What Green Are You Drinking

Non-oxidized tea
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klepto
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Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:41 pm

McScooter wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:29 am
klepto wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
I had never tried Green Tea and was convinced that it tasted like seaweed and green beans.

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:
I went down a similar pathway.
The umami in Japanese greens reminds me a bit of how Churchill described whiskey, after initially hating the taste of it: "once one got the knack of it, the very repulsion from the flavour developed an attraction of its own." Dabbling in scotch myself, that's how many fall in love with peaty Islay whiskeys, and how some ultimately develop a love of umami and green flavors in Japanese greens.
I find green tea to scratch an itch I wasn't aware I had. They are very flavorful and provide lots of depth to discover. I've found that some of those notes that I would have avoided are the ones that keep me drinking it. I swear it took me on a seaside journey with the marine notes along side the flavorful sweeter ones. I've also never had any tea where the liquor was so thick it oozed down my throat leaving concentrated flavors that last in my mouth. This is my morning tea for sure and later I will have a good grasp on what I like best and seek that out.
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debunix
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Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:12 pm

Enjoying a mix of bancha and kukicha from Obubu (didn’t have enough of either to make a full thermos full for clinic). They harmonized well into a fine toasty grounding drink.
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Bok
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:43 am

After a round of Sencha-kind of teas, over to Gyokuru: again from Anmo, a Kagoshima competition premium Gyokuru. According to the info I got with this tea it’s rare to have Gyokuru farmed in the south of Japan.

It’s quite sweet and balanced in the cup, against the odds, as I’m mostly ignoring proper Gyokuru procedures and brew it not too different than I would a Chinese tea. Only concession I’m making is to use an intermediate pitcher to cool the water a tad. For the first brew only, then I go hotter and hotter with the water. No pronounced bitterness, even with longer steeps. Other Gyokuru I had in the past from Anmo had more aftertaste, but were not as sweet. Only slightly brothy in the first infusion, quite clean and bright overall. I’d also say it has more personality than the ipoddo stuff.
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Bok
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:45 am

Forgot to add: quite some stamina on this one, got at least five good infusions out of it with my method.
faj
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:09 am

Bok wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:43 am
Other Gyokuru I had in the past from Anmo had more aftertaste, but were not as sweet. Only slightly brothy in the first infusion, quite clean and bright overall. I’d also say it has more personality than the ipoddo stuff.
One quick word : I recently got a ~150ml Kohokujo pot in the typical clay and firing of the kiln. It really did not do well with gyokuro (infused around 75C, 30s for the first two infusions), noticeably reducing aromas compared to other pots (some new and some not), with which I infused the tea the same way. Your pot surely has a lot more seasoning, so this may turn out to be a moot point in the end, but I throw it out there just in case.
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Bok
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:20 am

@faj good point. Probably so, myself, I don’t care much for aromas, I’m after the body of the tea for which Hokujo and Kobiwako do a perfect job. Actually, Kobiwako the best, but the craftsmanship and handling of Hokujo is so much better, especially for this kind of tiny bits teas which like to clog places where they don’t belong.

I still can’t get over Kohokujos lack of finesse and sense of proportions, compared to his father... but as the senior seems to have retired from doing the workhorse pieces, his son will become the only choice for affordable pieces of their kiln.
faj
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:07 am

Bok wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:20 am
I still can’t get over Kohokujos lack of finesse and sense of proportions, compared to his father...
The father's pieces, I find, are more similar to one another than the son's. The son seems to explore more, maybe making a conscious effort to differentiate. Some of his pieces are playful to a high degree, or maybe cases of trying too hard. Those I prefer tend, other other hand, to seem closer to the father's work at first glance, yet they are instantly recognizable as different, and they explore proportions or variations I have never seen in Hokujo's kyusus.

With the father, none of his pieces puzzle me, they are all perfect in a certain way, but few will give me a "now that one is interesting" moment. With the son, a lot of it I would never want to own and I wonder what he was thinking, but a few have something magnetic.

I guess it will be interesting seeing how his work evolves with time.
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Bok
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:23 am

@faj true again, good observations. Father’s work is a bit like Red hot chilli peppers songs: heard one, know ‘em all kind of...
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Victoria
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:15 pm

This conversation make me think of various designers, artists, artisans who enjoy a consistent almost singular focus in developing their craft (like Shimizu Genji, Piet Mondrian), while others prefer constant experimentation (like Konishi Yohei, Pablo Picasso). I can’t place a value judgement on one approach over the other, finding both enrich my life when well executed. I do admire Hokujo kiln, Shimizu Genji‘s (清水源二 ) focus, consistency and his display of excellent craftsmanship in each piece. I have a few of his earlier pieces when he was still using shudei clay, those pieces are different than his later output when he chose to make his own way experimenting with stoneware pieces, something not yet done in Tokoname. A consistent thread in his work are proportions that are well balanced, in a classical sense, as if the golden mean was employed.

