Consumer Reports: Great Green Teas

Drinking tea has been touted as a way to help fight heart disease and certain cancers. People have been talking about green tea, which is a good source of the antioxidants that may lead to better health. Consumer Reports just looked at almost 20 different ones to find the best tasting.

This tea store in New York City's Chinatown has a lot of different teas to choose from. There's black tea, oolong tea, and green tea.

Americans are realizing what Eastern cultures have known for thousands of years — tea is good for you. Green tea has generated more buzz than other kinds, and you'll now find it in supermarkets and health food stores.

Consumer Reports just looked at 19 green teas to find the tastiest.

Testers looked at loose tea, which can be brewed using strainers, as well as teas that come already bagged.

"What really makes a good green tea is a range of well-balanced flavors and aromas. And our testers looked for teas that had complex flavors that really lingered on the palate."

You should use fresh water to brew tea, not water that's been sitting in a kettle overnight.

"When you make green tea the water should just be coming up to the boiling point. It should be foam on top, and little bubbles begin to form. Pour it in, because if you let the water boil, the tea is going to end up bitter."

Some big-name teas didn't measure up in the taste tests. One from Bigelow and another from Twinings tasted mostly of wet paper and smoke.

But testers did find several teas to recommend. One is Tazo (PRON: TAH-zoe) China Green Tips Varietal. It comes both loose leaf and in bags and has a nutty, toasty flavor. It's available at Starbucks.

Dragon Well Green Tea from TenRen is also very good, with a well-balanced flavor. It can be purchased online at

Either is a top choice if, like these people, you're interested trying green tea.

Consumer Reports says that unlike coffee, tea shouldn't be kept in the freezer because it doesn't react well to extreme temperatures. Also, don't store your tea in plastic containers or it may end up tasting like plastic.

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