7 notices when brewing green tea

  

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. 

2 thoughts on “7 notices when brewing green tea”

  1. There are some key factors that you seem to misunderstand about tea brewing. You say "It's easy to have a strong cup with fresh hot water with a longer steeping time." This isn't really correct. Brewing tea is mostly about the tea to water ratio. The longer you brew tea for the more variety of compounds are being extracted, not just more of the same compounds. The longer tea is brewed, the more astringent, bitter and dry a mouthfeel is produced (temperature will also do this).
    Measuring tea by volume is highly inaccurate as well. A small gram scale is cheap and very effective at finding and reproducing great brewing by weighing tea and water used.
    At least as important as pH, which is ridiculously hard to adjust, is the TDS and specific hardness of the water. The higher the TDS the less compounds extracted aa well as the implied opposite. RO and distilled water are not recommended for brewing tea (not to imply you said this, just adding info).
    As for time, I brew strong white and black tea with 10 second infusions for 5 – 10 or more infusions and oolongs starting with 30 seconds and adding 30 every infusion until I can taste the water.
    Temperatures are fairly accurate. That being said, I have a very expensive Spring 2016 Gu Shu white tea that I brew around 200°, 5g tea to 150g water and get amazing results with 10 second infusions for the first 5-7 times slowly upping it to finish with 30 seconds around the 10-12th infusion. The cup has amazing complexity, fruity with honeysuckle aroma, a very honeyed sweetness, a juicy mouthfeel and lingering aftertaste.
    The main point is – Experiment and find what gets you the best cup!

  2. Hello Dan, thank you for your very detailed information and experience. Sorry for my late reply.
    I do think the longer time we brew tea can make a stronger cup of tea. The longer brew time will have more caffeine and other compounds in the tea. The longer you brew the tea will have more caffeine and other compounds not only the bitter taste and mouth-feel. I added the chart about the tea component changes when we brew the tea longer. You can read more about this research in the The Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Tea with different Parts of Sideritis condensate at Different Steeping Conditions

    About the pH level of water, I recommend using the cold tap water mineral water with pH 7.9. We can check the mineral water very easy in the water bottle. I think it quite difficult to check the pH water by yourself but we can learn it from Google too.

    Thank for your comment in the brewing time and the water recommendation. I think I need to change about the brewing time a little bit. I made this post quite a long time ago and it needs some change.

    I think the tea brewing and time will be different from countries to countries. In the Chinese and Japanese culture, they brew the tea in very short time like what you mentioned about 20 seconds. In Vietnam, we brew tea in longer time from 2-3 minutes and we also have very strong tea. I know you love the old tea cultures and you have a lot of experience about tea fragrant and tea taste. But do you think your tea can have all health effect in the health when brew it in 20 or 30 seconds? In many researches , the average time of brewing tea is 5 minutes for green tea, black tea, and even oolong tea. I know you love the light taste and tea fragrance but you can try to brew the tea a little bit longer for better health effects. I like the strong taste of tea and my favorite time of brewing tea is 3-4 minutes. I think this brewing time will bring up some health benefits and still keep the fresh taste of tea. I love oolong tea too and I usually brew it for 3 minutes. I don’t brew the tea so many times, 2 or 3 times is enough for me.

    I do agree with you about the experience is the key to the good cup of tea. Thank you again for the very helpful comment. Hope to see you again and lets me know more about your experience.

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