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How To Make Traditional Japanese Tea

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How to Make Traditional Japanese Matcha Tea

If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an acquired taste or that it is too bitter to enjoy, were here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.

Dont miss out on the health benefits of tea!

  • Improve health
  • Lower your risk of cancers
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lowers risk of diabetes

We know that you will love this tips to brewing tea and getting the most flavor and elegance out of every cup. Sign up for Free Japanese Green Tea Club and get this great informative manual on brewing green tea. You will learn what it is that makes it one of the most popular beverages in the world.

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Is Japanese Green Tea Better Than Chinese

Chinese green tea tends to be lighter and sweeter in overall flavor, whereas Japanese green tea has a more vegetal, umami flavor. Processing tea in China includes pan-frying, or baking whereas Japan steams their tea. The difference in green tea processing contributes to how the tea will taste. Some tea drinkers may prefer smoky, toasty teas, while others prefer green tea to taste earthier. It all comes down to what one desires in flavor.

The Hidden Meaning Of Tea Ceremony

Those who only know tea ceremony through books or a brief visit to Japan usually miss out on some of the unseen angles that pertain to tea and its rituals. For one thing, even among the Japanese themselves, tea ceremony is considered a hard-to-understand, esoteric practice that takes years to appreciate. An analogy might be the way Westerners view classical violin playing. It takes a bit of study and a good deal of time to listen to a violin piece with true appreciation for the music, the instrument and the player.

Japanese who wish to learn more about their countrys most secretive art form join informal clubs to study it. After that, a few go on to attend formal, sometimes rather expensive, lessons from a tea master. There are, as in many martial arts, certificates and ranks associated with many of the prominent tea schools throughout Japan. For the select few who decide to delve deeply into the art, perhaps a lifetime of study awaits. Much as a concert pianist or cello player might give his or her life to the perfection of musical technique, some Japanese will devote themselves fully to the ancient art and ritual of tea ceremony.

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How Tea Came To Japan

Tea was believed to become a drink in Japan around the 8th century where it was recorded as a drink for religious people. When Buddhist monks were sent to China for training, some believed that they brought back the tea seeds when they returned. As tea became popular with the royal classes, the Emperor encouraged people to grow tea plants. This leads to more tea seeds being imported from China and it is how tea cultivation began in Japan.

It was believed that a Zen monk named Eisai was the person who popularized tea from his book Kissa Yjki . In this book, he teaches a lot about the medicinal value of drinking tea, the characteristics of the tea plant as well as how to grow and process tea leaves. After introducing his book and the tea consumption to the samurai class, tea became popular, and eventually, it became a staple enjoyed mostly by the upper classes of the Japanese.

Now in the past, Japanese people believed that drinking tea will help in curing diseases such as heart disease, beriberi disease, lupus, etc and it is also used to clench thirst. However, what is the real benefit of drinking tea?

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Types Of Japanese Tea

As most of you may know, green tea is extremely popular in Japan, in fact, it accounts for at least 90% of the total tea production in Japan. When people think of green tea, some assume that it is the name of a tea, when in reality there are many different types of green tea in Japan, most of which are divided according to their processing method. The first stage that separates them is the fermentation process. After tea leaves are picked, they will be steamed and the steaming process will stop the fermentation of the tea. Most Japanese green tea is non-fermented and is often steamed or pan-fried. What makes them different from each other is the way the tea plants are cultivated and whether or not and for how long they were shaded.

Before we explore the different types of teas, you may wonder what shading means. When tea plants are cultivated under the sun, photosynthesis will take place within the leaf and will increase the umami flavor in the tea leaves and make the tea leaves taste more bitter.

Now, lets take a closer look at the different types of green tea!

How To Brew Japanese Tea

Tea is a world as complex and deep as wine. With its celebrated and hallowed tea culture, Japan holds a singular place in this sphere. To understand more about how to choose and brew Japanese tea, we caught up with Zach Mangan, the founder of Kettl Tea, a company that sources fine Japanese tea directly from artisan producers.

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What You Need To Brew Chinese Green Tea

To prepare green tea in a glass or gaiwan, you really only need three things: tea leaves, hot water and the vessel itself. You can either get a vessel on its own or just get a complete tea set.

