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Green Tea

A lot of the green tea I purchase has very little taste. Why???

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  1. are you using loose leaf or tea bags. that may be your problem right there...

    2 Replies
    1. re: mermaidsd

      I am using tea bags--should one use 2 for a mug??even so I find the green tea weak-please advise

      1. re: marlie202

        in my experience, bagged green teas are across the board bad. you need the loose leaf tea if you want a more full bodied taste, although as other posters have mentioned, green tea is by nature very delicate tasting as compared to other hot beverages.

        try some 'genmaicha', green tea with roasted rice. you can probably find it at most japanese grocery stores.

    2. Have you tried Peet's Sencha (loose leaf)- probably the best I've had.
      Green tea, by the way, is supposed to have a rather delicate taste.

      1 Reply
      1. Here: http://peetscoffee.com/Default.asp?rd...&
        Sorry, but I am ashamed to admit I can't create links. . .just copy and paste.

        1. O.K., so it's a link now. I'm kinda new to this


            1 Reply
            1. re: marlie202

              Thanks, Marlie - glad you enjoyed - happiest holidays!

            2. Are you a smoker or drink strong booze like Scotch, etc? Those will destroy your taste buds!

              Most of the GREEN TEA bought in tea bags are more like the tea dust left behind on the floor after the tea leaves are packed in my experience.

              There are hundreds of different Green Teas from inexpensive to fine tasting competition grades. All the life saving things found in GREEN TEA are not always 'tasty' as some judge and pick their foods by, that are detrimental.
              If your taste buds are working, you will pick your GREEN TEA's like some pick their cigars, wines, and scotch!

              You have to start with the TEA LEAVES until you find what you like. THere are also OOLONG TEAS, which are GREEN TEA lightly roasted for about 20%. Just as TI KUAN YIN is. You will find much information and different teas on www.specialteas.com for a lot less money, then you will find in your local store. A teaspoon of tea leaves cost about 5-10 cents and can be reinfused for several cups or mugs of fine tea. Even the expensive tea bags at 50 cent apiece can NOT do that!

              I was addicted to good coffee for the 2/3rds of my life. I even roasted green arabica beans before grinding. Used filter papers to make the coffee to remove the oils.
              THe last 20 years I have been drining GREEN TEA and feel 20 years younger, look 10 years younger, the Blood Lipid Panel is picture perfect, and the arteriers are CLEAN!

              Have a variety of GREEN and RED(ROOIBOS) teas, so that they are rotated on a daily basis. One teaspoon in the 13 oz teapot in the morning wiill make several mugs throughout the day.

              If Green tea is too subtle of a taste for you, then you might accept the fact that GREEN TEA does not have to have STRONG taste to be good to help the elasticty of your skin, which means less wrinkles, inprove the brain function, energy, and also lower your body fat!

              Just remember the TASTY foods like chocolate,sugar, fatty foods, coffee, candy, liguors, cakes are addicting, so you are picking more UNhealthy foods by taste, then what good they do for the body.

              By the way, the more and longer you drink GREEN TEA, the more discerning your taste will become, which will lead to choosing HEALTHIER foods in general with improved health to prove it.

              1. I too, found green tea (it was leaves from Harney) rather blah, but recently my wife found some Green Chai tea bags (from Stash) with spices which are much more interesting.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DonShirer

                  I like Stash tea--will check this out also..

                2. i concur--tea bags are a no no. i recommend visiting your local Asian grocery store. they ususally have entire aisles devoted to tea. look for whole leaf tea rolled into balls, and these are usually sold in glass jars or plastic containers. these are the most fragrant, yet still vary much in quality. i'm still tasting different brands and types of tea to find my favorites.

                  1. I was introduced to BETTER Gren Teas on Cathay Pacific flights from LAX-BKK-LAX. Special grade Jasmine Silver tip and TiKuanYin was served in First Class, and I believe I ended up drinking most of it all the way there and back. Got off the plane after more then 17 hours of flying, and felt as good as when I started. Also, had many discussions of different teas with the Flight atteendents and continued that discussion every chance I got in BKK and Hong Kong.

