Green tea has long been recognized for its health benefits. Studies suggest that it fights cancer and heart disease, lowers blood pressure, increases bone density, boosts metabolism, and helps prevent influenza. Green tea comes in hundreds of varieties. Rona Tison of Ito En, a Japanese green tea company, visits Martha to explain some of the different types of green tea: sencha; hojicha, with a toasted aroma and flavor; gyokuro, known as the caviar of green teas; and matcha, a powdered tea used in Japanese tea ceremonies.
No matter which variety you choose, Rona says there's one secret to making the perfect cup of green tea: Never pour boiling water directly over the leaves. Use whole tea leaves instead of tea that comes in a bag for a better flavor, and pour hot but not boiling water over the leaves, then steep for about two minutes. Remember that if the tea steeps longer, it will taste bitter. Rona also says that the same leaves can be steeped three or four times.
822 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021