How long is Green tea brewed?
Green tea lovers may tell you that the best-tasting green tea is brewed for under one minute with hot water that hasn't reached the boiling point yet. It is also steeped for a short period of time. Boiling water and longer steeping times impart a bitter flavor to green tea.
Researchers, however, have found that using boiling water and longer steeping times increases the amount of polyphenols in the green tea. Polyphenols are the antioxidants in green tea that are responsible for the health benefits that green tea is believed to have.
The results of the studies done suggest that the following preparation guidelines can boost the polyphenol level in green tea:
Size of tea leaves - Small loose leaf green tea is the best choice, because it infuses quickly. Tightly curled or large leaf tea requires a longer infusion time.
Loose leaf vs. teabags - Loose leaves are preferable to teabags. In order to increase the extraction of polyphenols, teabags should be continuously dunked in the teapot rather than left to float on the water.
Temperature - Boiling water promotes the extraction of polyphenols.
Steeping Time - Tea should be steeped for two to five minutes. The polyphenol content of tea increases with steeping time, while a shorter steeping time results in a high caffeine content but low polyphenol content.
Green Tea Brewing Tips
A cup of green tea enhances health. Many customers have asked us about the best way to brew green tea. Whether you are a newcomer to green tea or a long-time green tea enthusiast, we hope our Q&A on time and temperature will provide helpful guidelines to prepare a great tasting cup.
Why is water temperature important?
Water temperature is a critical factor in bringing out the best qualities of green tea. If the water temperature is too hot, the tea will be too bitter and much of its delicate aroma will be lost; if the water temperature is too cool, the full flavor contained in the leaves will not be extracted.
Why are green teas better at lower temperature?
A number of substances in the leaf contribute to the flavor and aroma of green tea. The overall flavor and sweetness of green tea is determined by a variety of amino acids and natural sugars. Bitterness and astringency are contributed by polyphenols ("tannins"). Amino acids dissolve at 140°F (60 °C) while tannins dissolve at 176°F (80°C). Therefore, brewing green tea at lower temperatures will ensure that its sweet and complex flavors will not be overpowered by the bitter-tasting flavors.
What is the right temperature for Green teas?
As a general guideline, green teas taste best when brewed at temperatures between 140°F - 185°F. The grade of the tea and the time of its harvest will also influence the appropriate steeping temperature. Green teas picked earlier in the spring will benefit from lower temperature brewing due to their overall higher levels of amino acids.
Here's an example of how one might adjust the temperature for brewing Japanese green teas. Gyokuro, one of the highest grades, is best brewed at 122°F - 140°F (50°C - 60°C). Spring-picked Sencha tastes best at 160°F - 170°F (70°C - 80°C). Summer-harvested Bancha and Genmaicha will exhibit their best flavor with a short infusion at higher temperatures of 170°F - 185°F (80°C - 90°C).
How do I achieve the right temperature?
The most accurate way is to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water in the kettle. One approach is to heat the water in your kettle to the desired temperature and then pour it into your teapot. Another approach is to heat the water to boiling and then let it cool down a bit before pouring into your teapot.
To cool down the water quickly we recommend the following methods:
# Pour water from the kettle into a Pyrex glass cup and let sit 2 - 3 minutes to reach 160°F - 170°F or 5 minutes to reach 140°F - 150°F. Then pour into your teapot and brew for the desired length of time. You may need to adjust the sitting time based on the size of your Pyrex cup and the amount of water. Our example uses 6 oz of water in a 1-cup Pyrex.
# Pour water from the kettle into a cool glass or ceramic cup and pour back and forth between cups until the desired temperature is reached. Then pour into your teapot and brew.
How long should I steep Green tea?
Green tea does not require much time. Too long a steeping time will result in more bitterness and a less balanced flavor. We recommend experimenting with a range of 1 - 3 minutes. Japanese green teas generally taste best at 1 - 2 minutes while Chinese green teas seem to prefer 2 - 3 minutes (the smaller leaves of Japanese teas will extract faster than the generally larger leaves of Chinese teas). Steeping time should be balanced with water temperature: the lower the temperature, the longer the tea can be steeped.
There are many different ways of brewing Green Tea
Appreciation of green tea is not limited to the taste of drinking. You can use your other senses as well. When you open the cover of the cup, smell the tea first to enjoy its pleasant aroma. Then take a look at the bright green color of the tea and you will find the leaves gently unfolding in your cup. Allow yourself to relax and slowly sip your first taste of the tea. Let it roll down your tongue and savor the subtle scent of the sweet grass. Slowly, you will enjoy every sip of your Green Tea.
When one third of the tea is all that is left in the cup, you can add more hot water. You can repeat the above procedure with the same loose Green Tea leaves up to three times or more.
Ceramic Tea Pot
Preheat your teapot by rinsing it with hot water. Then add the loose tea leaves according to the size of your teapot (for example, 2 teaspoons for 6 teacups of boiling water). Next, pour the freshly boiling, distilled water (80 degrees Celsius or 170 degrees Fahrenheit) into your ceramic teapot. Cover the teapot for five minutes.
Serve the tea to yourself and your guests in teacups and slowly enjoy every sip of your tea.
You may repeat the process twice using the same tea leaves.
You might consider trying this fast and easy method to see whether it's convenient for you and fits your personal taste. It is important to make sure that your coffee maker does not carry any leftover coffee taste which will affect the aroma of the green tea. Some people simply use the coffeemaker strictly for tea brewing. Treat the loose Green Tea as if it were ground coffee by putting it in a filter paper. Proper proportion is 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for three teacups of spring water. Follow the same procedure as you would if you were brewing coffee. Water boiled through the coffee maker has the same temperature required for brewing the Green Tea.
Enjoy drinking it in the morning to give you vigor and vitality all day long.
Iced Green Tea
You should never brew Green Tea with hot water and then cool it to prepare cold, or iced tea. Instead, please double the amount of the Green Tea leaves used to brew it in cold water in a sealed container. This way you keep the aroma, the natural color and the medicinal health benefits of the green tea. The reason this way is better, is that you avoid oxidation that can occur if the tea is left open to the air in an attempt to cool it after hot brewing. The brewing time is actually very short. For example, 10-15 cups of tea can be brewed in a jar in the ice box in just 30-45 minutes. Please note that you can refill the jar with water to brew more tea when the level reaches one third full. You may repeat the same procedure up to 3 times using the same Xianju Green Tea leaves. It is better than drinking water for walkers, runners, cycling, mountain climbing or any athletic sport in general that demands replenishment of body fluids.
Chinese Green Tea Brewing Tradition
This is an authentic Chinese brewing tradition that has been practiced through the ages. This method brings the person or group to the peak of their senses, to enjoy the aroma, the color and the taste of the brewed Green Tea.
If you are interested, please visit our section describing:
"The Traditional Brewing Method of Chinese Green Tea".
If you would like a shortened version of the brewing instructions that is much easier to print (no background or other website graphics), please click here.
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