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Some time ago while traveling, I had some brand of a local bottled green tea with peach. It was not overly sweet, was mild but good - seemed a good mix of tea and summer peaches and was very refreshing. Then I had a cup of hot green tea while dining elsewhere. I added a sqeeze of Mio Lemon because I didn’t want to add sugar (but wanted a little sweet). This was good, a little stronger, with a hint of “green fresh”, but then I expected vegetal as green tea isn’t fermented and there wasn’t any peach as in the first try. I decided to add green tea to my home tea options. We don’t have a tea shop, wanted to hold off on online ordering, thus the grocery was my only option. They had the Matcha powder but someone mentioned it might be strong (for a newbie) & could get musty/old from slower turnover in the grocery due to being more expensive. For health reasons, I figured I would eventually go to more concentrated Matcha and Sencha powders but I thought I’d wait for a dedicated tea retailer to help me with a choice. There was nothing in my usual tea brand, Twining’s, and no loose teas, so I chose the more expensive of what was offered - “Steep” by Bigelow in individual bags. I followed directions: boil water, pour over tea, steep 4 minutes. From the moment I bought the cup to my lips, all I could think, smell, taste was summer grass clippings. I have had “green” before but to me this had absolutely no tea flavor - mild, strong, or otherwise, and certainly didn’t taste like what I had before. It was just like I cut the backyard and dropped it in a cup with hot water. I tried it at different steep times and temps, added honey, and even opened the bag and used less. Nothing helped.

So, a long way to get to my question — can anyone recommend a brand(s) that they themselves drink that won’t have this awful yard grass taste? Don’t care if it is loose or bagged. OR, is it just impossible - that either the other two (tried while traveling) weren’t really green tea, or maybe they were super diluted. Or is it possible the Bigelow “Steep” is a higher quality, or stronger/fresher than the other two and I got a real taste of green tea and just don’t like it. I drank each cup I made, but there must be something better in order to get the benefits I’m looking for w/o feeling like I just ate the backyard. Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated but please only what you drink yourself or use in your immediate family. Thanks.

PS: I’m brand new here so I don’t know where this question will land, but in another question, someone said green tea was a fad and in 6 months it would be something else. Someone answered that they “didn’t think something done for 300-400 years could really be called a fad” - Loved this come back, couldn’t believe someone would say something like this. It always amazes me that us Americans think everything we do is new and fresh but actually we are many times behind everyone else. I see examples each day -it is almost funny. Maybe we just forget our world history. But if anyone wants to know how far back the “green tea fad” has been around try at least: China (loose leaf green tea has been the most popular form of tea in China since the Southern Song dynasty 1127-1279; Korea (introduction of Chinese tea culture and systematic planting & tea farming by Buddhist monks as early as 4th century); Japan (first seeds introduced as far back as 9th century by Buddhist monks).

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The fresh 'grassy' taste is typical from Japanese green tea (sencha), where the leaves are steamed before dried. This prevents the oxidation during the drying process leading to a bright green colour and a vegetable grassy feel. In opposition, Chinese green tea is dried directly and therefore oxidize during the process, giving it the smoother taste.

Maybe you want to avoid buying sencha green tea.

  • From other answers, it seems avoiding Japanese is good advice..at least until I develop a taste for grass. Thanks. – Pam Nov 3 '17 at 16:26
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I'm not an expert on green tea in general, but I know a little bit about Japanese green teas specifically. "Grassy" and "vegetal" notes in Japanese green teas are not just common, they're the defining characteristics. If you're drinking something that is very grassy tasting, you're probably drinking a Japanese green tea. I'm not familiar with the brand you have, but it probably says "Product of ..." somewhere on the box. Check that to have a better idea of the type of tea you have.

If you don't like it, and if what you had before and did like did not have that grassy kind of taste, then it probably wasn't a Japanese green tea that you had before (though from the sound of it, that's what you have now).

You mentioned matcha and sencha in your question. Those are both Japanese green teas, and I would absolutely steer clear of them if you dislike those grassy and vegetal notes. I would especially avoid matcha in that case, as matcha is whole leaf tea ground to a very fine powder, meaning that it often has a stronger taste than brewed tea, and it is (often-- the stuff made for cooking or mixing may be lesser quality) the highest quality tea leaves, with extra grassy, vegetal taste concentrated because you're drinking the entire leaf.

Chinese or Korean green teas are processed differently, so try looking for one of those specifically, and see if that's more to your taste. I believe Twinings sells a Gunpowder Green tea, which is a type of Chinese green tea, which may be more to your liking.

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Grassy notes in green tea are common. Yet, you've nice grassy notes and you've this astringt, bitter and awful grassiness. You don't want the latter.

As with your tea experience I can advise the following:

  1. Try to steep the tea at a lower temperature, while slightly increasing the steeping time. Often times with lower temperatures, you draw at more flavour, but less bitterness.
  2. Try green teas such as Huang Shan Mao Feng or Dragon Well. These teas tend to be less grassy relative to Japanese Sencha or Chinese Xin Yang Mao Jian or Bi Luo Chun.
  3. Try a light oolong: light oolong teas such as Tie Guan Yin are slightly oxidized. You'll still have the green tea experience, but the flavors are smoothened out due to oxidation. The texture is somewhat thicker and more creamy.
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I've never tasted good green tea, either Chinese or Japanese, that had an "awful yard grass taste." Probably you had the misfortune of drinking something very cheap and horrible.

Pay more and you will not experience "yard grass" tea.

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