What Green Are You Drinking

Non-oxidized tea
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VoirenTea
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Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:55 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:17 pm
How much leaf to water are you using VoirenTea? Too much leaf can sometimes lead to overly concentrated liquor that overwhelms the elegance of certain quality Gyokuro. I had this happen to me recently with O-Cha’s Tsuen Uji Gyokuro Yume no Ukihashi. I started off using 6.4g/80ml/135f/2min in a preheated shigaraki 90ml kyusu and found the liquor too concentrated, overwhelming what I could detect were layers of more subtle flavors. Just reducing leaf to 6g/80ml/135f/2min resulted in a more elegant nuanced steep. A delicious Gyokuro full of umami, having long after taste and salivation, with very green leaf sweet aroma. Each Gyokuro is unique though, with producers and vendors refining and tweaking their teas differently, like Ippodo’s Gyokuro that do much better with a higher leaf:water ratio, 10g/80ml.
I'll have to double-check the quantities by re-brewing tomorrow, but I think it was 3-4g to ~170ml water - I am pretty sure I wasn't overleafing!

I don't usually weigh my Japanese greens, unlike my other teas, and just spoon some in - weighing a new spoonful gave me the 3-4g, depending exactly how heaped it was. My kyusu currently fits 160ml water with the expanded leaves in there so the first steep was a bit more.

I think if it had had some bitterness to cut through the rest I would actually have liked that first steep more.
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Victoria
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Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:13 pm

VoirenTea wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:55 pm
I'll have to double-check the quantities by re-brewing tomorrow, but I think it was 3-4g to ~170ml water - I am pretty sure I wasn't overleafing!

I don't usually weigh my Japanese greens, unlike my other teas, and just spoon some in - weighing a new spoonful gave me the 3-4g, depending exactly how heaped it was. My kyusu currently fits 160ml water with the expanded leaves in there so the first steep was a bit more.

I think if it had had some bitterness to cut through the rest I would actually have liked that first steep more.
Interesting, seems you are steeping this Gyokuro as if it were a Sencha, with a very low leaf/water ratio. Typically, Gyokuro is steeped with more leaf/water than Sencha, and in smaller volumes between 60-90ml because it is so precious. I always say, Gyokuro is to be savored not to drink. Recently, I tried steeping with more ml volume in a larger kyusu and found the results less than desirable with O-Cha’s Tsuen Gyokuro 9.6g/120ml/135f/2min in Tachi Masaki Shigaraki 140ml. The delicacy was overpowered. Also, you don’t have to fill up your kyusu, it is very common to only fill 1/2 to 3/4 from the rim. Anyway, each Gyokuro is different, so steeping parameters will vary from one to another, plus there are individual preferences 🍃.
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debunix
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Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:21 pm

In contrast, while I can appreciate my gyokuro concentrated, I like it better brewed closer to sencha, but in smaller vessels and quantities and savored with fine chocolate
faj
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Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:29 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:17 pm
I started off using 6.4g/80ml/135f/2min in a preheated shigaraki 90ml kyusu and found the liquor too concentrated. Just reducing leaf to 6g/80ml/135f/2min resulted in a more elegant nuanced steep.
Is that a typo, or you got a notable difference going from 6.4g to 6g for the same volume of water and infusion parameters?
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Victoria
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Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:42 pm

faj wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:29 pm
Victoria wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:17 pm
I started off using 6.4g/70ml/135f/2min in a preheated shigaraki 80ml kyusu and found the liquor too concentrated. Just reducing leaf to 6g/80ml/135f/2min resulted in a more elegant nuanced steep.
Is that a typo, or you got a notable difference going from 6.4g to 6g for the same volume of water and infusion parameters?
Not typo :) the difference between the two was noticeable 🍃.
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VoirenTea
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Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:47 pm

I do have a 100ml glazed shibo by Jiri Lang I could try instead - it doesn't work for fukamushi sencha as it has grooves that just clog instantly. (I do use less water for sencha, especially if it is only me drinking, but I also brew hot and short for that). The 160ml fill was a few mm below the rim.

I've cleared out my kyusu now for tomorrow - actual size of vessel is 230ml.
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VoirenTea
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:59 am

Ok, 4g in the 100ml shibo. 60C, 2 mins.

That was a bit better, not so overdone (though I think there being less of it to drink was also a factor!). Also not so surprising since I knew what to expect...

I do think that I just don't like drinking the lower temperature liquid though - the lukewarmness puts me off. It is neither hot nor cold.

