Brewing a cup of delicious green tea is not easy, as the taste can be affected by the preparation. Drawing out the best characteristic features of the tea generally requires using quality tea leaves and appropriate technique for brewing them.
One of the most important factors that has a tremendous impact on the final product of green tea preparation is the water with its chemical and mineral deposits affecting not only the taste of tea, but also a person's overall health. Here we must differentiate between hard water, water PH, water containing chlorine, and water with too many additives, like iron, manganese and salt. Hard water is characterized by high levels of calcium.
Tea made from such water will react with caffeine and tannin, reducing aroma and causing bland taste. Water with PH below 7.0, known also as acidic water makes tea light colored and sour, while alkaline water with PH above 7.0 makes tea reddish black. It should be mentioned though, that slightly acidic water suits better for green tea preparation than neutral water. It is not advisable to use water containing chlorine, as it causes tea to smell unappealing.
And though boiling water can eliminate chlorine, too long boiling affects the quality of the brewed tea. For green tea preparation, avoid water with too much salt, iron and manganese, which ruins the taste of tea and color tone.
In order to prepare green tea of high quality, use filtered cold water, bringing it to a rolling boil. After boiling, it should cool to a temperature of 65 to 85 degrees before being poured over tea leaves. Don't use boiling water for green tea preparation, since it destroys flavor of the tea and creates a bitter tasting tea.
The amount of tea required per cup or pot is important as well, and is usually less than many people might expect. To make a wonderfully tasting green tea, use one tablespoon for a 6-8 oz. cup. Tea leaves can be used for more than one infusion. Produced by full leaf teas are usually more than one cup per teaspoon if made properly. To reduce the caffeine amount, pour just enough water over tea leaves to cover them. Let the tea for nearly 20 seconds and then pour off the water.
After that cover tea leaves with enough water for making a perfect cup of tea. If you make several infusions, place hot water in the teapot, and then pour the tea immediately. Don't wait two minutes for it to brew, as the leaves have opened during the first infusion. If the leaves have been in the pot for more than two hours, a fresh pot should be brewed.
Enjoying immense popularity in China, green tea preparation has long become part of an ancient tradition. Many Chinese prefer Sencha - green tea which is brewed at a temperature of 79-87 degrees, steeped for two minutes. Another popular green tea variation, Gyokuro is brewed at a slightly lower temperature of 70-80 degrees and steeped for 2-3 minutes.
To make Matcha, you'll need one level teaspoon of tea for one cup of water for good strong tea. Those giving preference to very strong Matcha can use more than one level teaspoon. The tea is very potent, and hence, it is not recommended to make more than one cup for one person per serving.