Last week, we discussed a little something about green tea and boiling water.
In a nutshell, I believe that truly good green teas can handle — and even thrive — with the hottest temperatures possible.
But what about sencha?
Of all the green tea types out there, Japanese greens, like sencha and gyokuro, are known for being particularly sensitive.
Compared to Chinese and South Asian greens, Japanese greens have soft, delicate leaves that tend to brew much faster in hot water.
This is because of the shape of their leaves (small and thin, more surface area for extraction) and their processing (steamed, rather than pan-fired).
Also, Japanese green teas often contain higher amounts of catechins. (Here’s a study on that.) Catechins are supposed to be healthy for us, but when overextracted, they can make tea taste bitter.
All of this contributes to the kind of scary reputation that Japanese greens have for being super finicky and sensitive.
For the most part, I think a little fear is good when handling these teas. I’m always more on guard when grappling with a sencha versus a Dragonwell…
Given that, I still think it’s worth having a little more confidence in your good Japanese greens.
Give it a try if you haven’t already. Brew your best sencha at near 212°F/100°C for 30 seconds – choosing to regulate time rather than temperature.
– It should perform just fine.
– If it doesn’t, the tea may not be as high quality as initially advertised (or maybe it’s just a real diva of a tea)
I’m not saying that this method is the absolute best way to brew Japanese green teas. But it’s an option, and one that many of us haven’t had the chance to entertain yet.
Options are good. Your tea could be doing so much more for you.