Second steep was again 45s at 60C - more enjoyable because it hits the cup warmer.

Third, 1min at 70C. Definitely prefer this one still.

The shibo seems to work well for this tea - no issues pouring, and no need for it to pour faster than it does.
faj
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:30 pm

VoirenTea wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:59 am
I do think that I just don't like drinking the lower temperature liquid though - the lukewarmness puts me off. It is neither hot nor cold.
Do you preheat your cup?
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VoirenTea
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:57 pm

No preheating - I'd rather just brew hotter, tbh.
faj
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:29 pm

VoirenTea wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:57 pm
No preheating - I'd rather just brew hotter, tbh.
If you push temperature, say, 10C higher to compensate for the temperature drop in your cup, it is likely to affect the result a lot in the case of Japanese green teas. If you happen to like the result better with a hotter temperature, then all is fine, but if the tea brewed cooler fits your taste better, then preheating might be a big help, especially if your cup has quite a bit of mass. The difference between the two methods, I would think, is large enough that it is worth testing.

In my case, I use double-wall glasses (very light and thin), and yet find it worthwhile to preheat them anyway. I find gyokuro to be a pleasant temperature once in my cup.
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Victoria
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:06 pm

faj wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:29 pm
VoirenTea wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:57 pm
No preheating - I'd rather just brew hotter, tbh.
If you push temperature, say, 10C higher to compensate for the temperature drop in your cup, it is likely to affect the result a lot in the case of Japanese green teas. If you happen to like the result better with a hotter temperature, then all is fine, but if the tea brewed cooler fits your taste better, then preheating might be a big help, especially if your cup has quite a bit of mass. The difference between the two methods, I would think, is large enough that it is worth testing.

In my case, I use double-wall glasses (very light and thin), and yet find it worthwhile to preheat them anyway. I find gyokuro to be a pleasant temperature once in my cup.
I preheat because it maintains temperature better in the teapot during the first few steeps, and big bonus - aroma of dry leaf is enjoyed - opening up olfactory senses, leading to increased tasting notes. I also preheat cups for same reason.
faj
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:44 pm

Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:06 pm
I preheat because it maintains temperature better in the teapot during the first few steeps, and big bonus - aroma of dry leaf is enjoyed - opening up olfactory senses, leading to increased tasting notes. I also preheat cups for same reason.
In this case, I was referring to preheating the cup rather than the teapot, as @VoirenTea's issue seems to be how the cup cools down the tea. It is true, however, that preheating the teapot also allows a given initial water temperature to produce a higher temperature in the cup.

To me, the difference is that preheating the cup does not change the infusion itself (it is not a "brewing parameter"), whereas preheating the pot does. If I preheat the teapot I will probably lower the water temperature a bit (if I am aiming at a similar result) compared to if I do not. Not preheating the cup will not change how the tea is brewed, it will just cool it down. My habit is I always preheat my cup unless the tea is infused near boiling.

If is true that preheating allows one to smell the leaves. Some teas have intense and wonderful aromas, and preheating may be well worth the effort if only for that reason.
Last edited by Victoria on Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mod edit: corrected quotes
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Victoria
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:04 pm

Just a note, @faj I must have just edited my post as you quoted it. It included that I also preheat teacups (with the hot water from preheating the kyusu). This way I also both clean and heat kyusu and cups before using.
faj
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Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:41 am

Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:04 pm
Just a note, faj I must have just edited my post as you quoted it. It included that I also preheat teacups (with the hot water from preheating the kyusu). This way I also both clean and heat kyusu and cups before using.
Sorry, it was probably I who missed it. I am not a practitioner of, or knowledgeable about, tea ceremonials, but preheating the cups that way seems quite common in the videos I have seen, and seems common to ceremonials of various origins. It makes sense on a practical level.

To me, the bottom line is : preheating the teapot is a teamaking choice (sustained temperature vs. quick drop at the beginning), while preheating the cups I consider a no-brainer (keeps tea warm longer, no downside that I can think of).
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VoirenTea
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Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:21 am

I do understand why warming the cup would be a good idea - what I'm after here is a way of brewing the tea I have in a way I like. If it turns out that warming cups is necessary, then honestly this tea will just sit untouched for another couple of years, because I won't get around to it.

Today I thought I'd try 70C for 1.5min to start with instead - I definitely prefer this. Still got vegetably, buttery taste but a bit more spread out and palatable to me. And of course hotter!
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