Thursday, February 10, 2011

What you need for preparing Japanese tea 2

Yesterday, I introduced the essential tea wares for the first tea set for beginners, which are 200ml (7oz) teapot and two sencha-cups (70ml/2.5oz) and saucers. You can enjoy the most of Japanese teas with them, and will not have problems in most of occasions. However, you can develop the basic tea set as you expand the occasions enjoying more of the Japanese tea. I’ll show you some samples of the development.

Add small cups – To enjoy gyokuro
Gyokuro is a premium green tea which you might want to try someday once you are into Japanese-tea world. Gyokuro should be prepared with a very little amount of water (about 25ml/0.9oz). You can use the small teapot that you already have in the basic tea set, but you want small cups for gyokuro. About 30ml (1.1oz) will be a good size for it. You can also add a watercooler to this set if you want.

Add a large toki (pottery) cup – To enjoy casual daily tea
When you start drinking Japanese tea daily, you might that think a regular sencha-cup is too small. The large *toki (pottery) cups, such as a large yuonmi-cup or ippukuwan-cup, will be the next item that you want to add to your tea set. The larger size is handy for the daily teas. Pottery cups have a slower heat transfer than porcelain. A little thick toki cups are better for hojicha, bancha and genmaicha which are usually prepared with boiling water.

*pottery: In Japanese, there are two major words for ceramics. One is “jiki” and the ther one is “toki”. Jiki is porcelain, which is hard ceramics, impermeable, and has half-translucent. On the other hand, toki is little permeable and non-translucent.

Add a few more cups and saucers – To enjoy tea with more people
When you want to serve tea for more people, just add a few of the sencha-cups and saucers to the basic tea set. The small teapot might not be big enough to fulfill the several cups at once. Then put proper amount of leaves for the servings and brew twice with the same leaves. Pour the tea evenly into each cup from each brewing to make the taste and density even among all cups. Adjust the brewing times shorter than regular brewing, something like 40sec for the first brewing and 30sec for the second. You will find a great pleasure in exotic tea with your friends.