cup.
Some strainers, designed to rest on the top of a teacup, work well for tea fanatics on the go. This style is easy to take to work or carry along when you travel.
If you enjoy the convenience of tea bags but prefer the taste and quality of loose tea, you can also buy empty bags and fill them yourself. Be sure to opt for an unbleached paper sachet if possible.
Unlike black teas, you’ll never want to add milk to this brew.
Instead, opt for a spoonful of honey or a squeeze of citrus. If you aren’t a big fan of green tea’s “grassy” flavor, try adding a fresh sprig of mint, a stick of cinnamon, or a small amount of fresh fruit to your cup during brewing.
Green tea originated in China, where it has been consumed for centuries. But, as it has grown in popularity, it’s become an everyday household tea found in homes around the world.
So, it’s no surprise that there is more than one method for brewing.
Powdered green tea, often referred to as Matcha, is traditionally used during Japanese tea ceremonies. But, its unique taste and concentrated levels of caffeine and antioxidants make it a top pick among green tea enthusiasts.
Just like coffee, tea can also be cold brewed. This method requires a much longer period for steeping, but the results are worthwhile. Cold-brewed green tea has a milder flavor and even more antioxidants than a traditionally made cup!
Now that you’ve learned how to make green tea at home, you’re ready to brew your first mug.
Remember, use the highest quality tea leaves you can, and start with the basic recipe for how to make green tea at home. You can always modify this traditional method once you’re comfortable with the standard serving size, steeping time, and temperature.
And, once you’re familiar with the taste of traditional green tea, go ahead and try a few classic variations on the original.
Jasmine green tea is one of the most floral options, perfect for drinkers who don’t enjoy a strong “grassy” flavor. For those who prefer their brew a little bit bolder, a powerful leaf like Chinese Gunpowder might be best. And, the Japanese variation, Sencha, is ideal for creating a sweet and mild blend.
Check out our other blog posts for more information on the best tea blends from around the world, and how to enjoy them at home!