Finest Cup Of Green Tea

There are maybe as many different ways of preparing the perfect cup of green tea as there are experts. Some recommend the use of tea bags, small muslin bags in which the leaves are placed for the infusion period. To use these, simply pour two or three tea spoons of the leaves inside the tea bag, twist the bag and place it in the cup. Alternatively if you do not use the tea bags, simply add the leaves to the cup and let them settle in the bottom, this is "The Chinese way". With the latter, not only do you enjoy the taste and aroma of the tea, but you also get to see the wonderful display of the leaves and how they "blossom" when they come in contact with the water. Thus tea drinking gains an extra dimension.

The Water :

An important role in making the perfect cup of tea is the quality of water. The quality of water will affect the way the flavours in the tea leaves dissolve and therefore affects the quality of the tea. Lu Yu said "spring water was best, followed by river water, and then well water". The amount of minerals in the water seems to have been an important consideration. However, for most people nowadays the problem is that it’s practically impossible to find such "natural" water that is unpolluted. As for tap water, that is often highly chlorinated. The best option therefore is one of the various types of bottled spring water.

Tea Culture

Drinking Tea is an exquisite and traditional ancient Culture that has lasted for over 5000 years; drinking Tea is indeed a Way of Life. Enjoy the ritual of preparing it as much as drinking it. Drink the tea with all your senses; sight, touch; taste; and smell. They all play an important part in the tea drinking experience.

Instructions on how to prepare a nice cup of green tea:

1. Use fresh cold water. If you are using tap water, let the cold tap run for awhile first to avoid flat-tasting water. Never make green or any other tea with water from the hot tap.
2. While the water is heating, get the tea things ready. (We suggest using a glass cup to make green tea). A small glass cup is preferable to a large one, as the amount of boiling water used in a large one may "stew" the leaves and results in flat-tasting tea.
3. Warm the glass cups by partly filling them with hot water.
4. Just before the water in the kettle boils, empty the cups and add the green tea.
5. An optional step before adding boiling water to tea is called "rinsing the tea leaves." After the tea leaves have been added to the glass cup, pour in a little boiling water and drain it off immediately.
6. Finally, do not use the boiling water, leave it to cool to 80 degrees C then pour it into the glass cup to the desired level and cover. Chinese avoid keeping the glass cup warm with a padded tea cosy, feeling that it causes the leaves to stew, making them bitter.
7. Let the tea stand. The best tea is made by infusing for a short time rather than steeping for a longer period. 3 to 5 minutes is recommended, with the shorter time preferred. Very fine tea needs an extremely short time.

Green tea is of course taken without anything in it. The leaves can be used for a second infusion - many people say the second infusion is the best.

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About The Author, Kev Woodward
Kevin Woodward looks after the In Nature web site which offers top quality organic green tea, other teas from China and medicinal herbs for sale securely online.