How to brew green tea with japanese tea bags?!

Question: How to brew green tea with japanese tea bags?
I'm so sorry for this ignorant question but I have never drank tea in my life. I saw a box of japanese tea bags in my pantry and decided to have a taste. I poured hot water in a mug and then put the tea bag in. When I sipped it, it tasted like nothing, just plain water but smelled nice and that's it. I thought it was supposed to taste bitter or something. And is there a way for it to taste sweeter or more appealing?


This question is definitely not ignorant!

It could be that the tea bag you used was stale. Tea, if stored properly, stays fresh between six months to several years. But, if the tea bag was not sealed or stored in an airtight container, the aroma chemicals may have already left even after only a few months, leaving bland and tasteless tea. I have a page that explains more about storing tea properly:

Also, the way you brew the tea can affect how it tastes. How long did you steep it? If the cup was too weak, it's likely that you just didn't steep it long enough. An average steeping time for tea bags is around 3 minutes...some tea bags are better with short (1 minute) or rarely, longer (5+ minute) steeping times. The temperature of the water is important: 160-180F (71-82C) is ideal for most green teas. If the water is too hot, or too cold, the tea can either be unpleasant tasting, or too bland or weak. Also, how much water did you use? Some smaller tea bags are made for a single 6 or 8 ounce serving...if you use more water it may be bland. I also have a page how to brew tea if you want to learn more:


Honestly? What is more likely is that it just wasn't very good tea. Although the quality of tea bag tea is hugely variable, in general, most tea bags aren't very good quality. I would really recommend NOT giving up on green tea until you've tried several different types of loose-leaf green tea. You also may find that you're not as crazy about Japanese green teas, and maybe like Chinese ones? Or maybe you don't like green tea, and you want black tea (which can be stronger and richer).

For more info about green tea in particular:

Or for general info about all types of tea (green, black, oolong, white, etc.);…

Good luck! And you can contact me through the contact form on my site if you have any more questions. Tea is really good, but it can be intimidating to get into, especially if you've only had a kind of boring or mediocre experience with tea.

Green tea flavor is more subtle than cured black tea. And you must continue to drink green tea to appreciate the subtleties. When making a good cup of black tea, you must have boiling water to extract all the desireable flavor components. For green tea, only use hot water, not boiling water. Boiling water is too much for green tea and will eliminate the intricacies of what green tea can provide.
But learning this distinction will help you appreciate the properties of both.

Green tea is mild tasting. If you steep it in the mug for up to 3 minutes, it will give it more of a taste. Just take a mug, pour in water that has just started to boil, put in your tea bag and put a saucer over the mug for 2 or 3 minutes. No longer or the tea will be bitter. Then add some honey or sugar to taste. Now, I personally do not like hot tea. I actually make green tea and then add it to a glass of ice for iced green tea. To me it is much better cold.

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