Etiquette of brewing Japanese green tea

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Nov 18th, '12, 13:40
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Joined: Sep 7th, '12, 14:56

Etiquette of brewing Japanese green tea

by thenarfer » Nov 18th, '12, 13:40

As far as I understand, when you brew Japanese green tea for you and your guests, the following procedure is ok for the first brew:
1. Put tea in the Kyusu.
2. Pour boiling water into the cups.
3. Pour water from the cups into the Kyusu.
4. Pour tea back into the cups.
5. Serve the teacups to the guests and yourself.

My question is: What about the second brewing? Do I cool the water by pouring it into the now dirty cups? Do I clean/rinse the cups first? What is a good procedure for the second brew?

If you like to invite guests over for tea, I would be very interested in hearing your procedure of serving your guests. Please share :-)

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Nov 18th, '12, 14:06
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Re: Etiquette of brewing Japanese green tea

by Chip » Nov 18th, '12, 14:06

I add a step or two for sencha.

I put enough water into the kettle for around 5 steeps and bring this to a full boil. The kettle keeps the water hot enough as long as you sort of keep things going.

I first pour boiling water into my kyusu.
Then pour that into a Yuzamashi. Wait for right temp.
Pour leaves into preheated kyusu ... smell the dry warming leaves. (Prepare for the "I must sit down" moment)
Pour now cooled water into the kyusu.
Pour still near boiling water into cold cups. Pour this into Yuzamashi.

Pour tea into cups. 123, 321, etc.

Second steep water is in the yuzamashi cooling already.
Pour this into kyusu.

Again pour into cups.

Pour still very hot water from kettle into yuzamashi ... and so forth.

If I know I have more tea than cup volumes can hold, I will also pour tea from kyusu into a glass pitcher that I have preheated.

The yuzamashi does away with the "dirty cup" issue.

If I am not going to preheat the kyusu for the first steep, I will pour boiling water from kettle to the cups or yuzamashi and then to the yuzamashi or cups. But I prefer preheating the pot.

Nov 19th, '12, 17:34
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 7th, '12, 14:56

Re: Etiquette of brewing Japanese green tea

by thenarfer » Nov 19th, '12, 17:34

Thanks, Chip. That's very helpful. I had birthday guest over for tea and sushi today. Your procedure worked well.

If someone else has any other good tips on Japanese green tea etiquette, please share :-)

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