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How to Make a Perfect and Flavourful Cup of Green Tea?
Tea or “Chai” is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide. Tea is consumed in different parts of the world as green, black, or Oolong tea. Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make Oolong teas and black teas.
Green tea is being used as a medicine since ancient times. It has been receiving enormous attention in recent times. Green tea has been endowed with a large number of health benefits, ranging from lowering blood pressure to reducing cancer risk.
Why is green tea special?
Because green tea is minimally processed it retains maximum quantity of antioxidants and poly-phenols. These substances in green tea are responsible for its many health benefits (1). The presence of these phytochemicals makes green tea special!
Brewing of green tea
The traditional method of making green tea is to place the green tea leaves in a tea cup or a tea pot. Some also use a tea infuser in which the tea leaves are placed. Freshly boiled water is poured over the tea leaves. After a few minutes the tea leaves are removed by straining or if a tea infuser is used that it taken out.
Some green tea leaves require 30 seconds of steeping in water some may require even 10 minutes. But in general, most green teas require about 2 to 3 minutes of steeping in water.
How to make a good flavourful cup of green tea?
How much green tea leaves?
For a cup of tea, the amount green tea leaves needed is a heaped tea spoon full. And for this quantity of green tea leaves the water required is about 200 to 240 ml of water. This is the basic recipe but the amount of water needed differs from green tea to green tea (2).
Temperature for brewing green tea
The best temperature to brew tea depends on what type of process the tea leaves have under gone. Green tea does not under go any oxidation or if at all it does it is minimum. Teas which have not under gone any oxidation are brewed best at lower temperatures such as between 65° and 85 °C.
How to make a cup of green tea?
To make a cup of green tea place one heaped tea spoon of green tea leaves in a cup. Use previously boiled and cooled water which is of temperature between 75° and 80°C. Take about 200 to 240 ml of water and add to the green tea leaves in the cup. Steep for 1 to 2 minutes and the dried leaves start unfurling and the flavour of the tea leaves starts evolving. Strain the tea and serve.
A perfect cup of flavourful green tea is ready!
The tea cup or tea pot some times is warmed so that the tea does not cool down immediately.
Why boiled water should be used?
The water used to brew green tea should be first boiled vigorously to remove dissolved oxygen. If oxygen is present in the water in which green leaves are steeped it reacts with the polyphenols. This reaction decreases the potency of polyphenols antioxidant property.
By using previously boiled water which is then cooled down to a suitable temperature we can preserve the antioxidant property of green tea. Another benefit of boiling is sterilization of water which makes the tea safe for drinking.
Do you want a stronger green tea?
Add more green tea leaves not increase the steeping time. If the steeping time is more the tea becomes bitter. If you like bitter green tea then steeping time can be increased.
- Sinija, V.R. and Mishra, H.N. (2008) Review Green tea: Health benefits, Journal of nutritional & environmental medicine. Vol. 17(4).
- Pemba, H. B., Sharangi, A.B., Lepcha, R. and Tamang, D. (2015) Bioactive compounds and antioxidant properties of Tea : Status, global research and potentialities, Journal of Tea Science Research. Vol. 5(11).