Not much comforts the heart and mind like a cup of well-prepared green tea. Stopping for a moment during a busy day and enjoying a small cup of tea can easily bring us back to our center. There is a magical beauty to its simplicity. Green tea also has incredible health benefits and is known for its strong antioxidant profile. It is good for the body, both internally and externally. Topically, green tea is one of the most revered Japanese skincare ingredients available, and its consumption is one of the reasons that Japanese women tend to have such radiant skin.
Today, I want to talk about brewing the perfect cup of green tea because I have seen so many people brew it the wrong way. I will also share tips on how to enjoy green tea on the go.
A Brief History of Tea
Tea was first drunk in India. It made its way to China along with Buddhism and then eventually to Japan. All black, green, and white tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. When I say green tea, I am referring to sencha, the Japanese whole-leaf variety which is steamed as opposed to fried. Steamed green tea has the highest antioxidant profile and the freshest taste. Most green teas found in Japan will be steamed, where China seems to favor fried teas.
Shopping for Tea
- Again, look for sencha. There are several wonderful brands that are available in the United States that make organic sencha. You can easily find it at health food stores.
- Don’t buy in bulk. Green tea oxidizes quickly, so buy what you will drink in a month or two. You can also store it in the freezer for a slightly longer shelf life. I tend to do this in the summer when it’s hot out.
Brewing Green Tea
- Start with good water. Filtered or spring water is ideal.
- Bring the water to a boil, and then let it cool down for 2 minutes. This is very important: sencha loves hot—not boiling—water. The ideal water temperature for sencha is 176F.
- Pour the water over your tea and steep for 30 seconds. Most of us are used to herbal tea, which is steeped for three minutes. Green tea will begin to taste bitter after 30 seconds. To capture the pure, beautiful umami flavor of green tea, a short 30-second steep is all that’s necessary.
Enjoying Green Tea On the Go
I cringe when I get a cup of green tea with a tea bag steeping inside. If you stop at a cafe, ask for hot water with the tea bag on the side. Wait a minute or two (or add an ice cube) then brew the tea for 30 seconds.
And just for fun, you can find organic Japanese sencha in the Body Misting Essence and the Daily Transformation Soaking Salts. These two products are another wonderful way to bring the beautiful benefits of sencha into your life.
I hope this inspires you to bring green tea into your life on a daily basis. It truly is one of Japan’s wonderful gifts which can bring health and a sense of serenity to all of our lives.