                    On the way home, I decided to spend 3 days in Hong Kong to find authetic Tea Leave shops. And I did ONE small respected chain of shops. Tea was prepared for my tasting like if it were a wine tasting! Ended up buying several like the Jasmine, TiKuanYin, Oolongs, and several other Green teas.
                    THen I discovered wwww.specialteas.oom, which was less expensive and has BETTER grades and tastes. In addition, their air tight resealing heavy bags have the directions for how long to seep the different teas and if multiple infusions are possible. They have FREE SHIPPING from time to time. Perhaps in January, again.

                    I would not buy any in a plastic bottle, since volatile chemicals are given off from some plastics. Glass is much preferred.

                    If you prefer a spicy taste, then try the ROOIBOS red tea with a wide range of flavors. I enjoy the R.Chai, R.KeyLargo, R.SIMBA from Special Teas very much for variety.

                    Most likely, you will not find the favorite on your first try. It takes time for the valuable anti-oxidants in the green teas to do their most important work, which will improve your OVERALL health. But you will feel energy from the beginning, lowered body fat over time, better concentration, and improved immune system.

                      1. re: greenstate

                        No, but - for a variety of reasons - they have less caffeine than black tea (actually, the tea leaves have the general levels of caffeine, but green tea is usually less concentrated than black tea).

                        But you can get decaffeinated green tea (just like black tea).

                      2. I disagree about tea bags being horrible--sure, it used to be that cheap black tea bags would contain the dregs of leaf dust, but I don't think that's true anymore with the many wonderful high end brands--Harney tea among them. I drink both loose leaf and tea bags, and I feel you just can't beat the convenience of bag teas at times, and there are so many good ones to try.

                        Green tea is typically delicate, but if you're after a stronger taste, try genmaicha (which is green tea with brown rice, a very rich, nutty, distinctive taste). I brewed this loose leaf for years, but Eden makes a brand of it in bags that is better than I've ever had before. Harney makes a green tea with citron and ginko--light and refreshing, very flavorful, I love it. Moroccan mint teas are another lovely taste--put in some honey, yum!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Mandymac

                          I take tea bags for use in restaurants. But I see no need to pay the HIGH PRICES for packaging and marketing like you do for Republic of Teas,and so many others, when good tea can be bought for a fraction of the price. But I don't begrudge you for buying or enjoying any of them at any price. In fact, I am enjoying the competition grade TiKuanYin from Special Teas at $30.00 a quarter of a pound, that my Niece sends me for the Holidays. But a teaspoon can used for 5 or so infusions, since I drink 4-5 mugs all day long, especially while on the computer. My mind and vision stays much sharper with green tea! :) There is NO let down like there is with coffee.

                          There is a fractional amount of caffeine in some green tea, but it has not even been noticable to me, while I can tell it in coffee with the first sip. There are also decaffeinated Green teas. But I don't find those necessary. ROOIBOS or red teas do NOT have any caffeine and can be more benefial then Green teas, and have a greater variety of flavors. Also, can be reinfused several times throughout the day. Generally I use ONE teaspoon in the teapot in the morning andjust add hot water thoughout the day for additional mugs. Tea cups are just too small.

                          When you can drink green or red tea without sugar, then you are on the fasttrack to better health. It is not necessary to drink strong tea for results. I generally make a mug of tea with a teaspoon of leaves, and use them several times. You need the additional water during the day, as well.
                          Stay away from those high fructose corn syrup sodas, if you want to feel good and improve your health. Yes, Heart attacks and Strokes can be prevented and reversed!

                          1. re: Mandymac

                            I'm somewhere in the middle on this. Loose tea is always better than tea bags, in my experience, but sure, you can get some pretty good tea bags these days.

