How To Make Green Tea

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Since I began enjoying green teas, I learned there’s an art to making it and the process is a bit different than brewing a regular batch. Once you start dabbling with good quality loose teas, you become very particular about how to make it.

Pot & CupFirst some tips:

  • In general use 1 level teaspoon of tea per cup (8 oz).
  • Lower quality varieties need hotter water and are steeped longer.
  • Higher quality varieties are steeped in a lower temperature and for a shorter amount of time.
  • If you steep in too hot of water or for too long, the result will be a bitter batch.
  • While steeping, don’t stir or swirl the leaves since the movement can release more tannins (making it bitter).
  • Use a strainer or infuser rather than a ball, the leaves will expand in the hot water so give them lots of room.

Directions:

  • Using a kettle, bring water to a boil and let stand for about 5 minutes, you want the temperature to drop to 80°C.
  • While the water is getting ready, measure 1 teaspoon of tea per cup of water (8 oz) in the strainer and place in your choice of vessel, you can brew a single cup in a mug or make a bigger batch in a pot.
  • When the water is at the right temperature, pour water over the leaves and cover the vessel so it steeps.
  • Allow to steep for 30 seconds then dump the water. This washes the tea without affecting the flavor.
  • Cover leaves again with the hot water and steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove leaves immediately and set aside for another two steeps.
  • Sip & enjoy your perfect brew!

To re-steep your leaves, add a minute for each steeping. For example:

  • The second steeping will need 3 to 4 minutes.
  • The third steeping will need 4 to 5 minutes.

Some teas can get more than three steepings, especially if they’re very fresh and of good quality. Experiment and see what happens!

Other Varieties

*These directions of for good quality, loose varieties

  • Brew White for 2-3 minutes at 80°C, start with 1.5 teaspoons per cup.
  • Brew Oolong for 3-4 minutes at 90°C and start with 1 teaspoon per cup.
  • Brew Rooibos and herbal varieties for 6-8 minutes at 100°C and start with 1.5 teaspoons per cup.
  • Brew Black for 3-4 minutes at 100°C and start with 1 teaspoon per cup.

As you can see, getting the best cup possible is a bit of a process but it’s worth it! You can experiment with the measured amount of tea (for a stronger or weaker batch based on preference), but do watch the water temperature and the steeping time–go wrong on these two points and your lovely green tea becomes a bitter drink.

Also make sure to check out this reference guide to learn more about varieties and benefits it has to offer.

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Published: February 3, 2009

What Readers Are Saying:
3 Comments to “How To Make Green Tea”
  1. Sally H says:

    How do you know which teas have tannins???

  2. TipNut says:

    Sally all teas contain tannins (teas from the plant Camellia sinensis). I believe all (or at least most) herbal teas do as well, although they may have less.

  3. Yuko says:

    From Japan…
    Please do not dump the first steeped tea, if your tea is Japanese green tea.
    In Japan, we never dump the first steeps…
    (If your green tea is Chinese green tea, you are supposed to wash your tea on your first steep. That’s what my Chinese friend told me.)
    My grandmother always said that the first steeped Japanese green tea contains a lot of vitaminC and it tastes very smooth, silky tannins.


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