- Japanese Green Tea Preparation
Most Japanese teas are made from well handled new leaves and much of their elegance and style is due to the processing: steaming immediately after plucking and then air drying. Bancha and Sencha are the everyday green tea drinks of Japan. While Sen Cha is plucked in early spring and is considered to be the finer tea, the leaves used to produce Bancha are generally plucked in the fall and tend to be larger and more coarse. This however gives the tea its unique character and visual appearance.
Since the leaves used to make Bancha are more coarse and contain some stalks and stems the resulting tea generally contains less caffeine and tannin than the finer grades of Japanese tea. Also the cup tends to be light and refreshing with a robust flavor and vivid yellow color. Also, leaves harvested after summer contain more catechins and antioxidants than the early spring teas.
Ingredients: Artisan green tea
Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Water Temperature: 168-175
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 tsp. (2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 1-3 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3
Most Japanese green teas may be prepared in a standard teapot, tetsubin, or in your favorite mug or lidded gaiwan. For best results, we recommend that you pre-warm your vessel, and place 2.5 grams of leaf per 6 oz of liquid, before infusing with 168-175 degree water for up to 1-3 minutes. As with all green teas, most Japanese green teas can be infused at least three times. Increase the time and temperature slightly with each subsequent infusion. Experimenting with your own temperatures and steeping times is encouraged, especially with such a forgiving tea. Cooler temperatures and shorter times yield more mellow, fruity elements, while hotter water and longer times produce more floral and full-bodied complexities. Always use the best-tasting water you can find, and adjust steeping times, quantity of leaves, and water temperature to your personal preferences.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.