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The Green Tea Taste Test

Sure, it's good for you, but is it good? Rating the best and not-so-best

continued...

  • Buy a little tea at a time - Tea turns stale within six months to a year.
  • Keep air out - Non-clear glass, metal or ceramic containers are best for storage. Tea can absorb other flavors and odors, so keep teas away from other spices and out of plastic containers.
  • Use good water - Use cold, good-tasting tap water or bottled water. Hard water can add a mineral taste to delicate green teas, and water left sitting in a kettle overnight will dampen the tea's flavor.
  • Don't boil - Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature than black teas because it's more delicate. Pour the water just before it boils.
  • Follow directions - Follow the instructions from the store or package regarding how long to steep and how much tea to use. In general use about one teaspoon of loose leaves or one bag per eight ounces of water and brew for about two to three minutes.
  • Let tea breathe - The leaves need enough room to unfurl and swirl in the basket, tea infuser, or filter used. Tea balls usually don't offer enough space and an open-topped infuser is usually a better choice because it lets leaves float freely.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports, March 2003.

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