How to make Green Tea with a modicum of finesse is up there for me with how to cook a great meal, breathe deeply, or bliss out watching the sun set. A fine cup of green tea is one of life’s simple, exquisite pleasures; for a moment the world slows down, and only tranquility exists.
I have already written on brewing the perfect cup of green tea (1) and how important the right water is for your tea (2). This blog, How to make Green Tea, is about some of the little extras, the smaller details that add the delight.
How to make Green Tea
- Tea selection ~ so many green teas to choose from, so little time… Like most things, a good Green Tea is in the eyes of the beholder. Think Goldilocks, choose your tea for the fragrance, colour and taste that appeals to you and your sensory perceptions.
- Tea selection still ~ I also suggest choosing tea for its naturalness and purity; chemical sprays are not good for you or Mother Earth, and they also alter the taste of your tea.
- Oh, and one more thing on tea selection ~ ethical growing. Many tea drinkers do not realise that a lot of people around the world growing, harvesting and packing tea, are paid well below the poverty line and are exploited terribly. Buying fair trade (3) or checking with your tea source on their ethical practices is a way of ensuring fairness and equity for tea workers across the globe.
- Tea storage ~ not many things taste worse than stale tea. To keep your tea optimally fresh, store in an airtight canister away from light, heat and moisture; tea will stay fresh this way for a good twelve months.
- Water temperature ~ is imperative when brewing Green Tea. If it is too hot it will burn the tea leaves making them bitter. If it is too cold, the leaf will not release its full flavour. The just right temperature varies a little between green teas, but is generally around 80C | 175F.
- Brew your tea in a beautiful pot ~ it makes all the difference to visually enjoy your teapot, that it pours without dripping, and that it does not impart an unpleasant taste to you tea.
- Drink from a favourite cup ~ again, something visually delightful, but also just right to hold, and perfect to sip from.
- Amount of tea ~ I have never found the adage ‘one teaspoon of tea per cup and one for the pot’ works for me. It makes my tea too strong. I prefer to leave out the teaspoon of tea for the pot, and I use a little less than a teaspoon for each cup. Keeping Goldilocks in mind still, experiment a little. A good cup of tea is all about what you enjoy.
- Brewing time ~ brew the first pot of tea for around 1-2 minutes depending on the tea and your preference. Brew each subsequent pot for an extra 30 seconds or so. You should get 3-4 brews from each pot this way.
- Make sure you empty every last drop of tea from the pot ~ with every brew so that the tea leaves are not stewing in water. This will ensure further brews will still taste perfect.
- Use the dregs of your tea for cooking ~ anywhere you use water in your cooking (pasta, rice, soups), you can use tea. It gives all dishes added flavour and nutrients.
- Exuberance ~ as with most wonderful things in life (cooking, love, play, dancing) enjoying your tea is more about enthusiasm and passion than anything else. Be enthusiastic in your selection of tea, the making of it, and the sitting down to enjoy it. There is no real right or wrong way to do anything in life, including making tea. If it tastes good to you ~ it’s good tea.
- Savour the moment ~ it will come but once, and then be gone. If you are not savouring your tea, a little piece of poetry, serentity, life, just vanished without you even knowing it was yours to enjoy. ~ GreenWitch Tea
‘Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone, ‘so I can’t take more.’
‘You mean you can’t take less, said the Hatter: ‘it’s very easy to take more than nothing.’
‘Nobody asked your opinion,’ said Alice. ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (4)