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Making sure that you brew your tea properly is just as important as having the right tea. Follow these tips below to ensure that your experience is as pleasant and positive as possible.
The best qualities of green tea are brought out when the water temperature during steeping is ideal. Bitter tea is typically a result of water that is too hot and much of its delicate aroma is lost. If the water temperature if too cool, the full flavor contained in the leaves cannot be extracted.
A number of substances in the leaf contribute to the flavor and aroma of green tea. The overall flavor and sweetness of green tea is determined by a variety of amino acids and natural sugars. Bitterness and astringency are contributed by polyphenols ("tannins"). Brewing green tea at lower temperatures will ensure that its sweet and complex flavors will not be overpowered by the bitter-tasting flavors.
As a general guideline, green teas taste best when brewed at temperatures between 140 degree F to 185 degree F. Other influences on the taste of green tea includes it's time of harvest and the grade of the tea leaf. Green teas picked earlier in the spring will benefit from lower temperature brewing due to their overall higher levels of amino acids.
Using a standard kitchen thermometer is the most accurate way to measure the temperature of the water in your tea kettle. The method of heating the water in your kettle to the desired temperature and then pouring it into your teapot can be quite successful. One approach is to heat the water in your kettle to the desired temperature and then pour it into your teapot. Another approach is to heat the water to boiling and then let it cool down a bit before pouring into your teapot.
Green tea does not require much time to brew. Too long a steeping time will result in more bitterness and a less balanced flavor. We recommend experimenting with a range of 1 - 3 minutes. Japanese green teas generally taste best at 1 - 2 minutes while Chinese green teas seem to prefer 2 - 3 minutes. Steeping time should be balanced with water temperature: the lower the temperature, the longer the tea can be steeped.
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