Most of the green tea we usually drink is sencha.
Do you know the sencha that we brew can taste much better with a little extra work?
In this article, we are going to introduce how to brew good sencha / fukamushi-sencha.
Taste and flavor of sencha / fukamushi-sencha(Green tea)
Compared to black tea and oolong tea, sencha has subtle flavors, umami and sweetness.
As sencha contains young buds of tea leaves, it has refreshing flavors and the taste of bitterness, umami and astringency are well balanced.
Before brewing sencha / fukamushi-sencha
Below is what to prepare before brewing sencha / fukamushi-sencha;
There are not many utensils needed to brew sencha. If you are looking for the easiest way, you only need a tea strainer and a mug.
However, if you have these tools mentioned below for better brewing, that would be great.
Kyusu are made out of a variety of materials like ceramic, glass and plastic. Filters built inside kyusu also vary, which affects the taste of the tea to brew.
When brewing fukamushi-sencha, kyusu teapots with a fine filter would be recommended because the fukamushi-sencha tea leaves are thin and become fragile with the long steam time.
So, consider these tips as well as your preferences like the design when purchasing a kyusu.
The size of yunomi is generally 100ml, but you can take your taste of both design and size. If you don’t have yunomi, there would be no problem using something else like a mug.
We personally recommend white yunomi. White yunomi make tea look more beautiful and distinguishable from colors of teas, which makes your tea time more enjoyable.
With these tools, sencha can normally be brewed in any household.
Furthermore, there are good-to-have tools for those who want to be more particular about brewing
Tetsubin sometimes gets mistaken for kyusu teapot. Tetsubin is not to brew tea but to boil water .
It is made out of iron and can directly be heated to boil. The water would taste smooth as the iron dissolves in.
It is useful to brew coffee and black tea as well as green tea.
Yuzamashi is a tool to cool boiling water. It is used especially when brewing sencha / fukamushi-sencha because these teas are recommended to be brewed at a low temperature.
Although using a chasajis is optional since spoons found in households can be replaced as a chasaji, there are so many designs and sizes of chasaji and its cute designs attract many chasaji collectors. Search further if you are interested.
You have no problem brewing tea without these tools, but these “good-to-have” tools would make your tea taste better as you become more particular about the use. If you have a chance, therefore, we recommend you try using them once.
Water and temperature
There are soft water and hard water, and the suitability would depend on the tea.
Japanese people are more likely to be used to soft water, and tap water is also soft water in Japan.
Besides, soft water is suitable to brew Japanese teas like sencha.
Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium than soft water. This prevents bitterness of tea and ruins the balance of taste.
The water temperature is around 70 degrees celsius for high-end teas and 80-90 degrees for middle-class sencha, but it depends on your taste. Check this out for further information.
How to brew sencha / fukamushi-sencha
Now we are going to introduce how to brew sencha / fukamushi-sencha
Boil water with tetsubin
Directly heat a tetsubin to boil water. If you don’t have one, there would be no problem using an electric water boiler or a kettle instead.
Cool boiling water
Pour the boiling water in a yuzamashi to cool.
If you don’t have one, just pour in yunomi to serve. This would also help you figure out how much hot water you need to brew while you cool the hot water.
Put tea leaves in kyusu
If you don’t have a chasaji, you can use a spoon that you have. The weight of tea leaves for a cup (120ml) is one teaspoon (3g)
Pour the cooled hot water in kyusu teapot and steam
Pour water that was cooled in the yuzamashi or yunomi into a kyusu. Then steam for about one minute for sencha and 30 seconds for fukamushi-sencha. Leave the teapot while steaming.
Pour tea around
Pour the tea little by little around in the yunomis so that the strength of each cup would be made evenly.
Make sure to pour thoroughly to the last drop.