How to Brew Delicious Japanese Green Tea Using a Teabag (5 Essential Tips)
Using a teabag, you can still enjoy quality loose leaf tea even if you don't have proper tea tools!
This article was last modified November 3rd, 2021. by Yuki
The Teapot VS The Teabag
How does brewing tea using a teabag compare to brewing tea using a teapot?
Well, it doesn't compare at all! Brewing tea using a teapot for your loose leaf tea is always much better than brewing in teabags!
The size of the space of the bottom of the teapot is so vital in allowing the tea to be extracted from the leaves. It allows a high volume of water to flow through the leaves. It can maximize the taste.
The teabag only has that small confined space within the area of the bag. Therefore, only a small volume of water can touch and flow through the leaves. It makes extraction of the tea very inefficient.
If you buy teabag tea for example, you'll notice that the tea inside are usually crumbled. This is in effort to make the tealeaf extractable as much as possible, knowing the difficulty of extraction.
Therefore, here's my advice.
If you have access to a teapot - use it! Not the teabag!
But there are also advantages to a teabag. For example, you might not have access to the teapot.
Maybe you're on the go. Perhaps at the office, and really want to sip your favorite Genmaicha to reduce your stress while you work!
Or maybe you're going for a picnic! Perhaps you want to bring your Sencha along with you.
In cases like this, a teabag is a great tool to have some of your favorite tea outside of home.
Therefore It's good to know some of the tips to make good tea with teabags, especially because it's not easy as it seems!
Here are the 5 essential tips to brewing delicious Japanese tea using teabags!
The 5 Essential Tips for Brewing Delicious Japanese Tea using Teabags!
1. Get the right Teabag (Shape)
It's really important for the leaves to have enough space to catch the water flowing through, and some teabags don't allow this.
This is why the shape of the teabag is very critical, and perhaps this is the most important tip of them all.
Try to avoid the traditional flat shaped teabags which look like this.
You might be familiar with some newer teabag shapes. An example is a pyramid shaped teabag such like this.
There may be other shapes that work as well.
Just as long as there is enough space, especially at the bottom for the leaves to spread out to allow for the extraction, it would be a great shape.
2. Get the right Teabag (Material)
Different types of material is used for different types of teabags. And this has a huge effect to the taste of the tea as well.
When the filter is thick, naturally it's difficult for the water to penetrate the teabag. It makes it difficult to seep the tea.
There are some newer material, such as a nylon based tea bag like this.
The material is very thing and allows for water to penetrate the teabag much more smoothly. It has a big effect in the infusion of the tea.
3. The Water Temperature
In just the same way controlling the water temperature is important when using a teapot, it is also important for teabag infusion as well.
Don’t use hot water directly but lower the temperature to the ideal level suited for the tea leaf that you have. For example, for a Sencha or a Genmaicha, 70 to 80 degrees would be the right temperature.
After the water reaches optimal temperature, drop the tealeaf into the cup.
4. Cover the top of the cup
Unlike a teapot, your cup might not have a cup to keep the tea warm during infusion!
Still, try to cover the top of the cup to keep the temperature from falling. You can use a small dish to do this. Leave it to seep between 30 to 60 seconds, depending on the type of tea)
5. Pour until the last drop
When you pull out the teabag out of the cup, let it drip for a while.
Wait and wait and wait - until it almost stops dripping! As if to seemingly squeeze the water out of the teabag!
This is because this water dripping from the teabag is the richest in tea extract. Make sure you pull out as much tea as possible before tossing.
Again, teabags should only be an option when you can't use your teapot. But by following these 5 steps, you'll still be able to enjoy a decent cup.
Let me know if you have any other tips!
Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.