Day 39. Making Tea.

As I finish up my time here in Japan, I realize much of what I wrote about makes more sense in the context of actually becoming familiar with green tea and how to make it and enjoy it. In addition to learning about evaluating quality tea, brewing is just as important. Alas, today Kettl will outline our guidelines for making a great cup of Japanese tea.

Please remember, these points are just an outline. Making tea is personal and you will find what works for you. Enjoy

Always boil fresh, filtered water. Avoid distilled water and do not microwave it.

Please read photo captions for more brewing directions.

Sencha:

Our parameters: 1-1.25 grams per ounce of water, or about 5 grams of tea leaf per 4-5oz serving. Water temperature is about 170°-176°F. Brew for about 1 minute. This is a more full bodied brew. We suggest you play around with the amount of leaf and water until you find what you like (Our suggestion reflects the “norm” in Japan).

Gyokuro:

2-2.5 grams per ounce of water, or about 8-10 grams for a 4 oz serving (Only a small amount of Gyokuro is usually made, hence the translation “Jade drop”. Water temperature is much cooler, about 140°F. Brew for about 1.5 minutes.

Matcha:

Usucha: Thin tea. Make sure to sift tea before adding water to avoid clumping. About 3 grams (2-2.5 bamboo scoops worth) and about a 1/3 cup of near boiling water. Whisk with Chasen (bamboo whisk) in a “Z” motion until a fine foam appears on top.