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Green tea…

I’ve been drinking a couple of cups of green tea each day. It has become a habit of mine to have a mug of green tea each night to gear down before going to sleep. But until today, I basically just bought green tea bags from the Chinese grocers not far from us and dunked them in hot water. Today, I became “enlightened”, and that simple mug of green tea will never seem the same again.

As I feared, green tea has an entire multi-century old culture associated with it, with fancy names, special ceremonies, and specialized leaves. Apparently, you need a special teapot, and your water shouldn’t be above 170 degrees, and … well, you might as well read what I did yourself.

There are two main categories of green tea leaves: Sencha which is green tea grown in the full sun, and then the much less common Gyokuro, which is grown in shade. As an example of the gyokuro stuff, check out this offering. And then do the math: that’s $64 U.S. for 110 grams of tea. It takes 1 gram of tea leaves to make 1 ounce of tea, and one cup for me is about 10 ounces- so that 110 grams makes maybe 10 cups, or about $6 a cup.

I think I’ll stick with my crappy chinese tea bags, at least for now πŸ˜‰

2 comments to Green tea…

  • Sounds a tad overly complicated πŸ˜‰

    Tea is an infusion, so the water does need to get to and through the leaves. I think a press would work as well as a Japanese teapot – and besides, isn’t green tea Chinese? Shouldn’t it be a Chinese teapot?

    As to the temperature I’ll take their word for it, but being a techie guy I’d just shove a digital thermometer in the water πŸ˜€

    I will say that a lot of the “green tea” stuff out nowadays is crap, and that the green tea I’ve had made by Chinese folks tastes better that the stuff I’ve made… but seeing has how some of that is out of thermos I think it has as much to do with quality of the tea as preparation. Cances are your “crappy” tea bags from the chinese market are better than the tens of dollars an ounce stuff sold to trendy white yuppies in specialty stores.

    And – too much green tea can have some interesting effects on r bowels and mental perception. Don’t drink a litre of it in an afternoon like I did once! πŸ˜€

  • I always thought green tea was Chinese as well, but I’m quite willing to be proven wrong since I have no idea where I came up with that idea to begin with. UPDATE: this little “history of” thing suggests that green tea originated in China around 2700 BC, and was exported to Japan in the 6th century AD.

    My tea tastes good enough to me- however, I’ve had green tea at a couple of moderately expensive Chinese and Japanese restaurants, and I always thought it tasted sort of like throwing some oats in hot water; not exactly a taste sensation πŸ™‚ Mine tastes kinda like that.

    But I think I’m overheating the water, and certainly I’m not spending $6 a cup (I think my whole box of green tea bags was no more than $10). Certainly my tea isn’t the incredible bright green those pictures on that site showed- more sort of a light beer brown, which I think is probably a result of overheating.

    I thought some of the tea pots looked kind of interesting, and they cost about half as much as 100 grams of tea, so they sounded like a bargain to me. I might get one of those pots and try some “loose” green tea some day, but first I’d have to find some source a little less over the top than that place I linked to. Five bucks for 100 grams sounds more reasonable to me πŸ˜‰

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