Brewing Japanese tea

How to brew Japanese tea

If you know this tip, you’ll brew a fantastic Japanese green tea. The key factors are the temperature of the water and the water quality.

Water temperature

If the hot water is too hot, tea would have less Umami and become bitter. Catechin which gives tea its astringency and bitterness, seeps into tea more if you use hotter water.  The amount of amino acid  which gives tea its sweet taste doesn’t depend on the water temperature. The amount of Caffeine also depends on the hot water temperature, like catechin. So you can brew your tea to your own style.  Do you want more Catechin (astringency and bitterness) or more caffeine (bitterness, awaking effect )in your tea?

Recipe for two persons

Sencha  Leaves 4g, Temperature 70℃, Amount 120ml, brewing time 2mins

Gyokuro Leaves 6g,  Temperature 50℃, Amount 40ml, brewing time 3mins

Matcha powder 3g, Temperature 80℃, Amount 120ml, whisk immediately  until powder is dissolved.

Hojicha Leaves 6g,  Temperature 100℃, Amount 260ml, brewing time 30secs


When you measure the amount of tea leaves, these tips are useful.

One tea spoon of Sencha leaves = 2g

One heaped tea spoon of Gyokuro = 3g 

One heaped tea spoon of Matcha = 3g

One heaped table spoon of Hojicha =3g


Water quality

Water hardness affects the flavour, fragrance and colour of Japanese green tea. The ideal amount of CaCo3 in water is 30-80mg/l. (max 120mg/l is acceptable) Here is how to prepare the water. Boil water until it reaches 100℃  and simmer for 5mins to lose the smell of calcium hypochlorite. Then lower the temperature by pouring into other jars or tea cups before pouring into the tea pot. ( If you pour hot water into your tea cup to lower the temperature , it’ll help  to prewarm your tea cup.) Don’t forget you always need to boil water, even when you brew Gyokuro with 50℃ water.


When you lower the hot water temperature, pouring into other jars or cups makes the hot water temperature 5-10 ℃ lower .

You’ll learn about the health effect of Japanese green tea in this article.