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How to brew Japanese green tea at home

Chiltea tokyo | Nov 05, 2018 | Knowledge |

Following on coffee trend, today Japanese green tea is starting to catch on in Japan and foreign countries like opening many cool Japanese tea café one after another. If we talk about Japanese green tea, many thinks that it is about green tea, but there are many kinds of Japanese green tea such as Hojicha, Gyokuro, Genmaicha and many kinds of the ways to brew and enjoy them depends on the kinds. However, do you enjoy them by the correct brewing ways? We introduce you how to brew Japanese green tea rightly at home.

Tips for brewing deliciously

We show you the necessary elements for brewing. It is water, temperature, the amount of tea leave, and brewing time. These 4 elements will be the big deal.

Water, Temperature, Tea leaves, and Brewing Time

First of all, water is the biggest element of affecting the tea flavor and especially slight acidity soft water is ideal for Japanese green tea, so it doesn’t matter if you use tap water at home (in the case of staying in Japan). By the way, please use them after bowling tap water for 2-3 minutes because it needs to remove chlorine odor. On the other side, we cannot recommend you use hard water for Japanese tea, which is said that hard water react components of green tea like catechin and caffeine and affects the flavor. You should check out the label of a bottle of water whether it is soft water or hard water.
Secondly, it’s about temperature. Brewing tea and coffee by hot water just after boiled, it will be more flavorful and the flavor stands out more, however, in the case of Japanese green tea, you have to care the temperature depending on the kinds. Addition to water and temperature, it is necessary to control the amount of tea leave and the brewing time based on the kinds of Japanese green tea. The problem that tea tastes too bitter or too light is caused by these points, temperature, the amount of tea leaves, and the brewing time.

Basic way to brew Japanese green tea

Let’s see the basic way to brew Japanese green tea.

1. Pour hot water after boiled to tea cups (cups for about 100ml) enough for the number of people and wait for the best temperature depending on the kinds of them (ex. 70℃/158℉ for high class green tea, 80℃/176℉ for middle class green tea). If you have water cooling pitcher or other cup, you can use it for cooling water so that it can change the temperature down to about 3-5℃/ 37℉-41℉ when you pour hot water to water cooling pitcher and then return it to a tea cup.

2. During waiting for the temperature, put tea leaves into a tea pot. The amount of tea leaves is based on the kinds of green tea (ex. 2-3g for green tea).

3. Pour the hot water in the tea cups to tea pot, put a lid on it, and brew the tea. (Brewing time standard: 1-2min for regular green tea, 30sec-1min for deep steamed green tea)

4.    After brewing, pour one by one bowl. Pouring one by one bowl means that it is without pouring in only one bowl but equally pouring all bowls little by little to get the same strong tea. The order is: ①②③→③②①→①②③→①… If you pour out the last drop, it works for preventing the tea from being steamed too much and you can enjoy 2nd extraction and 3rd extraction.

5. In the case of 2nd brewing, you can brew them with the hotter water and the brewing time is half of the 1st brewing.

As the way to brew 1st extraction and 2nd extraction is different, there are big differences in the flavors. For example, the 1st extraction has the original sweetness and flavor from the tea and the 2nd extraction has the typical astringency of the tea. You can enjoy various tea flavors through Japanese green tea.

Japanese green tea, especially green tea, has the season and it’s perishable, so it cannot be tasted the exact same tastes from the same green tea leaves in every year. While the flavors always change even if you say “Japanese green tea” in a word because the weather of the year influences them, there are various kinds of green tea which change the temperature, the brewing time, and the amount of tea leaves in every year. Today we introduced you how to brew Japanese green tea, but we also have the various ways to brew Hojicha (Roasted green tea), Gyokuro, and etc. in Japan. Besides the brewing ways, you can enjoy them more by many ways like not only hot tea but also cold tea. We hope you can find out your own way to have fun time with great Japanese green tea.s.