February 06, 2009

How to make perfect tea drink?

How about maximizing the delicious taste of green tea? Although brewing techniques that maximize the catechin content differ slightly from those that maximize taste, you can easily find a middle ground. Try following these simple rules to ensure that your green tea is both healthful and delicious every time.

1) Choose the proper water. The wrong kind of water can ruin a cup of tea, and transform the catechins into compounds typically found in black tea. (That's the reason green tea sometimes takes on a brownish color.) Try using soft water that contains few minerals or water filtered by reverse osmosis. Avoid water that is hard, distilled, flouridated or chlorinated.

2) Boil the water. Bring the water to a full boil, but not for more than a few seconds, as the water's flavor-releasing oxygen can escape and you can end up with a flat-tasting cup of tea. For the best tea flavor, let the water cool for a minute (to about 180-190° F), then pour it over the tea leaves. This guards against the "stewing" of the leaves. If you're looking for maximum catechin release, however, pour the boiling water over the leaves.

3) Warm the teapot - Before brewing the tea, swish a little bit of hot water around inside the tea receptacle, whether it's a teapot or a cup, to help your tea stay warm for a longer period of time.

4) Measure the tea - Figure one tea bag or 2-3 g. of loose tea per 8 oz. cup of water. Loose tea leaves can go directly into the cup or pot, but must be strained later. Tea bags are easier and less messy.

5) Steep the tea - For best taste, steep your green tea for just 2-3 minutes. But for the highest catechin content, steep it a minimum of 3 minutes - the longer the better. Be aware, however, that the longer you steep the tea, the more astringent the resulting brew.

6) Pour the tea - Remove the tea bags or strain the tea as soon as it has finished steeping. Otherwise it will continue to brew and may become too bitter. Then pour it (if you're using a pot) or simply raise the cup to your lips.

Now sit back, sip slowly and enjoy!

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