The Lion's Rear

A Very Quick Introduction to Japanese Tea Brewing


This is a note I sent to friends as part of my COVID Tea Party, but it's broadly instructive and underlines my basic philosophy of Tea Practice.

Brewing Japanese Tea is about finding an enjoyable balance between five flavors: aroma, sweetness, bitterness, astringency, & umami. As a tea drinker, you can only really control the temperature of the water, the brew time, and the ratio of tea to water, and you can learn over time to enjoy the tea more thoroughly by learning your preferred way to make tea. I think this is a really good analog for how we can approach life in general, and so tea is an interesting way to explore and improve that ability.

A very short crash-course on brewing Japanese tea

Changing and Improving the Brew

With regards to changing how you brew it, here are some very broad generalizations:

Wrap it up…

"Short"?? Very quick? I've been doing this for fun for a few years now and I still feel like an amateur!

I recommend starting with the large packet, and once you're comfortable with it to compare the sampler teas to that larger bag. As for brewing, if you are eager to dig in I recommend watching one or two videos produced by the Tea grower, this playlist has a number of videos describing the process for making the tea as well as brewing it.

I recommend also to find the Teas on the Obubu web store as that will have information about the tea, too, particularly the harvest time, the cultivar of the tea (which describes its genetic lineage, basically), and its processing. The color of the tea in the teacup is representative of how it probably should look in yours! Plus, if you like the tea you know where to get more!

If you have two 40G packets of Gushing Brook and Forest Glow, I recommend brewing them side by side if you can for the reasons described on the shop listing. It's a fun experience.


  1. Comment from a reader: "Minerals don't evaporate, so I think you're more likely to concentrate them as a (small) portion of the water evaporates." This advice is specific to folks brewing with tap water, and comes down to establishing a balance between harsh-flavored minerals like iron and carbonates, softer flavored minerals like salts, and the ability for the water to act as a solvent for the tea itself. see A Short Note on Tea Water↩︎

  2. of course even this can vary! Preparing Japanese green tea for beginners - Alex Schroeder↩︎