the 6 tea varieties
The way of tea
Easy and secure
Contact & News
Tips and advice - Japanese Teas
How to brew japanese green tea
Brewing japanese tea differs slughtly from chinese and taiwanese tea. Here is some advice to help appreciate these green teas to the fullest.
Ideally, you avail of the japanese tea utensils (Cha-ki). We recommend that you use a small glased teapot. Porcelain or glased ceramic will work admirably. A smaller pot (max. 300cc) gives the best results for several reasons:
- Tea brewed this way is fresher and develops more aroma.
- The tea has a limited contact with oxygen which will reduce oxidation.
- It brings esthetics and beauty to the ritual
The right amount of leaves in the pot is a very personal question depending on the intensity you seek and how many brews you want to make. From our experience, we usually use between 4 and 8g of tea for a small teapot.
Water temperature is a very important point too. Japanese green teas do not like a water that is too hot. The right temperature and a well controlled infusion will give a fantastic result. A water too hot, or a steeping time too long and you will obtain an undrinkable liquid. Our recommendation! Give all your attention and love to brewing this tea and you will get the reward. Same as cooking, a dish cooked with love and attention tastes so much better.
The highly praised Gyokuro is for many the best tea Japan has to offer. The best Gyokuros ( and for some afficionados, the only real one) come from the Uji region near Kyoto.
A deep green color, powerful aromas and a mellowness in the mouth characterise this great name of tea. Beware, this tea does not like high temperatures. Prepare it with a water between 40 and 60°C. If you use water at 40°C, you can rinse it first ( a bit like letting it soak) but it is not mandatory. And then let the first brew steep for 2 minutes. Pour the liquid alternatively into the cups so that everyone gets an homogeneous brew. Make sure that you do not have any water left in the teapot. For the next brews, you can use water that is a bit warmer but then make sure that you reduce the steeping time a little bit. In any case, never use a water with a temperature over 60°C. A good Gyokuro can be infused at least 3 or 4 times.
3/4 of the japanese tea production is Sencha. Needless to say that the quality can vary a lot. But the same preparation rules apply regardless of the quality. A smaller teapot (max. 300cc) remains the best utensil for the above reasons. The water should be between 65 and 70°C. You can rinse it and discard right the water before making the first brew. It always helps to open the leaves. But if you have a very good Sencha it is not mandatory. Let it steep for 1 minute, in our experience, it is enough to reveal the subtleness of the aromas. If you like a stronger brew, you can venture a bit towards 2 minutes but always be careful not to go too far. Make the experience for yourself and you will fond the right point..
Tencha leaves are ground to produce this powder tea. Matcha is the tea used for centuries for the japanese tea ceremony.
To prepare a Matcha, it is advised to have the right utensils. In a large bowl with a flat(ish) bottom called Chawan, put 1 to 2 g of Matcha tea powder. To do so you ideally have a chashaku ( a small bambou spoon). The Matcha powder can sometimes form clumps, to get rid of them, you can pour a few drops of cold water and mix it with the bamboo whisk (Chasen) until you obtain a thick paste. Pour then 6 to 7 cl of warm water (80°C) and mix with the chasen, without reaching the bootom of the bowl until you obtain a nice foam at the surface of the tea. A video on the Matcha preparation shows you how to do that.
Made from the rest of Sencha and Gyokuro teas ( basically the stems and the discarded leaves), Karigane can be consumed all day long. Just use 1 to 2 teaspoons of tea for 100 to 200ml of water. The water temparature should be 80 to 85°C and 1 minute steeping time is enough. Let the next infusions steep a bit longer.
Sencha or Karigane tea are mixed with puffed rice to give a very aromatic all day tea. Use 2 teaspoons of tea in a small teapot, pour water between 85 and 95°C and let it steep for 1 minute. Let the next infusions steep a bit longer.