                          2. For convenience I still go for teabags, and I think the Asian tea bag brands tend to have better flavor than the Caucasian brands. I like Yamamoto brand, and lately Costco has a great version sold in pyramid teabags that are Ito-En brand repackaged as Kirkland. I love genmaicha flavor too.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jeanki

                              I so agree! I drink 6 cups (3 large cups with 2 bags) of Yamamoto genmaicha while I am at work. It tastes really nice. Slightly nutty and fresh.

                              I tried another brand of green tea a few weeks ago (some American brand) and it was like drinking dirty water.

                              1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                I also like Yamamoto-ya's genmai cha for its cost & teabag convenience, but Peets' loose leaf genmaicha tops it.

                                And I also like the Costco/Ito-en green tea for when I like a mild sencha, and it was on this board (actually on the Chains Board) that I learned Costco sold this tea. Very good deal at $13 for 100 tea bags. Costo green tea post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                              1. Personally, I buy various kinds of leaf green teas from China (which taste like tea to me, as opposed to grassy). I find them full bodied, but I probably use more leaves than some people might. While they are green teas, the liquor they produce is brown in color. The Foo-joy brand is good enough for my tastes - and they market leaves in a wide range of prices. I would suggest trying a Lung Ching or Mao Feng as good starters. Gunpowder green teas also have a lot of flavor. Most of these are available at Asian markets like Ranch 99.


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Ed Dibble

                                  I agree that for fairly inexpensive line, foo joy is good, in particular the round tins are pretty good. i i've tried most of the line they offer and the color of the tea is different for the different teas. tippy green (inexpensive green) is bright green and one of the other cheap greens is a light strawish green upon brewing. they also sell teabags but i haven't tried those. I just bought a tin of the lung ching for $10 today. Prob not quite up to top grade but like you said, good enough for my tastes right now.

                                  1. re: Ed Dibble

                                    I love grassy tea, which is why I generally prefer Japanese greens to Chinese. It just depends on what you like.

                                    Ito-en http://itoen.com/leaf/ has a great online tea finder tool where you can choose the tea characteristics you are looking for (e.g., "herbaceous", "malty" "vegetal -grassy" "sweet" and about 40 others) and then it will spit out tea recommendations. Helps me make sure the tea I get is grassy and herbaceous.

                                  2. I agree that better Asian and domestic tea bags can still be pretty good for quality, but the selection will always be limited to a more or less generic blend of greens.

                                    Here are a couple of more possiblities for excellent greens:


                                    1. Today I visited one of my favorite stores Puerto Rico on St. Mark's and checked out the green teas (loose teas) their selection was good and so were the prices--I bought 1/4 pound of the Gemai (sp?) green tea with brown rice for $2.50--they are having a bunch of specials on various coffees if any chowhounds are interested. I will keep checking things out in the various locations you have recommended--Happy New Year to all my chowhound friends-

                                      1. Whether you use bags or loose tea, brew green tea with water that's NOT boiling. Boiling water is TOO HOT for green tea, and will kill the flavor. Same with white tea, and many oolongs. Take the kettle off before it comes to a boil or add a bit of cool water to boiling water, if you won't watch the kettle (and who really wants to?)

                                        1. Hmm... I've found that boiling water is fine for green tea, but not for white (which as you say, tastes best when made with water than is steaming not boiling)...

                                          Happy New Year everyone!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: PaulLev

                                            Scroll down to the topic "brewing:" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea

                                            A handy tool from Upton for best brewing, note the temperature ranges for each variety of tea: https://secure.uptontea.com/shopcart/...

                                            Please let me know if you need further information, Paul. I find it helps enormously to regulate the temperature of water for brewing. I'm not saying you can't brew green tea with boiling water, only that it will likely have more flavor if you use cooler water.

