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.
This teapot is used for brewing high grade teas, such as Sencha, that have high level of theanine that is responsible for the umami flavor. Brewing at lower temperature will have a more balanced flavor of umami and bitterness. Brewing at a higher water temperature could expose catachin, too much, causing the tea to become too bitter and spoiling the umami flavor.
Step 1: Picking The Green Tea (Leaf-Water Ratio)
The amount of tea leaves for brewing Sencha is usually lower than most of the other types. The leaf-water ratio should be around:
Step 2: Getting The Right Water Temperature
Sencha is served best when brewed at 50–70°C / 122–158°F. Before starting, it is important to note that transferring water from one cup to another can decrease the water temperature by approximately 10 degrees
To reach this water temperature:
- Heat water to a boiling point
- Pour boiling water into a Houhin 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
To bring its full umami (savory-sweet) flavor, Sencha usually takes a longer time than most of the other types of green tea. It is crucial to know that stirring or placing the lid over the Houhin is not recommended. Moreover, steeping too long or too short might spoil the umami flavor.
The recommended time to steep is:
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. In this case, second brew should be steeped at 80°C / 176°F, while the last brew is steeped at a boiling point.
Below are the links showing how can a person can brew Japanese green tea using Kyusu and tea strainers:
Written by: Azlan Sofyan