Should my green tea taste bitter? In a word, no! Green tea should be sweet, crisp, creamy, delicate, nutty, roasty, seeweedy or vegetal ~ but not bitter.
If your green tea does taste bitter, it will either be a poor quality tea, or it has been brewed incorrectly.
Ways to ensure your green tea is not bitter…
Choose loose leaf tea ~ tea bags usually contain the tea dust, also known as ‘fannings’(1) left over from the leaf, which often have a bitter taste.
And the tea bag itself, unless it’s organic, usually contains a number of toxins, which apart from the bitterness, present a number of health risks(2).
Let your water come down from the boil for around ninety seconds to two minutes (a little shorter or longer depending on the type of tea, and the outside temperature).
A water temperature between 75-85 Celsius (165-185 F) will give you a sweet tasting tea. If your water is too hot it will burn the delicate tea leaves, resulting in bitterness.
Do not over-brew ~ a good guideline is to brew for around two minutes (again a little shorter or longer depending on the type of tea, and how subtle or strong you like your it). If you brew too long, you release too many tannins and too much chlorophyll into the water, both of which will make your tea bitter.
Having said that, if you like your green tea bitter ~ and a fine green tea certainly is a Goldilocks(3) thing ~ by all means brew your tea that extra minute or two to achieve a bitter taste.
Do not leave your tea leaves sitting in water ~ when your tea is the desired strength, pour the tea into another pot, so that the leaves strain in the first one. When you are ready for another cup, top up your teapot then. This will ensure an excellent second, third, and usually fourth pot(4), with delightful nuance in fragrance and flavor each time, and no bitterness.
So create the time to be centred in your moment when you make your tea(5), find your Goldilocks~taste, sip slowly and joyously, and be at one with the world… Relish… And may your magick serve you well. ~ GreenWitch Tea