If you want to draw out the flavor and aroma of tea, soft water (low mineral content) is recommended. Water in Japan is soft and even tap water is ok. If you don't like a chlorine smell, keep water boiling for 1-2 minutes before making tea. Hard water is generally said to be unsuitable for making tea. However, some kinds of tea is nice with hard water so choose the water according to your preference.
Even if you scoop the same volume of tea with teaspoon or teascoop, the actual weights differ according to the leaf's shape. A heaping teaspoon of shaved tea weighs much more than that of a full leaf tea.
The state of the hot water should differ according to the type of tea to be made. Just-boiled water should be used for black tea, and a little lower temperature is suited for Japanese Sencha. Also the size of tea leaves determine the brewing time. So adjust the time using a timer or hourglass.
Even when timing with an hourglass, sometimes the tea is a little bitter. Although brewing times have been listed on many of the "Enjoy! Tea" pages, the appropriate time varies greatly according to the water's quality or amount of tea leaves. Also people have personal tastes such as a preference for bitter or mellow tastes etc. So have a taste just before the tea's recommended time is up.
Once you feel a tea's flavor and aroma have emerged, it's important to remove all the tea leaves or pour the remaining tea. Cotton tea filter is convenient to remove tea leaves.
Once opened, we recommend using up the tea as soon as possible. If you need to store it, put it in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dry place.