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.