How To Prepare Green Tea
Ever find green tea too grassy and bitter? Thats not the teas fault. Youve just had your green tea prepared the wrong way.
Most teas will benefit from a little more care than simply chucking a bag in a mug and pouring boiling water over it. This is especially true of green tea. Once tea made its way to the West, the rituals surrounding it became more to do with what it was served with, rather than how it was made. But theres a reason tea-making rituals are so revered in Japan and other Eastern countries.
When prepared correctly, green tea will never taste grassy and bitter. Heres how to prepare green tea at home in the right way.
You will need:
- Green tea leaves. Loose leaves are always better, but wed recommend sticking with this method even if youre using green tea bags.
- Teacup or teapot, depending on how much green tea you want to make. If you make green tea often, it may be worthwhile buying a separate pot for it, in order not to prevent flavour contamination from other teas.
- Water. Using water that hasnt been boiled will make a huge difference. In other words, empty your kettle of leftover water before filling it. Filtered water is also better.
- Strainer or tea infuser. Something to strain or sieve your tea through is generally better, although you can always scoop the bulk of them out with a fork if you dont have anything suitable. A couple of small leaves floating around isnt the end of the world.
Step one Heat the water
Tips and tricks
Types Of Matcha Green Tea
Depending on the preparation method, there are two types of matcha: the thinner Usucha and the thicker Koicha.
Koicha is the green tea of choice in Japanese tea ceremonies and special tea parties. It is much sweeter and more full-bodied than Usucha.
For a beginner and everyday use, I recommend making Usucha.
What Is Green Tea Extract Or Egcg
Green tea extract is a decaffeinated mixture of polyphenols from the Camellia sinensis tea plant .
In other words, green tea extract is a concentrated version of green tea without the caffeine content. As a dietary supplement, its available in capsule and powder form.
Most green tea extract comes from tea leaf scraps left over from tea processing. Commercial manufacturing techniques use hot water or solvents like alcohol or acetone for extraction followed by freeze-drying, spraying, or emulsification to ensure a predictable consistency.
In contrast to green tea extract, epigallocatechin gallate is a specific, individual catechin polyphenol found in Camellia sinensis. It also occurs in lower concentrations in many fruits, in nuts, and in cocoa.
Green tea contains around 7.3 grams of EGCG per 100 grams of dried tea leaves. Its the most abundant catechin in tea, accounting for nearly 60% of total catechin content in green tea.
Like green tea extract, EGCG is also available as a supplement and is made with a similar manufacturing process. EGCG used in supplements mainly comes from leftover green tea leaves, too.
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Koicha Matcha Steps :
Koicha is typically hand harvested from the choicest buds of older tea plants
Step 1.Preheat your tea bowl by adding hot water. Place matcha bamboo whisk tips into water and let set .Step 2.When tea bowl is heated thoroughly, remove bamboo whisk and water from tea bowl. Dry tea bowl with linen cloth.Step 3.Measure approximately 1/4 cup boiling water into a separate bowl and allow to cool to approximately 160°F to 185°F here you can use a thermometer to cool the water to your preference.Step 4.Measure approximately 3 to 4 scoops of matcha powder with bamboo scoop or ladle, placing into matcha powder sifter. Sift powder into tea bowl, gently shaking and spinning powder with ladle to remove any powder clumps.Step 5.Once water has cooled to the correct temperature, pour ½ of water slowly into tea bowl .Step 6.Hold tea bowl in one hand and take whisk in the other hand. Whisk matcha and water slowly and in a kneading and circular pattern, until liquid has become a thick and smooth consistency. Step 7.Add remaining hot water and whisk slowly until smooth. There should be no foam on top.Step 8.Pour matcha tea into a tea bowl or tea cup.Step 9.
Three Methods To Enhance Your Tea Experience
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How To Brew Tasty Japanese Green Tea
This approach does not require any special equipment such as tea pot. You can use any type of mesh strainer to filter the green tea.
Some Background: The Japanese Dry Landscape Garden
Three basic elements, common to all Japanese inspired garden space, are stones, water and plants. Stones offer structure for the landscape. Water and plants are life-giving forces.
There are multiple types and subtypes of Japanese gardens. These include the study garden, the strolling garden and the tea garden. Each inspires its own set of garden ideas.
Japanese Zen gardens are one best-known type, originating in the 14th to 15th C.
