For years, I couldn't understand why anybody would drink green tea. "Tastes like somebody steeped lawn clippings" I said. And honestly, to this day, I still think that dry green tea leaves smell like hay. But to be fair, they smell like perfectly cured, excellent-quality hay.
Sure, the flavored green teas that I sold tasted good, and I offered a selection of unflavored green teas because my customers asked for them, but my heart really wasn't in it.
And then I took a tea tasting class. And I found out that things like time and temperature aren't just fussy tea snob things, they really matter. That green tea is delicate, and even the best quality green tea can taste awful if you treat it like black tea. And that even low-quality green tea isn't so bad if you just treat it the way it wants to be treated.
Seems kind of like people, doesn't it?
So to keep it simple, there are 2 very good reasons why you might be mistaken in your belief that you don't like green tea:
You're scalding it: Most green tea likes to be steeped at 170-ish degrees, which is a whole lot cooler than freshly boiled water. Boil your water and allow it to cool to the correct temperature, checking with your kitchen thermometer. There are also several electric kettles on the market that allow you to set a specific temperature.
You're leaving it in the bath water for too long. Generally, green tea likes to be steeped for 2-3 minutes (and bonus, you can re-infuse it several times!) Not 5 minutes, not 10 minutes, not while you take care of a few kitchen chores and get back to it "in a minute". Steeping for too long makes tea bitter.
Yes, there are other factors that go into making a great cup of tea, and they are all important. These two tips are specific to green teas.
I address the things that go into making a great cup of tea in general here, and in my free Guide to Making a Great Cup of Tea.
Now, I'm the first one to tell you that I hate it when I say that I don't like something, and I'm told "well, that's just because you've never had good whatever-it-is" (usually coffee). I'm pretty sure that unless you doctor up coffee to the point that I can't tell it's coffee, that I just plain don't like coffee.
But I did have to change my tune on green tea.
And I'm going to tell you that if you don't like green tea, it's just possible that you don't like it because it wasn't prepared the right way.
Won't you give it another chance?
We spent most of Sunday and Monday this week re-working our gift shop. We painted some display pieces, replaced some shelving, and rearranged the pastry case and checkout area. When we finished, we were very pleased with ourselves. And then we got to wondering...
What are our guests looking for from us, that we don't offer?
How can we better help you find the perfect gift for a loved one?
And so, we're conducting a survey. We'd love it if you'd take a few minutes to take the survey (link below) and let us know how we can serve you better.
Gift Shop Survey
Melanie Holsti believes in the power of good food and hospitality to change lives.