Green tea is all the rage in many health circles and health experts and consumers simply can’t stop raving about the benefits of this herbal drink. If you’ve decided to add green tea to your diet, that’s probably one of the best things you can do for your body.
But how does one go about brewing the perfect cup of green tea? Granted, you could just throw in a few tea leaves to boiling water, sieve, and drink. However, at those temperatures, the nutritional value of catechins, which are the healthy chemicals in green tea, are reduced.
Blending healthy green tea is an art. You need to use precise water temperatures, the right amount of tea leaves, and know how to time brewing duration. This recipe guide will show you how to make green tea without destroying its nutritional content.
Step 1: Choose the Right Amount Of Tea Leaves
If you’re making one cup of the tea, you’ll only need 1 teaspoon or 1 teabag of your favorite green tea leaves. However, if you plan to brew a pot, you’ll need 2 or more teaspoon/bags, depending on how strong you want the tea to be.
Once you’ve determined the amount of tea leaves you need, transfer them to a teapot and set aside.
Step 2: Use Purified Water
The best type of water to use when preparing green tea is purified water since it contains the least amount of calcium and other minerals. Any other type of water should be avoided as it destroys the taste of the tea.
Just take the amount of water needed and pour it into a kettle or pan before placing it on the stove to boil. For best results, set the stove to the highest heat setting.
Step 3: Heat Water to an Ideal Temperature
The different components of different types of tea dissolve at different temperatures. Therefore, to ensure you get the full flavor, aroma, and benefits of green tea, it’s important that you allow the water to reach the ideal temperature for your tea.
Generally, the amino acids in green tea require a temperature of 600C (1400F) to dissolve while polyphenols (catechins, ECGC, and others) are drawn out by a higher temperature of 800C (1760F). Therefore, green tea will be healthiest and taste best when brewed at temperatures of between 1400F to 1850F. So, allow your water temperature to fall within this range before moving on to the next step. For accurate results, use a coffee/tea making machine to heat water to ideal temperatures.
Take Note! Achieving the right water temperature is the most important step of making green tea. It should therefore be followed to a tee if you want your cup of green tea to come out perfect and healthy
Step 4: Pour Water Over Tea Leaves
Now comes the interesting part – the brewing of the tea! Take your teapot (with the right amount of green tea leaves inside) and pour the hot steaming water into it. The tea’s aroma and flavor are released quicker when there’s a significant amount of force when the hot water and tea leaves merge. So, make sure the water directly hits the tea leaves directly and doesn’t simply trickle down the sides of the teapot.
Once all the water is in, allow the tea to brew for 1 to 2 minutes. This allows the tea to develop a beautiful clear color and a rich, full-bodied aroma and flavor.
Note: You can allow the green tea to brew for an extra minute if you like your tea strong.
Step 5: Serve
To ensure everyone’s cup of green tea has the same taste and strength, fill each cup 1/3 at a time. This is because the tea at the top of the teapot is weaker than the one sitting at the bottom.
Once the tea is in the cups, add honey to taste. A few drops of lemon juice can also be added to give the tea an added flavor. Vitamin C in lemons also makes the catechins easier to absorb. If you are drinking green tea for its health benefits, resist the urge of mixing it with milk. One study found that casein in milk actually reduces the cardio protective benefits of green tea.