So, the other day, I was invited by a close friend and his wife for dinner, and as per my usual habit, I usually drop by an hour to two early, we chat up, explore their garden, have a cup of tea and after dinner wait an hour or two more, and if other friends are present, I am usually the last to leave, sometimes helping them with cleaning up after.
As we sat down to catch up, my friend asked me if I would like a cup of tea. I belong to a select community of brew lovers who can never say no to Tea. So, we went chatting by and as I watched my friend’s wife make that tea, I couldn’t help but notice how she was ruining a great blend of Darjeeling first flush Green Tea with a peppermint blend. I cringed, but then realized that most of us may not be aware of the right way of brewing Green Tea.
I then thought, this is one of the things that need to be talked about. Well, before we talk about brewing, let us first understand the reasons we should not boil green tea leaves over stove. There are several groups of compounds like polyphenols, catechins, tannins, flavonoids and several of these are metabolites. There are about at least a hundred bio-active compounds in tea that render a flavor profile unique, and the release of desirable compounds and stopping the not so desirable compounds that make the tea too bitter or astringent is all dependent on the temperature.
How to brew green tea ?
So, this is not rocket science. We just need to bring water to boil, and have the brewing container ready with tea leaves in it. It is still better if we can warm the brewing container before pouring the hot water. Take the freshly boiled water, and hold on for at least 20 seconds so, the water gets to a lower temperature. Then pour the water over the leaves and cover it with a lid. Now, if we want a stronger brew, there are two things we can do. We can pour the water hotter, or add more leaves and brew for shorter periods of time. I would always say, if we want more strength, add more leaves, and take a second infusion by pouring hot water over the freshly poured leaves. This way, the taste is preserved great, the flavor notes strike right, and there is no bitterness or leaching of lignins, the compounds that give the woody aftertaste.
It also motivates the tea maker as well as the drinker if we have attractive transparent teaware to drink the tea, as it becomes a daily ritual that energizes, relaxes and stimulates us.
Please leave in comments how you like your tea brewed, and if you have any better ways to brew it.