Japanese Green Tea Shops
Most common way the Japanese brew (steep) Japanese green tea is by pouring hot water from a hot water pot directly onto the tea leaves that are placed in the strainer of the teapot.
In this example we are using a type of Hot Water Pot which can be found in many Japanese homes. They are very convenient for brewing Japanese Green Tea. Most Japanese leave their hot water pots on all day long so that brewing a cup of tea can be done quickly and easily at anytime.
Measure about one teaspoon (2-3 grams) of green tea leaves per cup. (Of course the amount will depend upon each individual’s taste). After making tea several times it will be easy to adjust the amount of tea leaves to use for the desired color and flavor. A common practice is to sprinkle the loose tea leaves into the canister lid, measure the amount by eye and then pour them into the infuser. (It's important to remember not to overfill the infuser, as green tea leaves need plenty of room to expand).
Pour hot water over the tea leaves. Allow the tea to steep for only about 1 to 3 minutes. (This will depend on the type and quality of the leaves) Never stir, swirl or shake the teapot while the tea is steeping. The temperature should be about 158-194 degrees F (70-90 degrees C). If the tea is brewed too long or the temperature is too high, the tea will probably become bitter. You may use the infusion several times. For high quality teas the infusion may be used up to 4 times by slightly decreasing the brewing time (30-60 seconds) for the second infusion and then increasing the brewing time and temperature for the 3rd and 4th infusion.
Gently pour the tea from the pot. Take a good look at the color and smell the aroma. (Make a mental note of how much tea you used and how long you allowed the tea leaves to steep to obtain the desired taste and color). It won't be long before preparing green tea will become a natural routine. You will also develop an "eye" and "nose" for good Japanese Green Tea.
You will notice small bits of the tea leaves floating in the tea, they will soon settle to the bottom of the cup. It is okay (and healthy) to drink them however; most Japanese tend to discard them with the last sip or two of tea. Sit back, Relax and Enjoy a Delicious Cup of Japanese Green Tea!
The information provided here can easily be applied to brewing green tea using a conventional hot water kettle. Simply allow the water to cool down to the suggested temperature before pouring it over the tea leaves in the infuser.
Another method is to remove the infuser from the teapot and then pour the freshly boiled water into it. Pour the water from the teapot into the cups you are preparing to serve. Discard any remaining water from the teapot. Insert the infuser and tea leaves back into the teapot, and then use the water in the cups to pour over the tea leaves in the teapot. This method is highly recommended especially when the weather is cold, as by doing so you will not only cool down the water but will also warm the pot and the cups as well.