A Classical Way Of Brewing Green Tea
As stated by the previous article, the use of Houhin and Kyusu is more reliable in bringing out the tea’s potential flavors. Furthermore, it is one of the easier methods to use compared to others. Made in Japan, these teapots are recommended for brewing green tea.
Normally, Kyusu is made from clay, that gives it ability to brew tea at a high temperature. Furthermore, clay retains heat well, that explains the shorter amount of time needed for steeping. It is compatible will all kinds of green tea due to its temperature flexibility.
Step 1: Picking The Green Tea (Leaf-Water Ratio)
Japanese green tea varies greatly, from Hojicha, Genmaicha to Gyokuro and Sencha, with each type having its own unique flavor. For example, while Genmaicha produces such grassy taste with the aroma of roasted rice, Hojicha brings a fairly toasty and earthy taste. Now, the recommended leaf-water ratios are:
Step 2: Getting The Right Water Temperature
The water temperature needed to brew varies according to the type of green tea used. As a starting point, heat water until boiling point. It is important to note that transferring water from one cup to another can decrease the water temperature by approximately 10°C / 50°F.
Hojicha, Genmaicha, Bancha, and Kukicha
These types of green tea are served best when brewed at 80-95°C / 176-203°F.
There are two ways to choose the water temperature. One is by steeping at near boiling point, at 90-95°C / 194-203°F. Another way is to steep it a lower water temperature, approximately 80-89°C / 176-192°F. You can reach this temperature from boiling point by cooling the water in a small pitcher for around 0.5-1 minutes (200) ml.
Depending on their own preferences, some people might choose to serve the tea hotter than others.
Tencha is brewed at 70-80°C / 158-176°F. To reach this temperature, cool the water in a small pitcher for around 1.5-2 minutes (200 ml).
Sencha is served best when brewed at 50–70°C / 122–158°F.
To reach this water temperature:
- Heat water to a boiling point
- Pour boiling water into a Kyusu to reach water temperature at approximately 90°C / 194°F
- Pour the water into teacups to lower the temperature by another 5-10 degrees.
- When tea cups have warmed up, the next pour should lower the water temperature to 50–70°C / 122–158°F
Step 3: Steeping Time
Two important notes to take, when steeping, are that stirring and placing the lid over the Kyusu is not recommended. It is best to leave the leaves steep on their own. In addition, steeping too long might affect the end result, such as making the taste too bitter than it should have been. Therefore, steeping should be consider around:
Step 4: Pouring
Pour small amount of tea at a time into each teacup to acquire an equal amount of the tea’s flavor.
Step 5: Re-Steeping
Sencha can be re-steeped three times. One rule to notice is that higher water temperature is needed to re-steep.
Below are the links showing how can a person can brew Japanese green tea using Houhin and tea strainers:
Written by: Azlan Sofyan