Zen Kyoto

How to serve Green Tea

Zen Kyoto Title
  1. Prepare the instruments. For brewing sencha, you will need
    • Small teacups
    • Japanese teapot
    • Measuring cup
    • Electrical kettle for boiling water
    • Electrical balance (optional)
  2. Choose the correct type of water for brewing the tea. It is generally recommended that you use soft water with little mineral content. This can bring out the best taste. The types of water which are generally suitable and not suitable for brewing Japanese green tea are listed below.

  3. Not suitable Suitable
    • Tap water
    • Hard water
    • Distilled water
    • Reverse osmosis water
    • Soft water
    • Bottled spring / mineral water

  4. (Optional step)Fill the teacups with water. The number of teacups to be filled depends on the amount of tea to be brewed. The volume of water filled into each cup should be the same. Pour the water into a measuring cup to determine its volume. Use this information to calculate the amount of sencha tea leaves needed. Generally it is recommended that 0.6g of tea leaves be used for each ounce (30ml) of water.

  5. If you don’t have an electrical balance, then you may use approximately 1.5 tablespoons of tea leaves for each three cups of tea.

  6. Place the tea leaves into the teapot.

  7. Boil the soft/spring water in the electric kettle. Measure the same volume of boiling water used above and fill equally into the tea cups. Set aside to cool for 1 to 2 minutes. The ideal temperature for brewing sencha is 70°C-80°C. The water temperature can be approximated by observing the steam:
    • Above 90°C: Steam rises rapidly from the water surface
    • About 70°C: Steam rises gradually while dispersing to the sides
    • About 50°C: Steam can be seen rising faintly
  8. Empty the teacups into the teapot. Close the lid and wait for 1 minute for the tea to brew.
    • The amount of time for brewing depends on the steam treatment of tea leaves
    Light steamed 1.5 to 2minutes
    Medium steamed 1 minute
    Deep steamed 30 to 45 seconds

  9. Pour a little tea into the first cup, and then a little into the next and so on. After the last cup is filled, fill the second last and back to the first. Repeat until all cups are filled. This ensures that each cup has equal strength.

  10. For the second brew, the brewing time should be shorter (40-50 seconds) and the water should be hotter (about 90°C)

The diagrams below explains the steps for brewing sencha.

1. Measure the volume of water for the desired cups of tea(optional) 2. Measure the amount of tea leaves required and place in a teapot 3. Measure three cups of boiling water and let cool for 1 minute
4. Empty the cups into the teatop 5. Close the lid and brew for 1 minute(do not shake the teapot) 6. Pour the tea little by little into the cups in a 'back and forth' manner

Brewing time, temperature and amount of tea leaves for different types of tea

Other types of tea leaves can be brewed using the method described above - just vary the water temperature, brewing time and amount of tea leaves (for 3 cups of tea) according to the tea leave used.

Sencha High quality Sencha Gyokuro Genmaicha Genmai-matcha Houjicha
70-80°C
30 secs to 2 mins
1.5 tbsp
70-80°C
30 secs to 2 mins
1.5 tbsp
60°C
3 mins
1.5 tbsp
70-80°C
1 min
1.5 tbsp
70-80°C
1 min
1.5 tbsp
90°C
30 secs to 50 secs
3 tbsp

How to serve Gyokuro

  1. Prepare the instruments. For brewing , you will need
    • Small teacups
    • Japanese teapot
    • Measuring cup
    • Electrical kettle for boiling water
    • Electrical balance(optional)
  2. Choose the correct type of water for brewing the tea. It is generally recommended that you use soft water with little mineral content. This can bring out the best taste. The types of water which are generally suitable and not suitable for brewing Japanese green tea are listed below.
Not suitable Suitable
  • Tap water
  • Hard water
  • Distilled water
  • Reverse osmosis water
  • Soft water
  • Bottled spring / mineral water

Follow the steps

1. Pour hot water from the tea top into the chawan. This will help cool down the water to a suitable temperature for making gyokuro 2. Empty the tea pot and put 1 spoon of gyokuro tea leaves into the tea pot
3. Pour the water back into the tea pot and wait 2 minutes 4. Pour the tea into the chawan and enjoy!