Hailed for its health benefits, these days many people are swapping out their coffee and black tea for the green stuff.

Green tea has become seen as a superfood and there are many alleged advantages of drinking it bandied around, including weight loss and reduced cholesterol. Many of these claims originate from traditional Far Eastern medicine, but as of yet, there is little scientific backing for them. So maybe don’t base your whole weight loss plan around a few cups of matcha just yet.

Source: Grape Japan

But don't get discouraged. Compared to black tea and coffee, green tea has less caffeine and has been proven to be a good source of anti-oxidants.

If you think brewing up a delicious storm in a teacup is as easy as throwing a tea bag in hot water, you’d be wrong. According to Uchicoto, a Japanese website dedicated to handy tips for your home, most of us haven't been fully maximizing the taste of our green tea. Here’s their 6 tips to make your green tea as delicious as possible, leading to the perfect cuppa.

How To Make the Perfect Cup of Green Tea

1. Choose your water carefully.

Different types of water affect the taste of the tea in different ways, but that’s not to say only the finest mineral water will do. To remove the chlorine smell that can occur in some tap water you can leave the water out to sit for four hours. If it’s particularly hot weather you should keep it in the fridge.

If using mineral water, soft water is preferable.

2. Make sure you bring the water to boiling.

To get rid of the calcium smell present in tap water you’ve got to boil it well. Use a stove rather than an electric kettle, and when the water gets to boiling don’t turn the heat off. Rather, turn it down to low heat and remove the kettle lid, keeping it going for 2-3 minutes. If you think the calcium smell is particularly strong, you can do it for 5 minutes.

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3. Let the water cool before pouring.

Getting the temperature right is important in unlocking the tea’s true deliciousness. For green teas the optimal temperature is lower than other types of tea, at around 70 degrees Celsius. If you know specifically which type of green tea you're using, it could be worth researching as the numbers vary quite a lot depending on the bitterness. For example the best temperature for sencha tea is between 80 and 90 degrees.

When attempting to get that perfect temperature, remember pouring the water into a tea cup can cool the water by 5-10 degrees. Cooling for two to three minutes in the tea cup will result in water that is about 10 degrees cooler. This depends on the room temperature but you can take these timings has a rough guide.

4. Use an appropriate amount of tea leaves.

A pot of sencha green tea for 2 people will require 4-5g of leaves, but it does vary for each type of tea. Hopefully there will be instructions on your particular tea, but if not, try somewhere between four and seven grams, and trial and error should help you find the ideal amount.

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5. Time the brewing carefully.

The website uses sencha again as an example, 20-30 seconds should do it. However more bitter tea such as gyokuro requires longer, it takes 120-150 seconds to infuse. Once again, if you know the particular type of tea you can research.

6. Take care pouring the tea.

Finally you can pour your cup of tea! Make sure you pour the tea so that the strength is the same in each cup and don’t forget to pour out the very last drop, otherwise the concentration will be off.

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And that’s it. Simple, if not a bit time consuming. Enjoy your perfect cup of green tea and reap the health benefits!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.