Brewing the perfect cup of tea is only as difficult as you want it to be. Bellow are some good guidelines to follow, but of course we encourage you to try and discover on your own what works best for you.
Right Equipment: Japanese tea, more so than many other kinds of tea needs room when brewed. A tea ball is not recomended. We suggest either using a Japanese tea pot, or tea strainer.
Measurement: In general the ratio of tea to water, is approximately one teaspoon to one cup of water. Yes you may re-use this tea to brew several times, but note that the potency will go down with each brewing and it is not recommended to brew more than 2 or 3 times.
However some teas have a larger leaf size, for this reason we suggest slightly more than one teaspoon, or slightly more than you would use for a normal tea. These teas include, Genmaicha, Hojicha and Bancha.
Also for more expensive teas such as Gyokuro it is suggested that you use a little less water than you would normally use because of its delicate flavor.
For matcha we typically recommend 1/4 - 1/2 of a teaspoon for one cup of water, depending on desired strength.
Technique: When brewing tea, please do not stir or mix. Simply pour, otherwise the tea may become cloudy. Also it is tradition that you do not add anything to Japanese tea (such as milk or sugar), in fact it is a common trend in Japanese culture to consume things as close to its natural state as possible. But we also understand that sometimes an addition may help balance the taste for paticular consumers, all that we request is that you try our teas in their natural state, then adjust as needed. You will likely to find that you do not need anything.
For matcha whisk thoroughly with a quick side to side motion (not in a circle) until you see a bubbly foam.
Water Quality: Does water quality affect the taste of the tea you brew? Yes, this may seem obvious, but do not brew tea in water that you would not normally drink by itself. The better the water you use the cleaner the taste will be. And likewise the better it may be for you.
Most Important: for Water Temperature and Brewing Times: We suggest approximately 180 degrees farenheit (just bellow boiling) for about 3 minutes. If you like your tea stronger in flavor add a minute, or for more subtle flavor, subtract a minute.
The same temperature is applied when brewing matcha, but since matcha is so fine and has such a greater surface area no wait time is needed. Matcha brews instantly.
When brewing more delicate teas such as Gyokuro slightly lower temperature is suggested.
Proper Storage: Store your tea in a tightly (ideally air tight) container, away from light, heat and moisture. However do not keep in refrigerated places, this will usually cause a moisture build up. When green tea is exposed to air, the Chlorophyll (chemical component that causes the green hue) will change its color to reddish brown. It will decrease the taste and aroma. If no canisters or containers avaliable, our best suggestion would be a tightly sealed plastic bag, placed inside somthing of solid color such as a paper bag. They can also be kept in the original container, and sealed tightly.
Properly stored tea can easily be kept for many months with no loss of flavor.