How to Prepare the Perfect
Cup of Japanese Green Tea
Standard Methods for Preparing
Japanese Green Tea
|Type of tea||Amount of tea leaves||Water temperature||Amount of water(for 2 person)||Infusion time||The second brew|
|Sencha(standard)||4.0g||80 - 90℃||200ml||Approx. 30 seconds||For the second pot, water temperature should be slightly increased and infusion time shorter.|
|Sencha(high grade)||4.0g||80℃||200ml||Approx. 30 seconds|
|Gyokuro(standard)||6.0g||50℃||100ml||Approx. 120 seconds|
|Shincha||4.0g||70 - 80℃||150ml - 200ml||Approx. 40 seconds|
|Bancha||4.0g||95℃||200mlml||Approx. 30 seconds||Boiling water for the second pot also.|
Important Principles for
Preparing Delicious Green Tea
Tea leaves are placed in a teapot, hot water is added to the tea leaves and left to infuse for a certain amount of time. Of course, preparation will vary according to such factors as local customs, personal tastes, occasion, time of day or season. Below is a number of key points to help you prepare delicious green tea and an explanation of various standard methods of preparation.
When preparing tea, the type of water used, water temperature, time the tea is left to infuse and the amount of tea leaves used are some of the main points in determining the flavor and aroma of the tea. To prepare the "perfect"cup of tea, it is best to choose a preparation method that suits the particular characteristics of the tea being prepared.
Choosing the right water
Generally, the best type of water to use in making green tea is soft water (low in calcium and other minerals) that is very slightly acidic. If using tap water, it is best to boil it first to remove any chlorine odor. If using bottled mineral water, hard water (high in calcium or magnesium) should be avoided.
Relationship between water temperature and flavor and aroma
Water temperature plays an important part in determining the taste and aroma of tea, and different types of tea require different water temperatures. This is because different components of tea dissolve at different temperatures. The astringency components (catechins) will be drawn out at temperatures over 80 degrees C, while the flavor components (amino acids [theanine]) require a lower temperature of around 50 degrees C to dissolve. For this reason, if one wishes to drink Sencha that is not very astringent, a temperature of around 70 degrees C is recommended, while for Gyokuro, a lower temperature is recommended to draw out the flavor more slowly.
On the other hand, for teas such as Hojicha and Genmaicha, which have unique aromas, boiling water or water close to 100 degrees C should be used. For people who prefer astringent Sencha, water should be over 80 degrees C.
Tea Utensils for Everyday Use
There is a great variety of tea utensils used in Japan, depending on the occasion, type of tea drunk, region and individual preferences. The tea utensils - Chaki in Japanese - used for formal tea ceremony (Cha-no-yu) are distinct from those used everyday at home. Below is a basic introduction to the most common types of utensils used for tea making and drinking as part of daily life.