How to Make Tea
Pick 100 grams of newly sprouting tea leaves, which grow in sprouts of three leaves.
Wash the raw tea leaves in water to clean them, and then shake off excess water.
*It’s okay if the leaves are still damp
Place the leaves into a microwavable container (something which can stand the heat).
Place saran wrap over the leaves.
Place the container containing the leaves into a microwave, and microwave for 3 minutes at 500 watts to steam.
*Steam the tea leaves as quickly as possible after picking.
*If the leaves oxidize they’ll turn brown in color, so be careful.
*The leaves can also be steamed in a bamboo container, in which case steam them for about one minute.
When massaging the leaves, be careful not to burn yourself, and set the hot plate to ‘warm’.
*You will be using a hotplate when you massage the leaves, so clear it of any leftover oils or odors.
Breaking apart the leaves with your hands, you’ll allow the water to rise as steam, while lightly massaging the leaves.
Slowly increase the strength with which you massage.
*As the tea leaves dry their weight will go down, and when they’re half the original weight, make sure to spend a good amount of strength and time massaging the leaves.
*This step intensifies the umami and strength of the flavor of the tea.
As you massage, the leaves will grow thinner in shape.
When they dry even further, and the leaves begin to harden,
try pressing with your finger on a leaf, and if it crumbles you’ll know it’s well dried.
*Take the tea you’ve made and let it cool before placing in a sealed container or tea bags, and then storing in the fridge.
How to Make Hojicha
Use Sencha which has lost its fragrance, or cheap Sencha to make Hojicha.
Place a fry pan clean of oil over medium heat, while empty, for 20 seconds, then switch to low heat, and place in 50 grams of tea at the same time.
Swirl the leaves in the pan to stir, and also use a wooden spoon as well, to keep them from burning until they turn lightly brown in color.
*When the leaves have turned brown, the color will gradually darken, and the color of the brewed tea will grow darker as well, so do be careful.
When the leaves have turned a light brown, turn off the flames, and continue cooking the leaves to your desired color with the remaining heat of the frypan.
When they’ve turned brown, cool the leaves. To cool the leaves, prepare two large earthenware plates.
Spread out the roasted Hojicha on one of the large plates.
Cool the Hojicha, then pour onto the other large plate from a height of about 30 cm, and continue cooling.
When the temperature of the Hojicha is below body temperature, it has cooled.
*Be careful not to take shortcuts when cooling Hojicha.
*There is a risk that the Hojicha can catch on fire, so do be careful.
*Take the Hojicha you’ve made and let it cool before placing in a sealed container or tea bags, and then storing in the fridge.
How to Make Genmaicha
Take 100 grams of brown rice, and wash in water before leaving to soak in water. (soak for one hour)
Place the brown rice in a mesh container to strain the water.
Place the washed brown rice into a frypan which has been cleaned of oils, and place on high heat. Stir the rice with a wooden spatula until the rice is dry on all sides.
When the rice is dry on all sides, turn the heat to medium, and continue stirring with a wooden spatula to roast until golden brown.
The brown rice will swell and grow larger in size.
When the rice has turned golden brown, cool it. To cool the rice, prepare two large earthenware plates.
Spread out the roasted Genmaicha on one of the large plates and allow it to cool before pouring it onto the other large plate from a height of 30 cm. Spread it out onto the new large place and allow to cool before repeating the process.
The Genmaicha will have cooled when its temperature is lower than body temperature.
*Be careful not to take shortcuts when cooling Genmaicha.
*There is a risk that the Genmaicha can catch on fire, so do be careful.
*Take the Genmaicha you’ve made and let it cool before placing in a sealed container or tea bags, and then storing in the fridge.