Wondering how to get started with green tea?
Here is our guide for choose the best green tea for the absolute beginner. First, you will need two basic items...
Many people attempt to make their tea in a western style teapot. Although you can do this if you know exactly what you are doing, you will find it a lot easier if you use a teapot that was designed with green tea in mind. Whatever type you use, the most important thing to keep in mind is that this tea needs room to EXPAND. For that reason, tea balls or paper filters do not work well. Investing in the right type of teapot will save you a lot of trouble down the road, and they will practically last forever.
Tokoname teapots are highly recommended!
When it comes to choosing a green tea teapot, first determine what kind of tea you will mostly be drinking - one with larger leaf particles, or one with very tiny leaf particles. Most light steamed green teas (as well as medium steamed teas) have larger leaf particles, while deep steamed green tea (known as Fukamushi-cha in Japanese) which have very small, almost dust-like leaf particles. If you are going to brew mostly deep steamed green tea, you may want to get a special fukamushi teapot just for that type as the tiny leaf particles can become clogged in the filters on many teapots. Generally speaking, you can brew light and medium steamed teas in a teapot that is made for deep steamed green tea, but not the opposite.
Because of the way it is processed, green tea does not have a long shelf life, much less than other types of tea. Freshness is a very important factor - you do not want a tea which has spent long periods of time on the shelf, in ocean transit, or in a warehouse. Simply put, old green tea does not stay green and does not taste good. The typical shelf life, from date of packaging, is about 6 months on unopened packages and immediately drops to 2-3 months once opened. This basically rules out the grocery store and "flavored" green teas (peach, strawberry, etc.) All O-Cha.com teas are packaged in Japan within a very short time (1-2 weeks) from when you order them.
Freshness is very important! Be sure to pay attention to the following...
Green tea is brewed differently than other types of tea. While it's not rocket science, you do need to pay attention to what you are doing or it will not turn out right. If you had bitter green tea before, there's a good chance it wasn't brewed correctly. Generally speaking, it is brewed at a lower temperature for about one minute. Before brewing your first infusion, be sure read up on How to Make Green Tea.