Did you know that the sencha you usually drink can be made much tastier with a little effort and attention?
In this article, FETC, which drinks several hundred kinds of tea each year, will introduce you to the best way to brew sencha and deep steamed sencha teas.
Points to keep in mind when brewing sencha and deep steamed sencha
Compared to black tea and oolong tea, sencha offers a delicate aroma and a taste of umami and sweetness.
There are two things to keep in mind in order to enjoy its fresh and invigorating aroma and balance of bitterness, astringency, and umami.
These are the temperature of the water, the tea leaves, and the amount of hot water.
What is the temperature of the water used to brew Sencha?
The higher the temperature of the water, the stronger the astringent and bitter tastes are extracted from the tea.
This is because catechin, an astringent component, and caffeine, a bitter component, dissolve at higher temperatures, while amino acids such as theanine, a umami component, can be easily extracted at lower temperatures.
Therefore, at higher temperatures, the tea has a strong bitter taste, while at lower temperatures, the bitter taste is suppressed, and the tea is easy to taste umami and sweetness.
Recommended temperatures are around 50-70°C for gyokuro and high-grade teas, and 60-80°C for regular sencha, but it depends on the tea leaves and your preference, so please refer to this article for more details.
*Related Article: Relationship between tea flavor and temperature
There are two types of water, soft water and hard water, and the water suitable for Japanese teas such as Sencha is soft water.
Japanese tap water is soft water, so there is no problem using it as it is. However, if you use tap water, it is recommended to boil it once and let it cool down in order to remove chlorine from the water.
*Related Article: How does the taste of tea change between soft and hard water?
30ml of hot water per gram of tea leaves!
To brew a good cup of tea, the amount of tea leaves and hot water should not be too much or too little.
For sencha, the best amount is 30ml of hot water for every 1g of tea leaves.
Many mistakes in brewing tea are made by adding too much hot water for the tea leaves. Use a scale to measure accurately and be particular about the amount for a delicious cup.
Before Brewing Sencha and Deep Steamed Sencha
The following tools are required to brew a good cup of sencha
Tools to use
There are various types of kyusu (teapots) made of ceramic, glass, plastic, and other materials, and there are also differences in the shape of the mesh (tea strainer), which also affects the flavor of the tea brewed.
Although it may be difficult to find an iron kettle or a yuzamashi in your home, you can enjoy the taste of tea better when you use them.
How to brew sencha and deep steamed sencha
- Tea leaves: 4g
- Hot water: 120 ml (70°C)
The quantity is for one cup. It does not matter how much you brew, as long as you observe the 30 ml per 1 g of tea leaves.
This recipe is for a single cup of tea rather than to enjoy the second or third brewing of tea.
(1) Boil water
(2) Cool the water to 70 degrees.
(3) Measure 4g of tea leaves
(4) Pour 120ml of hot water into the kyusu / teapot and let it steep.
(5) Pour the tea into a teacup while turning it over by hand.
All that remains is to pour the tea into a teacup, but at this point, try brewing the tea by "Te-gaeshi" (turning the teapot back and forth by hand).
"Te-gaeshi" refers to the technique of brewing tea by shaking the kyusu with your wrist as shown in the picture below.
By doing this, the tea leaves rub against each other in the kyusu and more of the ingredients are extracted, allowing you to enjoy a richer flavor.
Hold the kyusu like this, grasping the handle with the palm of your hand and supporting the lid with your thumb to prevent it from shifting.
(6) Pour out every last drop.
The last drop left in the kyusu is a golden drop that has absorbed the full flavor of the tea.
Shake the kyusu gently two or three times vertically to pour out every last drop.
(7) Enjoy the aroma and flavor of tea
The deliciousness of sencha is its aroma and flavor.
Enjoy to your heart's content the aroma rising from the teacup, the flavor spreading to your tongue, the balance of astringency and bitterness that strengthens it, and finally, the aroma that smoothly escapes into your nose.
Can tea be eaten even the tea leaves left over after extraction?
In fact, tea leaves can be surprisingly tasty.
Please try "tea boiled" as well, which is a great way to take in all the rich nutrients that remain dissolved in the tea leaves.
Related Article: Tea doesn't end when it's brewed? How to Make Tea Ohitashi