A Conversation for Green Tea

How to brew it properly

Post 1

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Ok, now, so what is the way of brewing green tea properly? Properly as in getting a good taste within a sensible time.
Is it the "boil-water-let-it-cool-own-to-about-60°C-throw-the-tea-in-and-let-it-sit-for-about-three-minutes-(maximum)-and-if-you-want-you-can-re-use-the-tea-a-second-time-but-then-let-it-sit-a-little-longer"-way?

How to brew it properly

Post 2


my chinese friend does it this way:
boil-water,-don't-let-it-cool-down-(well,-the-japanese-do-smiley - winkeye-but-I-haven't-tried)-put-one-or-two-teaspoons-of-leaves-into-a-teapot-(depending-on-its-size,-never-use-too-much,-it-won't-taste-good)-wait-a-few-minutes-until-it-has-a-green-color-(you-will-soon-have-figured-out-*how*-green)-drink-and-enjoy-and-if-you-want-you-can-reuse-the-tea-a-second-time-but-then-let-it-sit-a-little-longer-some-people-even-say-it-tastes-better-the-second-time.
Be sure to use good tea, as the article says - there are big differences. In order to achieve optimal results, go to an airport of your choice, buy a ticket to Beijing (Shanghai might do as well), buy good tea (will cost about 300 to 500 yuan per 500g), get your tea cooking equipment and apply the above procedure smiley - winkeye.

How to brew it properly

Post 3

Field Medic 125299

Nosefish is generally correct. Green tea should be drank when the tea is warm/hot. But don't bother putting a thermometer in the tea pot.

I would also like to add that green tea should be drank at leisure. If you're in a hurry, drink something else. You should never be rushed when you are preparing and drinking it.

In addition, make sure that the tea cup is small! This is important to the spirit of drinking green tea. (Yes, I know what I sound like. Bear with me.) Green tea is not meant to be drank in bulk. One should use small tea cups to enjoy it.

I can't advise you to fly to China just to get some high quality tea. (Although if you are truly a tea aficionado, then go ahead. Beijing or Shanghai are the big metropolises and you can definitely find some high quality tea. But I can also advise you to go to Gwangzhou (Canton) and Hangchow. Local green tea are worth looking into.)

Otherwise, find the nearest Chinatown and look for a tea shop. Like most shopping, the bigger shops with the more expensive products are usually of finer quality. But don't hesitate to ask the experts. Hint: The highest quality tea are placed in vacuumed-sealed bags to preserve its flavor. They tend to be expensive but their quality is usually of a high caliber. The fresher the tea leaves, the better.

How to brew it properly

Post 4

Bez (arguaby the finest figure of a man ever found wearing Bez's underwear) <underpants>

Not so sure about the using small cups. Why does that help? I generally drink it by the mug full.

I can definately agree with the not adding milk or sugar. I did when I firrst bought some to try (having never tasted it before), boy did that taste rank. I tried it without the following day, just to make sure and it was much more pleasant.

If you do feel the need to experiment, something I'm particularly partial to when I'm feeling down is green tea with cardamom. I generally use the seeds from one pod in with the tea leaves for my mug, so it would probably do two or three small cups.


How to brew it properly

Post 5

Connie L

I've been living in Taiwan for a few year, and am now to a point where green tea is more than just a pleasure, it is a real addiction...

Ideally, you want someone in the know to prepare tea for you for a few times, explain the "how" and the "why", spend the evening, get drunk and tea-happy, then go home try it by yourself, then ask him/her again...

There is no way that can be explained in a few line.


But if you really insist, let me put my "tea-master" beard on...
smiley - zen
Here you are.

"What is the best green tea" :
Chinese tea varies enormously in taste and quality depending on it's origin (geographic location and altitude), the care given to the harvest, the process (can be completely raw, very green, like lak-cha in Korea, more or less fermented/roasted (?) like the many Oolong varieties, or really smell of earth and mold, like PuEr in the Yunnan), and probably another 108 factors.
My favorite is Oolong tea, not too fermented, from Taiwan, prepared in a clay pot from Mainland China.