What kind of tea is served in Chinese restaurants? Many different types. Oolong, green, jasmine and puer are the most popular, along with special blends. In this article, were only focusing on green.

For green teas, you do not want to use boiling water, but water that ranges from 60° C to 85° C . The ideal tea temperature varies with the variety, with teas picked early in the year generally requiring cooler temperatures, due to their higher amino acid content.

80° C or so is a good temperature to aim for, if you are unsure which temperature is ideal for your type of tea.

The main thing you want to avoid is going above 85° C , because it will result in a bitter tea or going under 60° C , because water below that is unable to fully extract all the flavor and aroma from the tea leaves.

The reason for that are amino acids and tannins, two of the many different compounds and substances in tea leaves that all contribute to its aroma and flavor. The bitterness of a tea is contributed by tannins, while the sweetness and overall flavor of the tea are determined by amino acids.

Amino acids dissolve at 60° C . Tannins, on the other hand, dissolve at 80° C . The correct temperature achieves the perfect balance of sweet and bitter.

How do you know when your water is the correct temperature?

Preparing Green Tea From Japan

How to make Matcha (Traditional Japanese Green Tea)

For these instructions, I will use a kyusu pot and sencha tea leaves, since 80% of the tea consumed in Japan is sencha and it is the most common type outside Japan as well. Make sure the leaves are fresh for the best flavor. This means you need to store your tea properly.

The first few steps are not necessary if you have water that is at the correct temperature of 80°C . But if you do not have a way to measure the water temperature, pouring the water into the teapots like this will cool boiling water down to about the right temperature.

  • Pour enough boiling water into the empty teapot to fill everyones cup. There should be NO leaves in the pot yet.
  • Pour the water into each cup, filling it to the desired level . This helps cool the water down to around 80°C .
  • Add one large teaspoon of tea leaves into the empty teapot for each cup of tea. My kyusu pot has an infuser, but you can also put the leaves directly in the pot.
  • Pour the water from the teacups back into the kyusu.
  • Steep the leaves for one minute.
  • Pour a small amount of tea into the first cup, then pour the same amount into every other cup. Continue filling the cups a little at a time. DO NOT fill up one cup all the way, then move on to the next. This ensures that every cup contains the same amount of the weaker first pours and the stronger last drops.
  • Continue pouring until the teapot is completely empty. The leaves should be as dry as possible to ensure a quality second infusion
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    Traveling Outside Of The Golden Route Check Out These Tours:

    Located 20 minutes from Sendai Station by train, come to rural Iwanuma for a serene outdoor tea ceremony at the legendary Snake Shrine, which is said to send prosperity your way. The immaculate shrine grounds make for a magical setting for the tea ceremony, especially in May when the wisteria bloom.

    Don a kimono and experience the practice of sado, ritual tea drinking, in Miyajima, Hiroshimaâs stunning shrine island. Your English-speaking instructor will warmly welcome you in the spirit of omotenashi , and teach you about the art of tea from a deeper perspective.

    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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    Tips For A Good Cup Of Sencha Every Time

    • Dont shake, mix or stir while brewing
    • It is better if you dont use an infuser. Loose sencha leaves make contact with water as they move more freely, which results in a richer infusion.
    • If your water does not taste good, then your sencha will also not taste good. Therefore, make sure to use fresh and good quality water which doesnt contain lots of minerals. If youre using tap water, then allow it to run cold for at least ten seconds before using it.
    • Dont use a kettle made of aluminum. Aluminum is a very reactive material and can result in toxic contamination of the water. Ceramic, glass, stainless steel, cast iron, enamel or marble are non-reactive and non-toxic materials.

    Happy brewing and enjoy your cup of sencha green tea.

    How Long Does Matcha Last How Should I Store It

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    The shelf-life of an unopened package depends on how it is packaged. In general, high quality green tea powder lasts for 6 months. Its best to use up within 2-3 weeks of opening the package. To store, seal the package tightly and store inside an airtight can. Avoid storing in direct sunlight and areas with high temperature or humidity. You can do this easily by drinking more matcha green tea or making delicious desserts!