Just finished O-Cha’s Uji Gyokuhō gyokuro. The 100 gram pack lasted a while even though I didn’t hold back on leaf with this one. Steeped in Chitoshi Morita‘s hakudei clay kyusu at 10g/120ml/135f/90sec. Using more water thinned out the steep, but in this kyusu the results were more balanced.
faj
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:49 am

Bok wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:23 am
faj true again, good observations. Father’s work is a bit like Red hot chilli peppers songs: heard one, know ‘em all kind of...
It had to be expected. Yesterday I posted Hokujo's pots are being a somewhat more uniform production than his son's. Then today I see this being listed for sale...

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To me, this has obviously similar elements to teapots from the son offered for sale recently, and it has me wondering whether these are elements the father actually has used in the past that the son drew from that I mistook for him departing from his father's repertoire, whether they are co-creating new shapes, or whether it is the father having fun borrowing from recent works from the son. I know far too little about them to be able to tell.
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Bok
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:05 am

@faj seeing this, I’d rather say the old man has lost a screw or something, haha

Oh well...
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Bok
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:24 am

Back to something more sane and true to topic: another Gyokuru from Anmo, this time a competition Kyotanabe.

This one has a marked aftertaste as opposed to the previous one which did not. I’d describe it as having a more “grown up” flavour profile, a lot of subtleties going on in the mouth, no in your face flowery sensations. Also more brothy sensation.

Nice.
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Victoria
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:43 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:49 am
Bok wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:23 am
faj true again, good observations. Father’s work is a bit like Red hot chilli peppers songs: heard one, know ‘em all kind of...
It had to be expected. Yesterday I posted Hokujo's pots are being a somewhat more uniform production than his son's. Then today I see this being listed for sale...

Image
To me, this has obviously similar elements to teapots from the son offered for sale recently, and it has me wondering whether these are elements the father actually has used in the past that the son drew from that I mistook for him departing from his father's repertoire, whether they are co-creating new shapes, or whether it is the father having fun borrowing from recent works from the son. I know far too little about them to be able to tell.
Interesting find @faj. A collectors item for sure. I have not seen any Hokujo pieces like this before. Maybe you can share in Ode to Kyusu thread some of the pieces you are referring to that the son is doing. I don’t see any similarity but then I’ve not seen any Kohokujo, Shimizu Takayuki kyusu similar to this unique one by his father.
Pan
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Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:02 pm

currently drinking a Gyokuro from Tea masters I got that is VERY rich in umami its called Hon Gyokuro "Denshou" from the Yame prefecture its absolutly beautiful and really makes me not wait to get Ippodo and o-cha's uji Gyokuro.

of course Hokujo's shibordashi does a WONDERFUL job reducing bitterness and enhancing sweetness due to the clay he uses.

pictures soon!
faj
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Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:41 pm

L.S.G.artapprentice wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:02 pm
currently drinking a Gyokuro from Tea masters I got that is VERY rich in umami its called Hon Gyokuro "Denshou"
Gyokuro that is rich in umami, a.k.a. gyokuro. ;)
L.S.G.artapprentice wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:02 pm
of course Hokujo's shibordashi does a WONDERFUL job reducing bitterness and enhancing sweetness due to the clay he uses.
When I steep gyokuro with cool water and very high leaf-to-water ratio, I often use a Hokujo shiboridashi, and I am generally satisfied with the results. Recently, I have used a Kohokujo kyusu to steep gyokuro at lower concentration with 75C water, which I often do with other pots, and was really underwhelmed by the result (obviously muted aromas). The same tea, prepared in other pots with the same parameters, was markedly better in recent sessions.

That has caused me to wonder whether the clay is actually well suited to gyokuro given my own preferences. Maybe, at high concentration, the loss of aromas is less noticeable. Maybe the clay is not exactly the same or the firing is different (both are pretty typical of the kiln, though). I might have to try a little head-to-head at some point to compare. This is a sacrifice I would gladly make in the name of the pursuit of knowledge... :D
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