Green tea has been widely known for its extensive amount of benefits, among which: supporting a healthy heart, having less caffeine and calories than other teas, reducing skin aging, strengthening immunity, and many more. Green tea’s great number of antioxidants can protect the DNA from damage, help prevent obesity, and reduce cancer cell proliferation.
As in all kitchen-related activities, preparation is the key. Tea lovers might now start debating about whether it’s better to use teabags or leaves, what’s the perfect time of infusion, or what’s the best teapot to use?
This quarrel might seem a little odd or exaggerated, but in reality, it has valid fundamentals. Preparing green tea in the proper way can emphasize all the health benefits of this beverage. So, if you are already preparing one, why shouldn’t you do it in the right way?
Even though bag-brewed tea has some benefits, drinking loose leaf tea is healthier because all the properties can be released. Whole buds and young leaves can release a bigger quantity of nutrients than broken leaf pieces, which tea bags are made of. Moreover, tea bags may absorb some nutrients, so you get fewer benefits from your cup of tea.
However, some precautions must be taken also while using leaves:
- choose organic to ensure fewer chemical components;
- do not store them for too long, otherwise they’ll lose their properties;
- leaves should be stored in a sealed container in a dark, cool place.
Additionally, you may consider chewing leaves because it will provide you with nutrients that did not dissolve in the water, including minerals and fat-soluble vitamins.
The perfect brew
If your cup of green tea is flavorful and not too bitter, it means you have brewed tea perfectly. Brewing tea is not complicated, but you must bear in mind a few things.
Since using leaves is better than teabags, you need 1 teaspoon per cup (about 3 grams).
Water quality is also essential. Pour fresh spring water in a tea kettle and heat it.
What’s the perfect temperature for your green tea? That depends on the type of leaves you are using. First harvest green tea tends to have a more bitter taste, so you should use cooler water or brew it for a shorter time. On the contrary, mature leaves free their whole flavor with hotter temperatures.
This is why the ideal brewing temperature is between 160°F and 180°F. Use a food thermometer to get the most accurate temperature.
Once the right temperature is reached based on your tea type, pour water on the leaves in your cup or pot and cover with a lid.
Steep tea up to 3 minutes, depending on the taste you want. Once the time is up, remove the leaves and drink it while it’s hot.
Tips for enhancing flavor
- Preheat your teaware by pouring in some hot water.
Once warm, pour out the water and put the leaves in the cup (or pot). This will keep your tea warm even if you’re using cooler water.
- Use large basket-style infuser.
Tea leaves need room to expand in size and release their flavor. This is why ball-shape infuser are not recommended due to their small sizes. Go for silicone or glass strainers as they will not influence tea taste – which could happen with metal ones.
- Have a glass or glazed ceramics teapot for green tea only.
Since green tea is more delicate than other teas, using the same teapot or cup for all types might influence the flavor. Moreover, glass or glazed ceramics are the best materials for delicate tea leaves.
- Re-steep tea.
Green tea leaves have so much flavor in them that can be re-steeped 2 to 4 times.