Flavoured Green Tea
Green Tea can be a very bitter cup if it is not brewed properly. The tannin in the tea comes out very strong in Green Tea when either the water is too hot, it is steeped too long, or worse; both water and steeping is wrong. That said there is also a significant difference in taste from tea to tea just as there is from wine to wine. Like wine, tea has many parallels and taste varies from region to region and even from hill to valley on the same tea garden. Grapes are picked only when ripe, whereas tae is picked approximately every 7 days throughout the growing season. Early spring pickings will be much milder and lighter in cup quality than late harvests. Also where the tea-leaf is plucked on the bush will affect the overall taste. The most desirable tea-leaves are the hand-plucked ones from the new growth leaves. These leaves are the sweetest and most sought after. Another variable is the processing of the tea. This will also significantly alter the taste and tannin content in your cup. Some green teas, particularly Japanese processed ones are only picked, steamed and dried. Japanese type teas will be ‘grassy’ in taste and much more susceptible to bitterness if over-steeped or steeped too hot. They are however, if made correctly, the sweetest and most mellow of all teas. Next you must consider the grades of teas available and nowhere is it more self-evident than with the Japanese teas. Look at our selection of Japanese teas and you will notice the basic ones are light in colour with a slightly yellow tone. As the quality moves up you will notice a very vibrant dark green colour in the top teas. A picture is worth a 1000 words here so let one of our trained staff explain the differences. Other teas such as the Chinese teas are plucked, steamed, dried and the either pan-fried, or further processed. This yields a cup less grassy and more vegetative in taste. There is usually less bitterness with Chinese teas as the further processing yields a lesser amount of tannin in most cases. Here as well the plucking time and area plucked from the bush affects the tea taste and bitterness.