Authentic Zen Garden Tip: Shared design principles amongst Japanese gardens include asymmetry and grouping plants in odd numbers of three, five or seven.
Japanese Zen gardens are dry landscapes, also known as Japanese rock gardens. They are traditionally found in courtyards at Zen temples.
These minimalist courtyard gardens were used by monks for practicing meditation. They can still be experienced as a special expression of Zen enlightenment.
Authentic Zen Garden Tip: Unlike other Japanese garden styles, the dry landscape garden omits a key element, the water.
In a dry landscape Zen garden, water becomes symbolic rather than literal. Water is replaced by gravel or pebbles or sand, which is raked to give the impression of movement.
A patch of sand represents an expanse of dry ocean or river with a rippling current. Large rocks or boulders are set vertically on the gravel, and these represent islands or mountains.
The overall effect of your planting should encourage introspection and meditation. Never shock and awe.
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Zen Garden Or Tea Garden
Japanese gardens can be a special place to enjoy a cup of green tea. Tea was introduced to Japan from China in the 9th Century, and originally used for rituals in the monasteries where Zen gardens originated.
Japanese History: The traditional Japanese tea ceremony became a practice of its own. Chado is the Japanese word that means the way of green tea.
Chado centers on the concept of the host and the guest spending a heartwarming moment together over a bowl of matcha. This practice is always enjoyable in a garden setting with the sounds or sights of flowing water.
Traditionally, the garden that surrounds the tea house is called Roji. Roji is a place for quiet reflection on the beauty and art of living at one with nature. A pathway of carefully placed stepping stones lined with granite lanterns leads through the woodland garden to the tea house.
In the case of your own backyard Zen gardenwhere tradition is modified to fit with urban settings and alternate culturesadding a seating area where friends can enjoy a cuppa is a unique way to celebrate two types of Japanese traditions.
Authentic Zen Garden Tip: Your DIY Zen garden can be the perfect place to divulge your cares and release the stressors of the everyday worldover a cup of tea.
With the addition of some DIY garden seating and simple patio design ideas, a backyard Zen garden builds on old traditions in new ways to offer a soothing place for a hot beverage by the ocean of gravel.
Relationship Between Tea And Temperature Of Water
When the temperature of water is high, green tea gets bitter and change the balance of the taste. So, it is important to boil water and cool it for some extent based on the bitterness you prefer.
When the temperature of water is higher than 175°F, the taste gets bitter and has more astringent.
When the temperature of water is below 140°F, the taste is less bitter.
See my other article “Everything you need to know about Water and Japanese Green Tea” for more detail about how to select water for your tea.
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Japanese Tea Taste Varies By Brewing Temperature
There are three main components of tea that affect the taste: the harmony of sweetness, astringency and bitterness.
L-Theanine, is a type of amino acid that tastes sweet and is the most important taste component. L-Theanine is released at lower temperatures than other components so to enjoy the sweetness of Japanese tea controlling brewing temperature is very important.
Catechins, which are a type of polyphenol, are responsible for the astringent taste.
Caffeine is responsible for bitterness.
Hojicha Roasted Green Tea
Roasted at a high temperature, this tea gives off a very pleasant fragrance and produces a gentle sensation in the mouth. Less caffeine than other green teas and gentle on the stomach. Lovely brown color.
- How to prepare Hojicha:
- Put the tea in a large enough teapot. For three people use three tablespoons tablespoons . Pour the liquid into each cup over several pourings in such a way that the strength of the tea will be equal for each cup. Empty all the liquid from the teapot. For the second infusion, let it steep for ten-seconds.With a pinch of salt, Hojicha tastes even better.
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Easy Care Of Your Diy Backyard Zen Garden
Japanese Zen gardens have a special, calming effect. They are places of serenity, contemplation and meditation. Zen gardening is about finding a connection to the natural environmentnot about adding work into your already busy schedule. In particular, Zen gardens are structured to put your mind at ease.
Authentic Zen Garden Tip: Let the Zen effect guide your decision-making as you bring all your small backyard garden ideas to life!
Japanese dry gardens are designed specifically to embrace minimalism and promote contemplation. Their rock and stone-heavy elements have the extra special benefit of being low maintenance.
A backyard minimalist Zen garden is surprisingly simple to maintain. Larger rocks dont require water to grow! And there are no weeds. The best plants are hardy and evergreen theyre great outdoors all winter long and excellent for small backyards.
