How to Enjoy a Cup Of Japanese Green Tea
Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage, after water. Many people enjoy a cup of green tea–they find it relaxing and tasteful. It has many health benefits and is a good substitute for coffee after a meal as it has less caffeine. Steeping the perfect cup or pot of green tea is a tricky process. If not handled properly, those same polyphenols that provide health benefits can ruin the flavor, making the tea taste bitter. It’s particularly important not to over-steep.
1. Put 3 grams (approximately one teaspoon) of loose green tea into a ceramic cup or inside the ceramic filter of the cup if there is one.
2. Do not use boiling water for green tea, especially sencha, shincha and other delicate green teas. Instead, bring water to a boil then let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Water temp should be around 60-80 C (140°F – 175°F). Pour water over tea leaves, into your ceramic cup. Water can be a bit higher for other green teas.
3. Put a cover on top of the cup, and let it sit for 1-3 minutes. The newer the tea, the less it should steep.
inhale the aroma
inhale the aroma
Open the cover of the cup–remove filter if using one. (Shincha and sencha are best steeped using a filter, then removing filter and leaves from cup or pot.) Smell the tea first to enjoy its pleasant aroma. Then take a look at the bright green color of the tea.
5. Relax and slowly sip your first taste of the tea. Let it roll down your tongue and savor the subtle scent of the sweet grass. Slowly, enjoy every sip of your green tea.
6. If drinking green tea with leaves still in cup/gaiwan, wait until one third of the tea is all that is left in the cup,then add more hot water. You can repeat the above procedure with the same loose green tea leaves up to three times or more. If using a filter, tea leaves can be infused 1-2 more times.
* Some green tea (notably a variety called Matcha) is naturally bitter. It is up to you to decide how bitter you like your tea. One way to find your favorite is to visit an authentic tea house and try a number of varieties.
* If you believe your green tea is too bitter, you may have brewed it too hot and/or too long. Go get a clean thermometer (meat thermometers work well, don’t use one that you’d use to see if you have a fever) and check the water temperature as you heat it. Try brewing for only 1 minute, then experiment with longer times. If the tea is still too bitter for your palate, either try a different, less bitter variety of green tea or try cutting your tea with honey.
* Appreciation of green tea is not limited to the taste of drinking. You can use your other senses as well.
* Many who dislike the taste of green tea have often tried only bagged teas such as Lipton. Try to find higher quality green teas, which are becoming increasingly available.
* An added benefit is many of these teas can be purchased with mint, jasmine, and other interesting flavors.
* Additionally, green tea is traditionally brewed much weaker than most tea drinkers brew theirs.
* Another thing to try is green tea ice cream. Some people enjoy a small bite of green tea ice cream followed by a sip of luke-warm green tea. The flavors contrast nicely.
* For a more interesting flavor, try Tazo brand tea, which merges multiple tea leaves together to give a a different taste.