                                            1. re: amyzan

                                              Thanks for the uptontea page, Amy. I did know about the Wikipedia page. I'll try brewing the green tea with the lower temperature water. I wonder if the locale of the water - we live a little north of NYC - could have anything to do with the optimal brewing temperatures.

                                          2. Boiling water might be detrimental for the antioxidants, that do so much good for one's health and body. Would recommend not to continue that or stick to black tea and boiling water. It also has benefial effects, but with caffeine

                                            1. My guess is that the tea you've purchased is quite old. Essential oils in tea that impart flavor and aroma diminish in as little as 3 months from the time the leaves are picked and processed.

                                              The tea generally used in a standard tea bag is a grade of tea known in the industry as dust.
                                              Due to the smaller particle size the tea oxidizes or loses it's essential oils faster because of a greater amount of exposed surface area.

                                              Green tea tends to age faster than other styles of tea. In fact black tea was originally created by mistake but was easier to export to Europe because green tea couldn't handle a 12 month sea voyage as well as black tea.

                                              While proper storage can help prevent aging even green tea stored under the best condtions will lose most of it's flavors after 6 months and will be nearly undrinkable after a year. Not only does the tea lose flavor, compounds within the tea change to create an offensive flavor.

                                              Sadly most people can't differentiate old tea from fresh due to the fact that most people have grown used to the flavor of old teas. It is important to buy from a source with high turnover and a deep understanding of the seasonality of tea. A proper retailer should also be able to provide proper instructions to steep their teas.

                                              The easiest way to test a teas freshness is it's aroma. The more complexly aromatic the tea the fresher it is. In other words if you prepare a cup of green tea and it has little or no aroma it's old. If the aroma is complex and nuanced and you can smell the tea steeping from a couple feet away it's fresh. Keep in mind this test only applies to unflavored teas.

                                              1. When in Japan two months ago I was in Shizuoka, the best green tea producing region. I had four kinds per day!

                                                I really like the tea from my local purveyor, available online.
                                                From China there are the jasmine pearl teas, little flavored balls that open up as they steep. From Japan I really enjoy the sencha sen rikyu, named after the guy who started the Japanese tea ceremony.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Leonardo

                                                  Tao of Tea is a very interesting website!

                                                  As an OLD OLD SOUL, I marvel at drinking tea from 2700 year old trees!

                                                2. If you want more taste, try the Oolong teas, which are lightly fermented Green teas. I prefer them at dinner or after, since they have more flavor. Even a teabag will have more flavor then green tea, which I drink throughout the day. If you try whole tea leaves, the Anxi Oolong Select, TiKuanYin or Jasmine are nice to start with.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: nutrition

                                                    I really agree with what you have said about oolongs, nutrition. I used to drink green teas exclusively -- UNTIL I discovered the complexity of the oolongs. Some of them have a wonderful aftertaste that lingers like a dream...

                                                    I still like some of the green teas, but I find them a little flat as they compare to the oolongs.

                                                  2. i make my tea in the fridge. loose leaf, bags, fancy, not fancy, green, white, black, rooibos (ok not tea per say) -- refrigerator tea never gets bitter (even green).

                                                    since i'm not exactly a conneis..connes...expert when it comes to taste - i MIX green, white and black. i use whatever i have handy - sometimes it's bulk loose and sometimes it's bags. generally it's both.

                                                    lately, it's green white black and blackberry herbal.

                                                    you get the health benefits, a great tasting and refreshing tea, no fuss - no muss. (ok, a bit of a muss when you strain out the loose, but you can either "brew" again or throw it on any plants you might have.

                                                    i'm actually growing a camellia sinensis plant and am wondering why it's so expensive to get white tea when most temperate climates can just grow their own.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: hitachino

                                                      I guess one secret to growning your own is knowing when to pick it!
                                                      That is if you can create the optimum climate with mists, waterfalls, breezes, clouds, sunshine, organic natural fertilizer, and have tiny fingers to pick those first buds and ity-bity leaves!