How to make the perfect cup of green tea ... and other important questions.
We all know that green tea is good for body and mind, but here at Dragonfly there are some key questions that we are often asked. So here are your top 5 green tea questions, answered!
1. How do you make the perfect cup of green tea?
The mother of all questions. Although we have some useful tips, tea is a very personal thing and we think you should make tea the way that you enjoy it. We do recommend using fresh water (so try not to reboil water as it affects the taste delivery) and leave the water to cool for a little while before infusing. Green tea leaves are delicate and if you pour boiling hot water straight onto the leaves they can scald and the tea can turn bitter. As for brewing time, each green tea is slightly different and timings will vary according to personal preference, however in general we recommend between 1-3 minutes.
2. Can I add milk to my Green Tea?
We definitely recommend drinking green tea without milk! It simply doesn't need it and traditionally has never been drunk with milk. In fact adding milk to black tea has only been a practice in Britain since the late 19th century when tea blends became very dark and very astringent. Nowadays, standard 'builder's tea' is blended specifically to be strong enough to withstand milk. In comparison, green teas are so light and delicate that when brewed at a suitable temperature and not for too long (see above) they should be refreshing and delicious with a slight lingering sweetness, and no bitterness at all.
Also: Good quality green teas are often wonderfully fragrant in themselves, however there is a long tradition of scenting or blending with other natural ingredients to offer something a little extra. Some of our green teas have been delicately scented with jasmine flowers and orchid petals or blended with refreshing mint leaves and citrus fruits.
3. What is the difference between green tea and black tea?
Both green and black teas come from the same tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, and the colour difference comes down to the way the tea is prepared. To make black teas, the leaves are picked and bruised or rolled during which time natural oxidisation occurs and darkens the colour of the leaves. Conversely, to make green teas the leaves are picked and then quickly dried quickly using heat. This prevents any oxidation and so the leaves can retain their light green colour.
4. Does green tea contain less caffeine than black tea?
Most of us know that black tea does contain some caffeine, however it is less known that green teas also contain caffeine, although typically less than black tea. The exact level of caffeine varies depending on the green tea in question: which particular tea bush, when it was harvested and for how long you brewed the tea.
One thing to note is that all tea contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee and also offers a much slower release. This means that the effects of caffeine from tea should be subtler and smoother, therefore less of a caffeine 'rush' and the consequent low that you can get from coffee.
5. How should Green tea be stored?
Green teas are so subtle and delicate that we recommend storing them away from strong-smelling foods and drinks. Our tea storage caddies are a great storage option to keep aromas out and keep the tea inside beautifully fresh and fragrant.
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