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117 Galisteo St
Santa Fe, NM 87501

505-795-7724

Luxury loose leaf teas, handcrafted tea blends and fine tea ware. ArtfulTea: where the ordinary experience of drinking tea becomes extraordinary.

Tea Wisdom

The Basics of Green Tea

Karen Gardiner

Green tea is loved by many but not by all of our customers, and the reason most often given is a bitter taste. Green tea, properly prepared, is light and delightful, not bitter. The key to enjoying a cup of green tea is preparation, which is really very easy once you get the hang of it. Unlike black and oolong teas, green tea leaves are not oxidized, so they are more delicate and require brewing with a bit more care.

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The best known greens come from China or Japan. Chinese greens such as Chun Mee, Dragon Well, and Gunpowder tend to have a more mellow flavor and color than Japanese greens such as Sencha, which are brighter green in color and have a fresh, almost grassy flavor. An exception here would be Kukicha, a Japanese tea made from the stalks, stems and twigs of the tea bush, producing a more earthy, slightly sweet tea. Genmaicha, another popular traditional Japanese green, is a blend of Bancha and roasted rice, giving it a deeper, toasty taste.

To brew a delicious cup of green tea, measure one teaspoon of leaves for every six to eight ounces of water. Heat a kettle of fresh, cold water to the point of steaming briskly, but not boiling. If you have a kitchen thermometer, you will want the temperature to be between 175–180F. Pour the hot water over the tea leaves, allowing them to steep for one minute or two at the most. Steeping green tea leaves for too long will nearly always result in a bitter taste. And if the water is too hot when it touches the leaves, the tea will have a burnt or scalded taste.

ArtfulTea offers a variety of classic and flavored green teas. One of the most sought-after is our Jasmine Yin Cloud organic green, a custom blend of exceptionally high-quality Chinese green tea scented with fresh jasmine blossoms. The aroma is as intoxicating as its flavor. All green teas can be delicious whether prepared hot or iced. As a bonus to the enjoyable flavor, green teas are usually low in caffeine, yet high in anti-oxidants. Some can also handle being infused twice.