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    How Is Matcha Made

  • Shading: Early to mid-April, tea leaves designated for matcha are completely shaded.
  • Harvesting: Around early May the tea leaves are carefully picked.
  • Steaming: As soon as the leaves are picked, they go through the steaming process to prevent them from being oxidized and retain natural green color, fragrance, and nutrition. The main difference between Japanese green tea and other teas is that Japanese tea leaves are steamed.
  • Cooling/Drying: The leaves are passed through the various stages of an air machine to cool and dry.
  • Grinding: The tea leaves are ground into a fine powder. Traditionally, its manually ground on a stone mill, but these days its done with machines.
  • How To Make Japanese Royal Milk Tea

    There are a few different kinds of black tea that can be used for Japanese royal milk tea.

    • Darjeeling – light coloured with a floral aroma.
    • Assam – dark, bold, and malty.
    • Ceylon Uva – amber and full bodied.

    I use a blend of 75% Darjeeling for the light colour and delicate floral scent, and 25% Assam for a bit of depth and robustness.

    To get the most flavour out of your tea, we want to open it up first. Do this by putting it into a small bowl and add just enough boiling water to evenly coat the tea leaves. In the meantime, heat the milk and water in a small pot.

    Just before the milk/water begins to boil, add in the moistened tea leaves and turn off the heat. Stir them with a spoon to mix them in. Cover the pot and let it sit for four minutes . Prepare your teacups by filling them with hot water to warm them.

    After the steeping is finished, give it another stir, then strain the milk tea into a bowl or measuring cup with a pour spout. Now sweeten it to your taste preference. In Japan they often use liquid sugar called gum syrup. You can use sugar if you’d like, but I used honey.

    Remove the water from the teacups and pour in your tea. It is ready to enjoy hot.

    However, my favourite way to enjoy Japanese royal milk tea is iced. It is so delicious and refreshing. If you want to try it this way, pop the bowl in the fridge to cool for a bit before serving it on ice.

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    A Beginner’s Guide To Japanese Tea Ceremonies

    Japanese tea ceremony is an art form that has been perfected over 1,000 years, and below RocketNews24 examines some of that long history. Japanese tea masters dedicate their lives to the ritual preparation of a simple bowl of tea. The tea ceremony can be a half-day affair, lasting up to four hours!

    The Quality Of The Water

    How to make Matcha Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony (simple) Stay home. Stay well.

    Water is something thats often overlooked when you are just starting to learn to brew your own tea. However, there are different types of water and most of them are not suitable for brewing Japanese tea. For example, tap water, hard water, distilled water, etc are water that contains a lot of minerals that could alternate the teas flavor. This is why, when brewing Japanese tea, it is recommended to use soft water that contains little to no mineral.

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    Other Points To Consider

    • Drink the matcha tea immediately after it is prepared, as the matcha powder can settle to the bottom of the tea bowl.
    • Make sure to allow your water to cool after boiling, or matcha will be bitter.
    • Make sure to whisk the matcha tea completely, or matcha will be bitter.
    • Make sure to whisk usucha matcha until a thick foam with tiny bubbles appears so the flavor is not bitter.
    • Make sure to whisk koicha matcha so it is smooth with no foam or froth when complete.
    • Make sure your matcha powder is sifted into the tea bowl to aver clumps
    • If your usucha matcha does not froth, check to make sure you have used sufficient matcha powder or too much water
    • If your usucha matcha does not froth check to make sure you have whisked enough
    • Store unused matcha powder in a dark and cool place, and use opened matcha as quickly as possible to maintain freshness
    • Usucha bamboo whisks typically have 50 to 125 thin prongs
    • Koicha bamboo whisks typically have 32 to 48 thick prongs
    • Matcha contains a higher level of caffeine than other teas. Unlike coffee, however, matcha is absorbed slowly by the body and gives a slower, more consistent level of energy . Additionally, matcha does not typically produce the negative effects, such as the jitters, associated with caffeine.

    Pay Attention To The Water Temperature

    The next thing that you need to be careful of, is the water temperature. If you use water at high temperatures to boil the tea leaves, there is a high chance that your tea may turn out bitter as it will over-extract the green teas natural components. This temperature usually ranges from around 140-200 for most green teas and you can easily look it up online if you want to be sure which temperature is the best for your green tea.

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