Hojicha, Genmaicha, Bancha and Konacha are among the easiest to prepare and delicious Japanese green teas. They yield their best flavor when brewed for a couple of minutes with near boiling temperature water. See table below for a Quick Selection Guide (Flavor, caffeine content, brief notes).
All you have to do is remember a few basic steps:
1 - Add Tea to Teapot
One teaspoonful per cup is sufficient (2-3 grams per 120 ml.) This is approximately about a rounded teaspoon. However, you may adjust the amount depending on your own taste.
2 - Add Near-boiling Water to Teapot, and Brew
You will be pouring enough water for the number of cups you wish to prepare (about 120 ml per cup.) So, if you want to prepare 2 cups of tea, then pour 2 cups of water, not more!
Close the lid of the teapot. Let the tea brew for about 2 minutes (except for Konacha. About one minute will do.) You may adjust the time for what suits your palate best. DO NOT stir, shake or mix the tea while brewing.
3 - Serve and Enjoy!
Pour small amounts of tea into each cup at a time, and go around until the very last drop is poured. Japanese firmly believe that the last drop of tea determines its taste as a whole!
You can add hot water again to the teapot for a second, or even a third brewing.
If your tap water tastes bad, then so probably will your tea, regardless of its quality!
You should use fresh, good quality water without a lot of minerals (but not distilled water) to get the best flavor out of your tea. If using tap water, let it run cold for at least 10 seconds before using it.
Japanese green teas (and indeed all teas,) should be prepared in kettles made from a material that is as non-reactive as possible. The material your kettle is made of can chemically react with water, and cause contamination.
Aluminum kettles should definitely to be avoided. Aluminum is a reactive material which has been proven to cause toxic contamination. Glass, ceramic, stainless steel, enamel, marble or cast iron are excellent non-reactive, non-toxic materials.
|Smooth, summer vegetal||20-30%||Low caffeine, very economical common green tea. Refreshes palate after meals. Bancha is the common preference among Japanese as an everyday green tea.|
|Light, refreshing aftertaste||40-50%||Delicious, economical green tea, typical of ones served at sushi restaurants. Very easy and quick to prepare, especially useful for gatherings where a large number of guests need to be served quickly.|
|Highly flavorful, roasty, nutty||20-30%||Roasted green tea, extremely popular in Japan and around the world. Goes well with almost any meal. Very low in caffeine. Popular tea to serve with meals or before going to sleep and preferred for children and the elderly.|
|Fresh, roasted rice & popcorn||15-25%||Richly flavored green tea made by combining roasted rice with sencha or bancha. Highly prized for its health benefits. Low caffeine content. Suitable for all ages.
*Compared to coffee
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