How to brew green tea? First, heat the water, second, pour it over the tea leaves. This does work. However, people then ask, why does green tea taste bitter?
I have blogged already on the generalities of making a perfect cup of tea(1), and how much difference the quality of the water makes(2). This blog is specific to answering how to brew green tea so it does not taste bitter.
There are a number of ways when brewing green tea, that you impart bitterness into your cup…
Poor quality tea leaves. A good quality, loose leaf, green tea will not taste bitter. Poor quality, stale tea, or teabags (usually made up of broken, left over tea leaves, ‘tea dust’ if you like), will all taste bitter. So to start with, you need a fine quality green tea.
The water is too hot. If your water is straight off the boil, it will literally burn your tea leaves. Allow your water to cool for 1.5–2 minutes. This will bring it down to around 80-85 degrees Celsius | 180 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for allowing the flavour to draw slowly.
Steeping time is too long. Steep your tea for 1-2 minutes. Exactly how long, depends on the actual tea and how strong you like it. If you brew too long the tea will taste bitter. I personally, like my first brew steeped for one minute.
Strain the tea when it reaches your desired strength. That is, pour the tea into another pot, so the leaves strain in the first one. If you leave your tea leaves sitting in water, the tannins and chlorophyll released will make the tea taste bitter.
You are not storing your tea properly. Tea should be stored in airtight containers away from light, heat and moisture (also strong smelling food). If not, your tea will become stale and bitter.
If you use a good quality green tea, and follow the above, you will be able to get three to five delightful, non-bitter brews ~ of subtly different depths and flavours ~ from the one pot.
And don’t forget the most important part ~ take the moment, sit back, breathe, and enjoy. Life is short, drink good tea. ~ GreenWitch Tea
Of further interest~ brewing tea in different cultures