Make Great Green Tea

October 11th, 2008 § 0 comments

I asked Jodi Holiday from Sympathy for the Kettle what makes a perfect cup of green tea. She dished up everything she knows about the perfect brew.

How to tell you’re buying the good stuff: When drinking green tea, you are essentially drinking dried tea leaves. Non-organic will effect the taste, so organic and freshness is important. Holiday warns “A lot of small tea gardens will not be certified organic due to inability to meet organic certification…yet they are still perfectly organic. Know your tea and what you are putting in your body.”

Buy packaged tea that has a shelf date or ask where your tea comes from. If they don’t know, don’t buy it.

Loose tea is fresh for a year without loosing vibrancy.

“Know these important attributes when buying tea and you will start to see the difference between quality tea and blah.”

Do you strain or stew your tea?

Strain black and herbal teas. “Green, oolong or white leaves, I leave the tea leaves in the pot or cup infuser basket and keep on adding more water.” Never stew or brew on the stove.

“Popular Asian belief is water should be well below boiling; merely hot so it doesn’t scald or burn the tea leaves so you don’t lose nutrients and taste.”

Making the perfect cuppa.

Asian culture measurements use a few grams per 8 to 32 oz (230mls to 950mls) of water. “Size of green tea leaves vary and some people like it strong and others light. You can resteep the leaves over and over again.”

In Japan, Taiwan and China the first infusion of teas are not consumed. The second and third infusions are prized as the most tasteful. Some Chinese start their day with a few grams of tea and refill that same tea for the rest of the day. This is awesome to do in Winter. Keeps you warm and hydrated. “The first infusion has the most caffeine yet antioxidants and vitamins are continually released through multi-infusions.” said Jodi.

You can add milk to all your teas, if your palate agrees. “There have been studies that show milk breaks down the enzyme in the molecule that aids in preventing heart disease.” But that shouldn’t stop you adding milk if it makes your tastebuds tingle.

“I like to drink tea pure rather than with a sweet on the side.” Jodi recommends this Orange Blossom Cake to make when company calls.

What do you drink?

“I prefer Matcha, Japanese ground gyokuro leaves, in the morning. I make it as a latter, mixed with water, honey, steamed milk and soy. Makes a great satisfying tea latte.”

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