I talk about all varieties of teas in my office all the time; I love them! Green tea offers a wide variety of health benefits, including prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, some types of cancer, dental cavities, diabetes, obesity and more!
Everyone knows that green tea is good for us, however I often hear that people just don’t like the way it tastes. Here are some tips that can help you enjoy this nutritional wonder.
1. If You Find Green Tea “Too Bitter”, You’re Probably Making It Wrong.
Unless you’re a tea aficionado, you may be making your green tea the same way you would make black or herbal tea: with boiling water straight from the kettle, and letting it steep for a good 5 minutes or more. When exposed to high heat and steeped for too long, green tea can become very bitter and unpleasant. To make a pleasing cup of green tea, your water should be below boiling (160°F to 180°F), and your tea steeped for absolutely no longer than 3 minutes. For a more detailed explanation on making that perfect cup, see here. As an additional bonus, green tea (especially good quality ones) can often be re-steeped once or twice more, which means you get 2 or 3 cups out of a single portion of tea leaves.
2. Not All Green Tea Tastes the Same: Go Explore!
If the only green tea you’ve ever had came from a big brand at the grocery store, you may be missing out! There are many varieties of green tea available, and they taste surprisingly different. My favourite place to study and write in undergrad was a tea shop in a local market in London, Ontario. I spent so much time there, that I am fairly sure I tried every variety of green tea they had (which was a lot). Some could be described as earthy, buttery, or even having a slight seaweed flavour. There were definitely some I was not so fond of, and a few that I absolutely LOVED. You can get a sense of some of the varieties here, or go talk to your local tea store to explore the surprisingly big world of green teas.
3. Blend It With A Flavour You Love
If the first two points don’t work for you, try blending your green tea with another flavour that you do enjoy, such as ginger, lemon, honey, mint or any other herbal tea. Get creative, and find a balance that works for you. When combining green and herbal teas, it is best to stick to the guidelines for brewing green tea (lower temperature, less steeping) to avoid bitterness.
4. Put It On Ice
Some people just don’t enjoy hot beverages. No problem! Make a big batch of green tea according to the instructions above, and then chill it in the fridge for some delicious iced tea. You can still blend it with another flavour, infuse it with fresh lemon or fruit, or gently sweeten it with honey. If adding a natural sweeter like honey, mix it into the tea while it’s still hot (otherwise it won’t dissolve properly).
So, you’ve tried (or at least considered) all the suggestions above, and you still don’t like green tea. That’s fair, not everyone is going to like everything. There are green tea extracts available as a supplement, however they are much more potent than brewed tea, and are not safe for everyone. If you’re curious about whether or not such a supplement would be helpful for you, consult a qualified health practitioner who can guide you, such as your local Naturopathic Doctor.