Japanese Tea Steeping Techniques

I love Japanese tea. Even though Matcha green tea might be my favorite, it usually depends on the moment (Sencha, Kukicha…), because let´s be honest, they are all really good. However, depending on the technique that you use (unless you put the tea bag in hot water and you just wait for it), the technique and time will define the final taste of the tea.

On the other hand, we cannot forget the importance of tea in Japanese society. It´s not only an statement of the culture (starting as early as the 9th century with Buddhist monks, and having a major importance during the Samurai era with the well known tea ceremony…); japanese tea is also one of Japan´s most important economic strenghts. The production of green tea in Japan takes a long process; in addition,  “the Japanese tea industry is made up of thousands of small tea businesses (factories, wholesalers, and shops) and tens of thousands of tea farmers. This situation, combined with a language barrier and lack of technical skills, explains why it is so difficult to obtain variety and quality from the Japanese tea market for buyers outside of Japan.” (Source)

These are some techniques that you can use in order to enjoy your Japanese tea the best way possible: 

TECHNIQUES FOR ONE SERVING AT A TIME

Note to make a larger amount, multiplying the parameters will work but you may need to adjust depending on the tea. You may also make a larger amount by combining several steeps into one serving. (i.e. Three 200 ml steeps for 600 ml.) 1 cup = about 240 ml. or 100 ml = about 0.4 cups / 3.4 fl oz. 

Remember, these techniques are guidelines meant to start you off. Depending on your own personal taste, the water type you have available, and of course the specific tea leaves, you should learn to adjust the water amount, temperature, tea leaf amount and steep time to achieve your perfect cup of tea.

GYOKURO, KABUSECHA, TENCHA

玉露、かぶせ茶、碾茶の淹れ方

Tea: 5g. Time: 2-3 min. Water: 50C/122F, 60-80 ml (Water should just cover the leaves). Resteep 2nd time at 15 sec., 80C/176F, 200 ml. Resteep 3rd time at 45 sec., 80C/176F, 200 ml. Use hotter water for more astringency, cooler for more sweetness/umami flavor; longer time / more leaves for stronger flavor.

PREMIUM SENCHA

高級煎茶の淹れ方

Tea: 5g. Time: 1-2 min. Water: 60C/140F, 100 ml. Resteep 2nd time at 15 sec., 80C/176F, 200 ml. Resteep 3rd time at 45 sec., 80C/176F, 200 ml. Use hotter water for more astringency, cooler for more sweetness/umami flavor; longer time / more leaves for stronger flavor.

REGULAR SENCHA AND OTHER GREEN TEAS

普通煎茶・緑茶の淹れ方

Tea: 5g. Time: 1 min. Water: 70C/158F, 200 ml. Resteep 2-3x at 80C/176F, 200 ml. Use hotter temperature for more astringency, cooler temp for more sweetness / umami savoriness. Longer time or more leaves for stronger flavor.

FUKAMUSHICHA, MECHA, KONACHA

深蒸茶、芽茶、粉茶の淹れ方

Tea: 5g. Time: 30-45 sec. Water: 70C/158F, 200 ml. Resteep 2-3x at 80C/176F, 200 ml. Use hotter water for more astringency, cooler for more sweetness/umami flavor; longer time / more leaves for stronger flavor.

BANCHA, GENMAICHA, HOJICHA

番茶、玄米茶、ほうじ茶などの淹れ方

Tea: 5g. Time: 30-60 sec. Water: 90C/194F, 200 ml. Resteep 3x. Use hotter water for more astringency, cooler for more sweetness/umami flavor; longer time / more leaves for stronger flavor.

 

 

*Original article
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