Why Does Green Tea Sometimes Taste Fishy?

green tea taste fishy

Ever wondered why does green tea sometimes taste fishy?  There are so many reasons why this odd taste comes into our taste buds. Green tea consumption is becoming one of the top trending health remedies all over the world. With the uprising craze, there are more and more people using green tea as a part of their everyday life. I myself is a big green tea fanatic!  Comes with its health benefits, are the exploding flavors that most of its consumers love. I can say that it works for me like drinking magic!  Other people say that it is a better choice as an alternative for coffee and other beverages. Going back, green tea flavors may not favor our expectations. One of the most common challenges I come across with green tea and even to some consumers is the unusual fishy flavor.

I could say that the fishy flavor of green tea made me almost quit drinking it. If you ever come across this experience, don’t worry because you are not the only one. There are various reasons why this happens:

  • It includes the origin and quality of green tea. Green tea varies according to its origin and the type of green tea leaves quality used.  Know their variations. 
  • Preparation of the green tea. We handle our drinks differently. There are some certain practices that yield different results!
  • Storage and handling did with the green tea. 

We know that that information could be an overload. Let us dig into these deeper. Keep reading to know about the specific details about the reasons why green tea sometimes taste fishy! Let us spill the “T” about the fishy taste of green tea!

Origin and the quality of green tea

Japan is one of the world’s top producers of green tea! They have been doing a lot of innovations to make their green tea stand out. Most manufacturers of green tea in Japan uses various leaves to make their product outstanding. One of these leaves are the seaweeds. Seaweeds are the origin of nori, which is one of the staple foods in their country. That tells us a lot why there is a touch of fishiness into our green teas! It might have been originated in Japan and has been infused with some seaweeds.

However, it should not be having a strong fishy flavor even though it has been produced in Japan. The main taste that you should be having is mostly vegetable and just a hint of seaweeds. Should the scenario come the other way around, the other reason could be the quality of the green tea leaves used.

the best qualifying ingredients on creating green tea are matured leaves!  Maturity of leaves determines the quality of the product.  If your green tea tastes fishy, you must be drinking a green tea that is made from young materials. The ideal age for leaves is 2-3 years old. If they have immaturely harvested the leaves, it might result in a fishy taste.

The preparation of green tea

One of the reasons why your green tastes fishy is the preparation. Yes, that’s right! The way how we prepare our drinks could lead to different outcomes. Extremely hot water temperatures could result in a fishy taste. The ideal temperature to steep in green tea is 70-80 degrees Celcius. This temperature works best for powdered green tea, like the matcha. The proper temperature helps the flavor activate nicely.  If you are using boiling water in steeping your tea, expect to have a low-quality outcome.

One of the best practices that I use is ensuring that my water or milk is at the perfect temperature. I always use a thermometer for an outstanding taste for my green tea!  It may take some time but gives me an enjoyable green tea drink for consumption. It is also a good practice of mine to steep it with the proper timing to get the best result. Loose green tea is best brewed for 3-5 minutes!

Sometimes it is not the tea that is at all!  The water quality could be the culprit. Tap water flavors differ in different regions of the world. Some tap waters taste rusty because of its treatment facilities. If you know that you have this kind of tap water, refrain from using it on your tea preparation and use distilled or purified water to maximize the flavor of the green tea. If you are creating cold green tea drinks, make sure that the ice is also derived from a fresh freezer. Don’t use the one mixed with other freezer contents such as kinds of seafood and meats.

Green tea handling and storage

Another thing you have to check is the place where you store your green tea. Since green tea is made up of loose ground leaves or powders, they are more likely to absorb different smells and aroma. One best practice that I do is to store my green tea products in air-tight containers and jars. I also make sure that there are no strong smells that could be trapped in when I store it on my fridge. There’s nothing wrong with storing it in the fridge, just make sure to seal it properly to keep it away from odors.

If you are storing it on cupboards and cabinets, make sure that there are no other spices that are surrounding the green tea product. You may still store it with other products but make sure that these products have a neutral smell.  It could be placed beside powdered milk, salt, or sugar. This way, we take away our green tea to be mixed with humidity and odors. A cool, dark and well-ventilated environment is the best storage area.

Other reasons why green tea tastes fishy

The above reasons most probably are the most common and tested for the fishy taste of green tea. But these following items could also be the cause. Let’s check them out.

1. It’s all in our minds.

Yes, sometimes it could be just a result of a psychological effect. This happens a lot when we have heard different stories from our colleagues about their fishy green tea stories. The effect of these stories could result in our brains giving us signals that we are having the same experience. If this happens, it is helpful to add some extra flavors to our drink. Sometimes, when I feel like I’m having a fishy taste on my tea, I am just adding a tablespoon of honey to lessen its effect. The additional honey flavoring diverts our attention to the added flavor rather than focusing on the strange fishy taste we are experiencing.

2. Improper aging

An improperly aged green tea could result in a dramatic effect on its flavor. When you are having an unusual taste on your green tea, never throw it out immediately. You can just simply store your green tea in an air-tight jar an age it for some time. The best additional aging period is 6 months up to a year. Natural green tea leaves or powders are not easily spoiled. They even taste best when aged properly. A tea caddy is a great place to age our green tea as well.  If you have a tea caddy, you will be having an amazing result.

3. Poor shipping and logistics of the green tea

Sometimes the fishy taste of green tea starts with its shipping. This happens when a product is being transported overseas by sea cargo. Sea cargo carries a lot of different things. There might be some products inside the vessel that has been absorbed by the leaves that you are consuming today. Fishing is a big industry in Japan. This might be the reason, that the green tea might have been transported along with other sea products such as fishes and seaweeds.

Best practices to avoid green tea taste fishy

  1. Buy from good vendors or good brands. Good brands may not promise the best quality product but ensure that there are only a little or fewer surprises with its taste.
  2. Taste it first. Teas are usually bought in batches. If you are planning to buy one, at least try to have a taste test to make sure that it suits your taste buds.
  3. Avoid certain green tea types. Some green tea types are actually infused with seaweeds. Check the contents of the green tea, if it includes a seaweed content, don’t buy it.
  4. Read more about your choice of tea. The internet is one of the greatest places to find knowledge.  There are so many available resources on the web to learn more about your tea of choice.  Find more about it like finding the best traits of someone who could be a good friend of yours! Know your tea so well.

Summing it up

There are so many reasons that affect the taste of our green tea. It all boils down to us as the consumer. It is our responsibility to ensure that the quality of the green tea product that we bought are stored and prepared for its excellent quality. We have the full control with this. There are so many easy to control the taste of the green tea that we are drinking.  Just have the proper way of doing such.  It will not only save us a lot of money but also helps us learn some life-saving techniques that could be useful in our daily living. We should always take note that we may not have the capacity to buy happiness, but we can always buy tea, that’s kind of the same thing! Just be make sure to handle and prepare it properly to achieve a drink that you will enjoy!

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