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Preparing Great Tea - Brewing delicious tea is not easy and the taste can be affected by preparation. If you’ve only had green tea as a part of a regular Japanese restaurant meal you probably have never tasted the fine well prepared green tea.
Drawing out the best features of various refined teas requires using good tea leaves and appropriate techniques for brewing them. In this section, we provide step by step instructions for brewing flavorful tea as well as the effects of water, density, temperature, cooling, astringency, teaware, and tea jumping on green tea preparation. You will be truly surprised by the difference in taste you can draw from tea if you follow these instructions. They can make any tea tasting experience better.
The Role of Water - One can't stress enough how important water is to the final outcome of green tea preparation. Mineral and chemical deposits can significantly effect taste not to mention your overall health.
We recommed a quality, easy to install sink top water filtration system that you can buy factory direct at significant savings and that saves significantly on the cost of bottled water as well. Some sort of filter system is a must have for those of you who really want to to taste the difference in their tea.

Hard Water Water that contains high levels of calcium is called hard water. Tea made from hard water reacts with tannin and caffeine, causing the taste to become bland and reduces aroma. The brewed tea will also be murky Acidic or Neutral to Alkaline

Water (PH) Acidic water (PH below 7.0) makes tea sour and light colored while neutral (PH 7.0) to alkaline water (PH above 7.0) makes tea a reddish black. Water high in Alkaline content makes for bitter tea. Slightly acidic water is better than neutral water.

Containing Chlorine Water that contains 0.5 mg or more of chlorine per liter will cause the tea to smell unappealing. Chlorine contained in tap water can be a problem. Boiling water can eliminate chlorine, but boiling for too long can affect the quality of the water and the brewed tea.

Water With Too Much Salt Water containing 200 mg of salt per liter will ruin the taste of tea. Water with Too.

Water With Too Much Iron/Manganese Tea made with water containing high levels of iron or manganese will cause it to taste metallic. The color of the liquid will become dark red, ruining the color tone.

Substance Density in Brewed Tea - Gyokuro and premium Sencha have a high level of water-soluble substances, particularly amino acids. When either of these teas are brewed at low temperature for a long time period
tannins (astringency) is blocked while amino acids are enhanced, lending greater flavor to the tea. The chart below indicates the density of different components in tea when brewed according to recommended methods.

Substance Density of Brewed Tea
Tea Type
 Tannin
Amino
Acid 
Dissolved
Amount  
Gyokuro (premium)
0.16
0.19
1.28
Gyokuro (standard)
0.16
0.16
1.12
Sencha (premium)
0.16
0.04
0.70
Sencha (standard)
0.07
0.013
0.29
Bancha
0.03
0.005
0.14
Hojicha
0.04
0.000
0.13
Source: How to Make Tea Association’s Report, #40 (1973)
The Role of Temperature - Only 20% of tannin and 40% of amino acids are extracted with hot tea brewing and only 25% of a tea leaf is extracted.
The higher the water temperature, the more bitter and astringent the tea taste becomes because amino acids, the flavor element dissolves at 60 °C (140°F). Tannin, causing astringency, dissolves at 80°C (176°F).

Adjusting the temperature and brewing time coordinates flavor, sweetness, and astringency. When brewing premium Sencha, the higher the temperature and the longer the brewing time, the greater the ratio of tannin there will be. Temperature has a greater impact than time. If water is hotter than 80°C (176°F), the ratio of tannin increases dramatically, which makes tea very astringent. This is why high-end teas taste better when brewed at lower temperatures. High-quality teas taste best when there is a balance of bitterness, astringency, and flavor.

Higher temperature water should be used for lower quality tea to more easily extract the most substance from the tea leaves. Standard Sencha, Bancha, and Hojicha contain lower amounts of tannin and thus less possibility of developing astringent taste because of high temperature boiling. These teas contain very little amino acids, thus less sweetness and tastiness as well. Therefore these teas should be brewed in higher temperature boiling water for shorter periods of time. This will bring out a refreshing balance of taste and astringency.


Cooling Down Boiling Water in a Cup - It takes some time to cool down boiling water to the appropriate temperature before brewing. Please refer to the following:

Brewing to Control for Astringency - Ratio of Tannin to Amino Acid by Varying Brewing Conditions (the higher the number, the greater the astringency).
Temp.   
 2min
4min
6min 
8min
10min
40°C (104°F)
3.02
2.88
2.99
2.99
3.74
60°C (140°F)
3.33
3.90
4.04
4.60
4.74
80°C (176°F)
5.74
6.12
6.99
6.84 
7.58
100°C (212°F)
6.31
7.79
9.32
9.51
9.16
Source: Ikeda, et al’s Tea Report #37 (1972)


The Right Teaware Makes a Difference - In order to make tea properly, you will need a kettle, pot, samashi (container like a pot without a lid to let water cool down), cups, saucers, chago (tea leaf measurement), chakin (hand towel) and tray.
Of all these items, you should pay most attention to pots and cups, which directly influence the flavors of tea.

Ceramics are preferred for tea set material when brewing hot tea. Special attention should be paid to shape, size, and color. Pots should be easy to handle and Sencha cups should be white or a light color so that you can enjoy the color of the tea liquor, (we carry non-white cups). For cold tea, cups made of glass are preferable because they enhance the feeling of coolness. Tea not only quenches thirst; it also satisfies the taste buds and is soothing and relaxing.

The following chart serves as a reference:
Tea
Size of Pots
Size of Cups
Gyokuro
90ml (3 fl.oz)
40ml (1.4 fl.oz)
Sencha (Prem)
250ml (8.5 fl.oz)
100ml (3.4 fl.oz)
Sencha (Stand)
600ml (20 fl.oz)
150ml (5 fl.oz)
Bancha/Hojicha
800ml (27 fl.oz)
240ml (8 fl.oz)

Our tea and tea ware have a variety of certifications:

fair trade label
USDA Organic

ETP Ethical  Partnership
HACCP
ISO 14001

FDA
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