The perfect cup of Green Tea is magickal thing! Of course ‘perfect’ is a matter of both perspective and personal taste. I have had perfect cups of tea whilst trekking whose perfection had nothing to do with quality (think old teabag), but rather the tea warmed me and made me grateful to be alive… definitely, perfection.
The perfect cup of Green Tea, of course starts with fresh, good quality, loose leaf tea.
From there, it’s mainly about the water. Which is where I am heading with this blog ~ start with an excellent tea leaf, and then add clean, fresh water. (See my blog ‘How to make the perfect cup of Green Tea’ (1) for more detail on temperature, brewing time, etc.)
Given that the vast bulk of a pot of tea is made up of water, the quality of your water is most important.
So what is good water for tea brewing?
Fresh, mountain spring water ~ reigns supreme. If you have access to this water for your tea, the universe has indeed smiled upon you. The taste, chi and purity all make for a perfect cup of tea.
Filtered, tank water ~ is what I use, as I cannot access a mountain spring. It is beautiful. I collect fresh rainwater in my tank and then filter it. I add the filter to remove any impurities that may be either on the roof or in the tank. For me, this too, makes a perfect cup of tea.
Filtered, tap water ~ I find next best. If you have a filter that removes fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals, it will certainly give you a lovely tasting tea.
Tap water ~ Australia’s tap water has added fluoride and chlorine in it, which I find overwhelms the taste of the tea. However, tap water does vary from city to city around the world; and if you like the taste of your tap water, then of course it will be fine for your tea.
Bottled spring water ~ will give you a fine tasting tea, but it can prove to be expensive.
Distilled water ~ is not good; it has no life force in it. And because its pH balance is too low it tends to make your tea taste bitter (you want a neutral pH to your water). There are also many medical experts who say distilled water is unhealthy (2).
Whichever water you use, after boiling, allow the water to cool slightly. Around one and a half to two minutes will bring your water temperature down to a desired 80-85C | 180F.
Experiment with steeping time ~ check reference (1) below ~ as this is where you will develop nuance in your tea brewing; especially with the second, third and fourth brews off the same pot of tea.
As I have said before, there are entire books (3 & 4) dedicated to making great tea, and they are wonderfully riveting.
Yet, in the end, the Perfect cup of Green Tea is about the love you put into it, and your gratitude for the moment. ~ GreenWitch Tea
Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher. ~ Chinese Proverb