Thank you so much for buying our tea. We're really passionate about the products we carry, and we're truly proud to send them over to you.
The nature of Japanese Tea is that they are extremely delicate. Unlike black tea or oolong tea, proper storage and proper instructions are integral in maximizing the taste.
This page is an attempt to provide you some detailed guidance on what to do in order to maximize your Japanese tea experience. Outside of these tips, please do contact us if there are any difficulties in preparing or storing the tea. You can whatsapp us at the phone number listed at the bottom of the page, or leave a note in the "contact us" page. We'll get back to you as fast as we can!
Storing the tea
Once you have received the tea, the first thing you should do is decide how to store the tea.
Storing conditions really matter. They really really do!
Matcha powder can change color and loose its taste quality quite rapidly. While loose leaf tea is not as sensitive as Matcha, similar rules apply. There are 5 things your tea should avoid to the best of your efforts.
5 things to avoid
- High Temperatures
- Oxygen / Air
- Other Smell
Yes, it's a lot of things to think about. So exactly where in my home should I store them?
If you're storing them for a while
If you're storing the leaves for a while, you can put them in the refrigerator. That would be our suggestion. Make sure it's tightly sealed, to avoid the humidity, air, and other smell that might be in the refrigerator.
You just need to be careful not to open the seal right after taking it out of the refrigerator. This is because the condensation that will develop can damage the tea.
Once you pull the tea out of the refrigerator, leave it under room temperature for 12 hours or so. Then you can finally open and take out the tea.
Storing for everyday use
This is very tedious to do if you're drinking tea every meal. So it's good practice to move a chunk into a tea caddie (or some other container) which you'll keep in room temperature an use for everyday use. It'll be a lot more convenient that way.
Tea caddies are also called Chazutsu, and look like this.
This tea caddie can be stored in your cabinet with your dishes. If you don't have a tea caddie, find a container that can seal air out, and block sunlight.
For most of our products, the container or bag is already designed to block sunlight. You can clip the bag tight, and put the bag into a seal-able plastic bag. This is another convenient way to store the tea.
You can read more on storing tea leaves here.
Preparing the tea
How the tea is prepared is also very important.
An amazing tea can be reduced to an awful experience, just due to a simple mistake in water temperature, or the length of seeping.
There is no generic guide on the best temperature and length of seeping for each tea product. Our how to make Japanese tea series can serve as a guide, but it ultimately depends and differs for each product.
That is why we make sure we send you a translation of the instructions for making the Japanese tea.
Here, we'll go over a few quick Q&A.
Why is water temperature so important?
The problem about using boiling water is that it extracts the bitter, astringent taste of Catechin. Even if you have an expensive tea with great umami, the astringent taste will override.
Therefore, for expensive tea, it's important to reduce the temperature before you prepare your tea.
However, for tea such as Houjicha or Bancha, it may be made to enjoy the aroma more than the taste. For these tea, using lower temperature water will not allow the aroma to explode.
You can read more about the best water temperature and how to control here.
What if I seep too long?
Seeping too long is never good for Japanese tea. You may get too much of the bitterness or the grassy-ness in the taste of the tea.
For tea such as Houjicha, seeping too long may reduce the aroma.
We really hope these tips help, as your experience is important too us as well. Again, please let us know if you've come across any difficulties, and we're happy to support.