The water feature of the Zen garden is the lowest maintenance of all because its make believe! Dedicated space for sand or gravel and natural stone means never cleaning a filter, replacing a pump or fishing out dead leaves.
Authentic Zen Garden Tip: The upkeep becomes more of a ritual than a chore.
The act of gardening involves the gentle raking of gravel along with some thoughtful pruningnot the hardcore weeding, constant watering or harvesting associated with other, high maintenance garden styles.
How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Sencha Green Tea
Sencha is one of the most delicious and aromatic of all green teas. Indeed, it is the most popular green tea in Japan and it goes well with medium and light meals, snacks, and sweets. One of the most interesting aspects of sencha green tea is the ability to alter the flavor by changing the water temperature. Brewed with a higher temperature of the water, it produces a more astringent tea whereas a cooler temperature results in a more mellow flavor.
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What Is Green Tea
Green tea one of the five types of tea known as a true tea. This type of tea includes other teas like black tea, oolong tea, and white tea, which means it is made using the leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between the true teas is a direct result of the fermentation and oxidation processes.
Tea leaves for green tea are harvested from the plant and then immediately pan fired or steamed to prevent oxidation, which can alter the flavor profile. After steaming, green tea leaves are cooled and dried in a multi-step process.
Tip: For Teas That Require Cooler Water Temperatures Transfer More Often Wait Longer For Teas That Need Higher Temperatures Transfer Back And Forth Less
Step 4 – While we are waiting for the water to cool a bit more, let’s measure out some leaf for our infusion.
Proportion of tea to water…Generally speaking use .6 grams of sencha leaf for each 30 ml of water.
It’s quite helpful to use a small scale which measures to the tenth of a gram. In case you don’t have one, it just so happens that one teaspoon is very close to 4 grams.
The two small cups of this rather small tea set set hold a combined 100 ml of water. If you are measuring using fluid ounces, simply multiply 3.38 times .6 grams of leaf for your result. If you are using metric, 100 ml divided by 30 ml comes comes out to 3.33. Multiply that by .6 grams and we end up with 1.99 grams of loose leaf. In this example, we’ll round that up to 2 grams, or very close to one half teaspoon. Add this to the pre-warmed, empty teapot.
Step 5 – Pour the hot water from the two small cups directly into the teapot and brew with the lid on. How long to brew? This will depend a lot on the tea and the water temperature. For a lighter steamed green tea, you can brew for 1.5 to 2 minutes. For a medium steamed green tea, about 1 minute is usually good. For a deep steamed green tea, 30 to 45 seconds is usually about right.
Step 6 – Pour from the teapot into the teacups little by little from cup to cup, going back and forth evenly.
Once you have finished pouring, store the teapot with the wet leaves so that the lid is partially covering it.
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A Simple Guide To The Best Japanese Green Tea
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Japanese Green tea is some of the best tea in the world. It is quite different from Chinese green tea. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.
There is a beautiful world of Japanese green teas to explore. If you’re not sure where to begin, here is a good overview of the types of Japanese green tea. But it’s always the same way in tea the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. The “rabbit hole” goes deep.
But isn’t that what makes it all so fascinating? Let’s dive in.
All Japanese green teas are steamed during processing and classified as either sun-grown or shade-grown.
Prepare Green Tea Leaves And Tools
Widely available in loose leaf tea, tea bag and powder forms, this is a versatile tea. You’ll need to start by selecting not only your preferred type of green tea, but also which form you want to use for brewing.
If you want to prepare green tea using green tea bags, simply follow the instructions on the label. If you want to brew green tea using loose tea leaves or pearls, use a tea strainer, tea infuser, or tea ball to contain the leaves. Whatever form of tea you use, make sure to purchase high quality tea leaves for the best flavor. it’s also important to use the right amount of tea leaves for the best flavor. Aim to use 1 teaspoon of loose leaves for every eight ounce cup of water.
For the best results, we recommend using a separate teapot specifically for brewing green tea. While not entirely necessary, this helps to prevent flavor contaminations from other herbal blends and preserves the distinct green tea flavor profile. Use glass, ceramic, clay, porcelain or stainless steel teapots for brewing â avoid plastic and aluminum since they can alter flavors.
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How Is Matcha Made