How to Drink Green Tea

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Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, not only for its flavor but also its wide range of potential health benefits. If you want to try green tea for the first time, or want to give it another try after a less-than-ideal prior experience, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve listed great tips for maximizing the flavor and health benefits while minimizing possible side effects. We’ve also included several methods for brewing a great cup of green tea.

[Edit]Things You Should Know

  • Drink about 3 cups of green tea per day to maximize the potential health benefits. But check with your doctor if you’re pregnant or have certain medical conditions.
  • Don’t drink green tea on an empty stomach or late in the evening to avoid two common problems—upset stomach and caffeine jitters.
  • To avoid bitter green tea, brew it for only 1-2 minutes in water that’s hot but not boiling. Add sweeteners, milk, or flavorings to suit your preferences.


[Edit]Tips for Enjoying Green Tea

  1. Drink around 3 cups a day to get the potential health benefits. Green tea has a wide range of purported health benefits, and there is some evidence that it may be able to help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, obesity, and some cancers.[1] It appears that, for the typical healthy adult, drinking between 2-5 cups per day—with 3 cups perhaps the ideal—may maximize the health benefits while minimizing the risk of side effects.[2]
    • Drinking more than 5 cups of green tea per day has not been shown to significantly increase the potential health benefits, but definitely does increase the likelihood of side effects like caffeine jitters, upset stomach, and nutrient absorption issues.
    • Drinking 3 cups of green tea per day provides about 320 mg of polyphenols, which are the antioxidants believed to be the source of many of green tea’s health benefits.[3]
  2. Drink fewer than 3 cups per day if you have certain conditions. If you’re pregnant, for instance, limiting yourself to 1-2 cups per day may be preferable, or (less commonly) you might be advised to avoid green tea altogether. Talk to your doctor if any of the following are true:[4]
    Drink Green Tea Step 2.jpg
    • You’re pregnant or nursing.
    • You have existing heart, kidney, or liver problems, or high blood pressure.
    • You have a history of stomach ulcers, GERD, or other digestive issues.
    • You’ve been diagnosed with anemia, diabetes, glaucoma, or osteoporosis.
    • You’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
    • You take one or more of a wide range of prescription medications—check the list at the bottom of this article:
  3. Drink green tea between meals to reduce the odds of stomach upset. One of green tea’s possible side effects—upset stomach—is caused by the tannins in the beverage. This is most likely to happen if you drink green tea on an empty stomach.[5] However, drinking green tea with a meal may interfere with your absorption of key nutrients such as iron.[6] So, your best option may be to drink green tea between meals, perhaps with a light snack.
    Drink Green Tea Step 3.jpg
    • What snacks pair well with green tea? Try lightly-sweet snacks with a mild flavor, like tea biscuits, or mochi—a Japanese glutinous rice cake that is usually circular in shape and dyed different colors.
  4. Don’t drink green tea in the evening, especially if caffeine affects you. Green tea isn’t loaded with caffeine—it has about half as much as black tea and one-fourth the amount of a cup of coffee.[7] But it still contains enough caffeine to potentially affect your sleep patterns. So it’s best to avoid drinking any kind of tea (or coffee, or other caffeinated beverages) after dinnertime.[8]
    Drink Green Tea Step 4.jpg
    • If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, drinking green tea may cause jitters, headaches, sweating, an elevated pulse, or anxiety. You can try decaf green tea instead, although it’s not as clear that decaf tea provides the same level of health benefits.
  5. Steep green tea for a short time in hot water that isn’t boiling. If you tried green tea before and found it too bitter for your liking, you might have brewed it for too long and/or in water that was too hot. While individual tastes vary, green tea typically doesn’t need to steep for more than 1-2 minutes, and the water should be between , with an ideal temperature of about .[9]
    Drink Green Tea Step 5.jpg
    • A kitchen thermometer is the best tool for ensuring your water is the right temperature. Alternatively, bring the water to a boil and wait about 2 minutes, or estimate it’s at about when mid-sized bubbles start rising to the surface.
    • If you’re looking for more detailed guidance on brewing a delicious cup of green tea, keep reading!
  6. Add milk, sweeteners, and flavorings to suit your preferences. Sure, some people like their green tea without any additions, but there’s no “green tea police” out there that you need to worry about! Adding a teaspoon or so of sugar can help counteract the bitter notes, while a splash of milk may help if drinking tea tends to trigger acid reflux. But there are lots of other options to consider as well, such as the following:[10]
    Drink Green Tea Step 6.jpg
    • Sweetener alternatives to table sugar, like honey or stevia.
    • A squirt of lemon juice or a fresh lemon slice.
    • Non-dairy milks—almond, oat, etc.
    • Spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
    • A bit of grated fresh ginger for a spicy kick.
    • A blend of green tea with your favorite herbal tea flavors.
    • A couple of fresh mint leaves.[11]
  7. Try enjoying green tea in a traditional Japanese style. Feel free to sip your green tea any way you like, with any additions or snacks you prefer. But here’s a quick primer on drinking tea in a more classic fashion:[12]
    Drink Green Tea Step 7.jpg
    • Serve the brewed tea in small ceramic cups placed on saucers.
    • Fill each cup about one-third full, then go back around and add tea until they’re half full, then repeat the process so the cups are about three-fourths full.
    • Pick up and hold your cup with your dominant hand while supporting it from below with your other hand.
    • Drink the tea quietly, without slurping.
    • Place the emptied teacup back on the saucer.

