Green tea is ancient drink with rich history. Among the Chinese legends, green tea was discovered by Emperor Shen Nong from 2,737 BCE. The ancient Chinese believed that green tea’s bitter taste stimulated wakefulness, good overall health and the acquisition of great wisdom. Nowadays, green tea has been proved that it contributes to the longevity by stimulating heart function and increasing the elasticity of blood vessels. Green tea strengthens the immune system and prevents cellular mutations. Green tea can also prevent certain types of cancer. A cup of green tea can bring enjoyment and also many health benefits. I love green tea and I can proudly say that I am a tea girl. As many other tea lovers, I want to know how to make a great cup of green tea and also can bring out all the benefit of green tea. As my experience, there are 7 mains rules on making a great cup of tea: a quality of tea, a teapot, an amount of dry tea, the water, the temperature of water, the steeping time and personal involvement.
1. The quality of green tea
The green tea’s quality contributes to the success of the cup of tea. You couldn’t have the great cup of green tea with low-quality green tea. Keep in your mind that with green tea you do get what you pay for it. You should take time and care to find the quality green tea which suitable with your taste and hobby. The green tea quality can be judged on three main things: Appearance (the high-quality green tea includes the greater number of buds and does not have many broken leaves), the color of the dried leaf and the smell, flavor characteristics of the green tea.
2. The teapot
The teapot is a very important element that makes the success of the cup of green tea. There are many types of teapots such as clay teapot, ceramic teapots, metal teapots, glass teapots… Ceramic teapot and glass teapot are suitable for all types of tea. Metal teapots are suited with mint tea. Take notices of the teapot material, size, shape and quality when choosing the teapot. If you are interested in the teapot material you can find it in here
3. Amount of green tea dry leaf
The standard amount of tea dry leaf is one teaspoon of tea per person and one for the pot. If you do not want strong green tea you can dip out only half of the teaspoonful. It’s easy to have a strong cup with fresh hot water with a longer steeping time. The longer time brewing the more caffeine is released in green tea. If you use tea ball or infuser don’t fill it to the brim. Green tea leaves need space to expand as they steep.
Here you can see how the brewing time affect the tea compound
4. The water
According to the American Tea Masters association, the ideal water for brewing green tea is the spring water with the pH level of 7.9. The perfect spring water is the water with several minerals and without chlorine, no distinct taste or order. In case you don’t use spring water you can use the water filter to filtered or de-chlorinated water to obtain the level pH of 7.9. If you don’t have filter water system at home you can also use tap water to make green tea. Make sure that you use the water from the cold tap which is fresh and full of oxygen.
5. Temperature of the water
For most teas, water should be about (212oF/100oC) or just off the boil. Do not boil the water too many times because it will lose oxygen. Green tea made from this water will be flat and tasteless. Here are some recommendations for water temperature:
· Black tea can be brewed with truly boiling water 203-215oF
· Green tea is often better made with a slightly low temperature at 167-185oF.
· Oolong tea: the best temperature for Oolong tea is 203oF
· White tea: the water can be a bit cooler than the green tea at 147-167oF.
But how can you know the temperature of the water without a thermometer handy? The answer is watching the bubble in the boiling water. A small bubble will float to the surface of the water 160-170oF. When you see strings of bubbles from the bottom of the kettle, the temperature might be 180-190oF. And after that, you will have full boiling water. If you want to reduce the temperature of the boiling water, pull the hot water into a cold small bowl or a cup. Water’s temperature reduces 50oF (10oC) when it poured into a cold bowl or a cup. Besides, a bowl or a cup also ensures that the water poured onto tea leaves will be exactly right.
6. Steeping times
Different types of green tea leaves require slightly different brewing times. Normally, three or four minutes are good but some green teas need six or seven minutes, and some will be stronger after three minutes.
· Green tea steeping is 3 – 5 minutes
· The Oolong tea needs around 2 – 5 minutes
· White tea needs at least 3 -5 minutes
You can find more detail in the table about steeping time and water temperature
7. Total personal involvement
According to Sen No Rikyu, the greatest Japanese tea master: ”Tea is nothing more than this: Heat the water, prepare the tea and drink properly”. Making a cup of tea is a simply process but we can feel that tea is moody and changing. In one day a cup of green tea can turn out perfectly and the following day it can be less successful even you do the same process. Making a cup of green tea requires you a total personal involvement. Put your heart when making a cup of tea and you can feel the difference. I love the time to prepare a cup of tea and smell the green aroma and watching the snow in the morning. The only way to improve your skill in making green tea is practice, practice, and practice.
I hope you can find some interesting tips on making a cup of green tea. Let’s boiling the water and making a great cup of tea. Having a cup of tea and enjoy your life. If you have more tips on making a great cup of tea you can share with me. I’d love to know more about you and how you make your daily great cup of tea.