Brewing green tea with room temperature water?

by Matt

I've read countless articles and posts about brewing green tea. They all invariably suggest to use water that is "hot", but just short of boiling. Some stress using "warm" water. They all acknowledge that using water that's too hot will make the tea taste bitter (and I can attest to that). The problem is, though, that my tea doesn't seem to need water any warmer than room temperature in order to brew.

I use this very well-reviewed green tea:

Kirkland Signature Green Tea Japanese

The reviews ought to give you an idea of what type of tea it is. As one reviewer notes, "It might say "Kirkland" on the box, but it is really Ito En tea (which is printed on each pack), as well-known Japanese tea company."

So, I can put the tea bag in a cup, and pour room-temperature water over the bag, and the water will instantly turn a light green.

But...everywhere I read on the Internet seems to suggest that it needs a full 30 seconds or so to brew, and that's with using *hot* water. If I just dip the tea bag in the cup, rather than pouring the water over it, it'll take 30 seconds, but the point is, do you really need to use warm or hot water to brew green tea? I've heard that the heat of the water reacts with the chemicals of the green tea, which is where all the health benefits come from, but what if room temperature water is doing the trick, and using water that's substantially cooler than boiling water actually turns it brown, and with less than 30 seconds of brewing time?

I've been wondering this for a while now. I basically don't know if there's a specific reason why hot water is used for green tea. People have said that it won't brew unless the water is hot, but mine turns a beautiful light green with room temperature water. Does this appropriately colored water translate into the health benefits of green tea, or is it deceptively colored?

Thanks! Sorry for the long post; this is really quite a simple question, though I just wanted to make sure you understood my situation and what it is I'm asking. :)

I hope this helps,


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