The Taste of Green Tea
Green Tea components Influence Its Taste
Many factors contribute to your preference for a particular tea. Some cultivars have more umami, some have more astringency or bitterness (linked to caffein and catechin).
To adjust the taste of your cup of tea, you can control the water temperature to release different components in different quantities. The higher the temperature, the more caffein and bitterness in your cup, but remember, never use boiling water on your green tea!
1) Amino acids release the umami taste and are easily dissolved regardless of the temperature.
2) Astringency and bitterness are linked with caffein and catechin (tannin). Those are released at higher temperatures. Therefore, high quality tea should be prepared with a lower temperature.
Note that catechin and caffeine have both positive health impact, so they should not be avoided at all costs. Depending on your personal preferences, however, you may want to make sure that not too much of them is released.
Should I drink green tea before going to bed? What about pregnant women or infants?
Green tea contains caffeine but not all kinds have the same amounts. Choose a kind of tea with low caffeine levels (like Shira-ore
), or simply use about half the amount of leaves. In Japan, in the tea farming areas, babies are given watered down green tea to drink as soon as they start eating solid foods (6-8 months).
Green tea on an empty stomach
Green tea is rich in caffeine and catechin and so may be tough on an empty stomach. We recommend to drink weakly brewed teas in this case.
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