Are you thinking about having a spot of tea whenever you sit down to read? Take a minute to reflect on the way you drink your tea – from a teabag, or straight from the kettle? Here is a guide to brewing tea and getting the most flavor that you never thought possible before.
Looking at Tea
Despite the staggering number of different teas you can sample from around the world, tea leaves come down to oxidation levels. If what you’re most interested in is trying Japanese tea, then you can’t wrong with experimenting with green tea. Sencha and tencha are the two main types of Japanese tea, and brewing tea starts with looking at the different finishes that these teas can yield. For instance, sencha comes from smaller leaves that are much younger than the other leaves on the plant. Then there is bancha, from the larger older leaves that appear later in the growing season. Kukicha is made from the stems, and houjicha is a roasted version of bancha. Tencha produces matcha, which you probably enjoy from your favorite coffee shop without knowing much about it.
Starting the Brew
Brewing is an exact science. Brew too long, and the tea can become bitter, where it’s better off being used as a base for milk tea; don’t brew it long enough, and it will turn out watery and flavorless. You need to think of how many leaves you’re using, how much water you need, how hot the water is, and how long you need to steep the tea to get it right. Many green teas can be steeped and brewed more than once, especially if it is of higher quality. The darker the drink, the longer you have to brew it.
The Importance of Water
Water is essential, and yet we never seem to drink enough of it. The water you use for brewing your tea also matters. Pure water is better for brewing tea, but that is a luxury, even if the water delivered into our homes is ostensibly purified on its way there. Think about the pH of your water, how hard or soft it is, and the presence of gases or heavy metals in your water. Filtering and softening your water is probably your best bet, even if the water you’re used to in your neighborhood is already clean enough to use for washing and drinking.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.