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Friday, May 02, 2008

Iced Green Tea

Genmaicha

Here in the JunkMale household, we are tea drinkers. I enjoy most any kind of tea - black, green, red, white, and even some herbal teas. JunkMale is more of a purist. He only drinks Asian teas, which means green tea and a few select herbal teas. Our favorite type of green tea is roasted brown rice green tea ("hyeon mee nok cha"현미 녹차), more commonly known as "genmaicha" in Japanese. That is the only kind of 'real' green tea we have in the house, since I would assume that my very American decaf mint green tea does not count as 'real' to JM. ;-)

But for some reason, I have never been able to make green tea that was not bitter. I would use our food thermometer in order to make sure the water wasn't too hot, and yet it was still bitter. I always wished I knew a better way, a brewing method that would ensure perfectly delicious green tea every time. And now I do - cold brewing. Cold brewing is so simple, and yet most people never use it. Why, I do not know - perhaps someone who knows tea much better than either of us does can explain it to me.

We have also learned that iced green tea is more refreshing on a hot day than a cold glass of water. Why this is, we do not know, but neither of us can drink a cup without sighing and saying
"shiweonhada" - the Korean term for 'so refreshing'. Since discovering cold-brewed green tea, we have been consuming approximately 1 gallon of iced green tea a week between the two of us. For anyone counting, that means we are each drinking 8 cups of green tea a week. We are using the high quality loose-leaf tea that my mother-in-law left us over Christmas. It had hardly seen any use between Christmas and mid-April; after the last two weeks it is almost gone. She offered us quite a bit more, but I - displaying my American modesty and practicality - insisted that we didn't need more than just a little bit. And, really, had we not discovered cold brewing, the tea would have been well past its prime before we finished it.

Oh well. Serves me right for not accepting a gift. ;-) At least we live close to several Asian markets that carry loose leaf genmaicha.

Directions for cold brewing green tea:
Fill a container with a known amount of water. For every 2 cups (or 1 liter), add 2 teaspoons of looseleaf tea (or teabags). Leave in the refrigerator overnight, and in the morning it is perfect.

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7 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ginny

    I have some "fake" green tea and I will give that cold method a try. It must make it better. I can't stand green tea. It tastes like dirt to me. But, then again, I have never had the "real" stuff.
    :-D

  • JunkMale

    Well Ginny, in that case, you might not like the cold brewed Asian green tea either. It still does taste a bit like backyard plants. I can see how one would have to acquire the taste (I don't remember when I did).

    Then again, I have mostly had the Asian kinds. Maybe they taste different from the Western kinds.

  • Ginny

    Thank you for not asking how I know what dirt tastes like. LOL!
    ;-)

  • Thehotrod5

    LOLOL Ginny....I ahve a friend who craved dirt when she was pregnant.......I can't imagine craving it. Ont he other hand..I have yet to meet a green tea I didn't like!

    Angela

  • Ewokgirl

    We're huge tea drinkers here. However, I'm more partial to black teas, preferably from Whittard of Chelsea. I'm a tea snob, I'll admit.

    I'll have to try the cold brew method. I've never had iced green tea, so I'll be interested to try that.

  • Alan

    That sounds like a recipe even I could follow.

    I've never been a big fan of green tea, but you make it sound pretty good. Do you add any sweetener or other flavorings?

  • JunkMale

    No, just green tea, plus whatever particulate matter is on the inside of the cups we use. This idea of putting sweeteners in the green tea is alien to me ;)

    My wife seems to have done a good job in getting people interested in trying cold green tea. Was the interest generated in the part where she said it's much more refreshing than cold water on a hot day?