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Tips for brewing green tea

Brewing green tea is simple but you do need some guideline. Thus, I offer you some tips for brewing green tea. But don't stress on the number too much.

If you can figure out your family's budget for the next month, I am sure you can estimate the time needed to brew your perfect cup of tea.

General methods for green tea brewing involves 5 main criteria:

* The quality and grade of tea

* The proper ratio between amount of tea and the amount of water

* The quality of the water

* The boiling point for each type of tea

* The controlled brewing time

(� Photographer:Chanyut Sribua-rawd | Agency: Dreamstime.com)

Tea leaves should be fresh and have minimal exposure to air. It's best to have the highest grade of tea.The general guide line is to use 1 tea bag (or 1 tea spoon) for 5.5 ounces of water.

In ancient China, tea would be infused in spring water. But in this century, with all of the city development, spring water is kind of hard to find.

The other options of water you can use is either tap water or bottled water. You can use the one you prefer. I prefer bottle water since some city's tap water may contain a harful amount of chloride.

Water should be used when it just reaches its boiling point. Used water or over boiled water will not sufficiently open up the tea leaves to give fullest taste and fragrance.

The tea is better when it's kept hot. So you can get an extra boost of taste and fragrance by heating up the tea pot before pouring in the water. Heating the tea pot beforehand reduces the effects of sudden drop of temperature when pouring the tea from the kettle to the pot.

The guideline for temperature of boiling water in brewing green tea

* Brewing green tea = 120-150 F

* Oolong tea = 190-210 F

* White tea = 170-190 F

* Black tea = 210-215 F

The next most important step is the infusion time.

Each kind of tea requires different amount of time to infuse. Large and twisted leaves require more time than small and flat leaves.

For every kind of tea, the caffeine will escape the dried tea leaves first. Then the chemicals that give each tea its taste and fragrance are dissolved.

It's a good idea to time your infusion. You can keep a timer so you can focus on something else.Severely over-infusion will yield very bitter tea. While under-infusion will produce a dull cup of tea. A little practive and you will get the hang of it.

The brewing (or steeping) time guideline .

These green tea brewing tips is somewhat an estimation. Don't stress too much on the number, an extra 30 seconds or so will not ruin your cup of tea. But 4 extra minutes might...

* Brewing Green tea = 2-5 min

* Oolong or black tea = 30-80 seconds

* White tea = ~ 2 min

Once the tea is ready to serve, carefully lift up the dried leaves out of the pot.

It's easier if you had used a tea basket or tea sieve while steeping. If not, make sure the device that you use to take out the leaves is clean. This will prevent other unwanted substances to interfere with the taste and fragrance of your tea.

It may be a good idea to stir the tea before serving to make sure that the tea is evenly distributed in the pot. If you don't use the infuser, you can brew the tea 1 more time. 3 times is the limit. After that, the tea would just taste like water.

The first brew will yield the best tea. When finished the first round, you can add more hot water in the pot for the second brew. And so on for the 3rd brew. If you want to know how's the 4th brew tastes like, you can try it.

If you do well in these 5 main events and some little extra steps in between, you will have a cup of tea that is rich in color, smell, and taste.

If you prefer a different flavor, you can add milk or lemon juice after you pour the tea. It will be easier to adjust to your taste.

Brewing green tea generally requires time, which many of us don't have. However, if you ever have some time and want a decent cup of tea that you personally brew, these tips may come in handy...

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