"Temperature of the water" :
It really depends on the type of tea you are using. Normally, I ask my usual dealer whenever I try a new type of tea.
Water has to be hot, sometimes just boiling, but if you are using very tender leaves, the temperature can be as low as 60 or 70 (so as not to cook the leaves), like for Japanese tea.
Rule of the thumb : the darker the leaves are, the hotter the water should be.
If the leaves are still rolled in tiny beads after the first infusion, after you left the water on them for even 2 to 3 minutes, then water was probably not hot enough (the leaves did not "open").
If the leaves and the tea smell of cabbage, then the water was probably too hot (or your dealer sold you second-hands tea...)

"What to use, how to do" :
Tiny tea pots (about the size of a fist, or smaller) are favorite, because it allows you to control very well the temperature and the time of infusion. Usually, the teapot is filled up to a 1/4 or a 1/3 with tea leaves, before the water is poured, so if your teapot is 1.5 liter, you might need a pound of tea leaves every day !...
To know if you put too much tea leaves : after the 4th or the 5th time of adding water, the tea leaves opened to their original size and shape, and should fill the teapot completely, staying in the teapot if you turn it upside-down, but are still easy to remove with a finger. Too packed ? Then there is too much tea leaves. Everything falls off the pot ? Not enough.
A tea pot often fills 4 to 6 cups, that tells you how small the cups are.
In addition to teapot and tea cups, you need a contained (like a second tea pot) to pour out the tea as soon as it is ready. The tea must not stay on the leaves while you drink your first cup, or it will turn very bitter and spoil the leaves.

"How long does it take" :
It has been mentionned somewhere else in these discussions : if you are in a hurry, drink something else.
However, with the proper utensiles and a little bit of training, Chinese tea could well become your favorite office drink.
I don't smoke, so I use my "tea-break" like others have a "cigarette break". About 5 to 10 minutes every two hours :
Rince the teapot (10 seconds)
Pour boiling water in it to heat it, thow away (10 seconds)
Add tea leaves
Pour hot water
wait 1.5 minutes
Pour tea in second container
Pour more hot water on leaves
wait 2.5 minutes
Pour tea in second container
Pour more hot water on leaves
wait 3.5 minutes
Pour tea in second container
I have my tea for the coming hour or so.
Keep the leaves in the teapot (no water in it), for the next run.

(vincent removes his "tea-master" fake beard, and goes for a cup of smiley - tea)

How to brew it properly

Post 6

furtim - Zaphodista Sympathiser

Positively marvelous post. Really, that ought to be a Guide entry of its own!

How to brew it properly

Post 7

Connie L

No, really, I did not even spell-check it...
Tried to keep it short and simple, but with the perspective of writing a real "entry", I would have over-done it. I often do...

I guess I am quite into tea, that's why it sounds "complete" to you. Drinking 10 to 20 cups a day...
But ask any junky about their favorite dope, and you'll get a 120 pages novel.

How to brew it properly

Post 8

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Still, why not make it into an entry?

How to brew it properly

Post 9

Connie L

Working on it just now. I am 2/3 there already... My first entry !!!

Thanks for the push !

I'll let you know when I post it, I'll need help to proof-read it !

How to brew it properly

Post 10

Tube - the being being back for the time being

smiley - oksmiley - cool

The Sub-Eds will do the proof reading. smiley - smiley

How to brew it properly

Post 11

Connie L

Done !


I am so excited !...
But I'll get over it smiley - winkeye

How to brew it properly

Post 12


First of all you have to heat the water. It should be at about 60° to 70° Celsius. In my experience it does not matter, wether you let it boil and cool down or just heat it up to 60°-70°. Then you pur the water over the leaves and let it brew for about 90 to 150 seconds. It is very important, how many tea-leaves you use: 2 or 3 teaspoons for a litre of water is - IMHO - the absolute maximum; your mileage may vary, but you should rather take to little leaves than too much.
And, yes, you *can* reuse the leaves. In my experience you don't even have to let them brew longer than the first time; the leaves will however have less caffeine, of course.
You can even use the leaves more often than just two times. Good tea (Gyokuro rules!!!) can be brewed for as many as four or five times (in fact, after five times I just lost patience, you can possibly reuse them even more often).
Additionally, to get a good cup, you don't even need expensive teas like Gyokuro (though *that one* is most definitely worth trying!!!). The quality of the drink you get depends to a very large degree on how carefully you prepare it: Green tea - in my experience - does not taste even remotely bitter, if prepared properly.


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