Step-By-Step Guide To Brewing Green Tea
1. Prepare Tea: Measure out your tea and place it in a lotus or other vessel.
2. Heat Fairness Pitcher: Pour boiling water into a fairness pitcher and let sit for a few seconds. Then pour into the second pitcher.
3. Smell Tea: Put your prepared tea into the heated fairness pitcher. Lightly shake the dry leaves in the vessel in small circular motions away from you and smell the leaves. This is the best way to appreciate the aroma of the tea.
After 30-60 seconds, your water should be cooled down to an appropriate temperature. See more on temperature below.
4. Steep: Pour the water from the second pitcher around the vessel's edges to thoroughly moisten the tea leaves with minimal disturbance.
Green tea usually takes 2-3 minutes for the first brew. The leaves should look moist and plump.
5. Strain: Place a filter on the second fairness pitcher to catch any loose tea.
6. Pour: Move the first pitcher near the filter, instead of far above it, to help avoid splashing the liquid. Pour the tea liquid around the filter walls in a circular motion or along the side. Try to avoid pouring the liquid toward the center of the filter.
Leave some tea in the vessel, keeping the leaves submerged to help prevent further oxidation between brews. Pour out all liquid on the last brew.
Green tea usually produces three to four brews, with the second brew being the strongest. Use slightly hotter water to account for the cooler tea and leaves already in the vessel. On the last brew, let the tea steep a bit longer before straining. See below for an example.
The temperature used for brewing green tea is closely related to its picking grade and making style – the earlier the picking is and the more the tea has been rubbed, the lower the water temperature.
One common practice is to brew bad tea at a lower temperature to dilute its flaws.
While a late-picked tea should be brewed at a higher temperature to bring out its true flavor profile, using lowered temperature can result in flatter but less astringent tea. Below is a list of teas and corresponding temperature guideline.
Bi Luo Chun:
Early Spring: 158F
Late Spring 176F
Early Spring 167F
Mid Spring 176F
Late Spring 185F
Yun Wu, Gua Pian, & Hou Qui:
Early Spring 176F
Mid Spring 185F
Late Spring 190F
Early Spring: 185F
Mid Spring: 190F
Late Spring: 195F
Using Gua Pian as an Example
Temperature: 176 F
Tea Weight: 4 grams
Method: Open vessel with enough tea left to submerge the leaves between brews
Number of Brews: 4
1st Brew: 2-3 minutes, or until leaves look moist and plump.
2nd Brew: 10 seconds to 1 minute, or until leaves occupy top half of the brewing pitcher. Make sure to use slightly higher temperature water to neutralize the cooler water already in the vessel.
3rd Brew: 10 seconds to 1 minute, or until leaves occupy the whole pitcher.
4th Brew: 1-2 minutes, or until the leaves are all on the bottom half of the pitcher. Pour all tea from the pitcher.