[Edit]Ways to Brew Green Tea

  1. Green tea bags: Tea bags typically contain lower quality tea leaves than loose-leaf tea,[13] but they’re affordable and convenient. Here’s the process for making green tea:[14]
    Drink Green Tea Step 8.jpg
    • Heat of water to .
    • Warm your tea cup with hot tap water, empty it out, and drop in one tea bag.
    • Pour the heated water into the cup and let the tea steep for 1-2 minutes, depending on your taste preferences.
    • Remove the bag and enjoy the tea as-is or with sweeteners, milk, or flavorings.
  2. Loose-leaf green tea: Loose-leaf teas tend to produce a better flavor profile, and, while they cost more than tea bags, are still pretty easy to brew:[15]
    Drink Green Tea Step 9.jpg
    • Bring of water to a temperature of .
    • Measure out 2 g (about 1 tsp) of loose-leaf tea.
    • Add the tea to an infuser ball and put it in a small teapot (or a saucepan with a lid), or just add the tea directly to the teapot.
    • Pour the hot water into the teapot, put on the lid, and steep it for 1-2 minutes.
    • Remove the tea infuser ball and pour the brewed tea into your cup, or, if you didn’t use an infuser, pour the tea over a small mesh strainer placed over your cup to strain out the tea leaves.
    • Alternate: Add the tea to an infuser basket that rests on the rim of your teacup, pour the water over it, steep the tea in your teacup, and remove the infuser.
  3. Matcha green tea: Japanese matcha is powdered green tea that isn’t strained out of the brew. You can make matcha into a latte or iced tea, or try the classic brew:[16]
    Drink Green Tea Step 10.jpg
    • Add matcha powder to a small mesh strainer placed over your teacup. Use 2 g (about 1.5 tsp) for a lighter brew (called usucha) or 4 g (about 3 tsp) for a stronger brew (called koicha). Tap the side of the strainer to break up any clumps and filter the powder down into your cup.
    • Very slowly pour of water that’s been heated to into the teacup.
    • Rapidly stir the tea for 10-15 seconds with a bamboo whisk called a chasen (for the best results) or a small metal whisk.
    • Drink the tea as-is or add your preferred sweeteners or flavorings.

[Edit]Related wikiHows

  • Make Chinese Green Tea


[Edit]Quick Summary

  11. Dina Garcia, RD, LDN, CLT. Dietician/Nutritionist.
  13. Dina Garcia, RD, LDN, CLT. Dietician/Nutritionist.

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