What Green Are You Drinking

Non-oxidized tea
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LeoFox
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Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:13 am

@Bok that's a lot of skill, brewing such clear sencha with a presumably single hole spout!
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Bok
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Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:41 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:13 am
Bok that's a lot of skill, brewing such clear sencha with a presumably single hole spout!
Thanks, but it’s easier than it might seem... slight sideways tilt before pouring and then slowly pouring, that’s it.

Could be better with another pot, this one doesn’t let me pour slow enough, so a few bits still made it into the cup.

Off the boil water by the way, just to further question convention :mrgreen:
McScooter
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Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:31 pm

Continuing to test my new kyusu with Japanese greens - today, a basic Japanese sencha from Den's Tea (Sencha Fuka-midori) that could very well be a candidate for a new daily-ish drinker. I usually enjoy a tea session mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and reserve one of those for something more affordable. The pot is a Yamada Yutaro Honshudei, and have to admit that it's a dangerous gateway to both teapot and Japanese green tea acquisition disorder. Its ability to round and sweeten has been noticeable with the teas I've tried, and it has a lovely, precise pour that can be as fast or slow as I'd like it to be without dribbling.

I've also been playing with a couple of greens from Kettl that I can post separately at some point, including their Zairai Gold Shincha (simply awesome umami with balanced sweetness, for a green) and their Kirishima Tokujou Sencha (the most expensive of the three I've mentioned in this post, and ironically the one I like the least thus far, but need to spend more time experimenting).

Coming mostly from Chinese teas and high mountain oolongs, I've been pleasantly surprised by the mood enhancement I get from some of these teas. Very different from a cha qi that I'd get from a good puerh, which I chalk up to the high theanine content in these teas.
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LeoFox
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Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:34 pm

Bok wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:41 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:13 am
Bok that's a lot of skill, brewing such clear sencha with a presumably single hole spout!
Thanks, but it’s easier than it might seem... slight sideways tilt before pouring and then slowly pouring, that’s it.

Could be better with another pot, this one doesn’t let me pour slow enough, so a few bits still made it into the cup.

Off the boil water by the way, just to further question convention :mrgreen:
Off boiling can be great as long as the leaves can handle it! It has worked great for me with naturally farmed zarai from Hojo.

Quoting tea sommelier florent from TDJ:

https://japaneseteasommelier.wordpress. ... a-brewing/

These are very interesting extremes method with boiling water which break some ideas about sencha.

95 °C / 100 ml / 1 g / 3 min

This is the “very few leaves” pattern, compensated by very hot water and a very long time to brew.
The result is amazing, very light but not tasteless liquor, with a kind of deepness. It is a very refreshing tea, and easy to drink.

95 °C / 40 ml / 3 g / 5-10 s

Here, we are more adventurous, very few boiling water, for a short steeping time ! Result: First, an amazing sweet fragrance. Then the liquor is quite strong, but well-balanced and remains again very easy to drink.

...it should be noted that for this type of “extreme” parameters, a minimum quality is required, and that very broken fukamushi sencha is not adapted.
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Victoria
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Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:07 pm

McScooter wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:31 pm
Continuing to test my new kyusu with Japanese greens - today, a basic Japanese sencha from Den's Tea (Sencha Fuka-midori) that could very well be a candidate for a new daily-ish drinker. I usually enjoy a tea session mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and reserve one of those for something more affordable. The pot is a Yamada Yutaro Honshudei, and have to admit that it's a dangerous gateway to both teapot and Japanese green tea acquisition disorder. Its ability to round and sweeten has been noticeable with the teas I've tried, and it has a lovely, precise pour that can be as fast or slow as I'd like it to be without dribbling.

I've also been playing with a couple of greens from Kettl that I can post separately at some point, including their Zairai Gold Shincha (simply awesome umami with balanced sweetness, for a green) and their Kirishima Tokujou Sencha (the most expensive of the three I've mentioned in this post, and ironically the one I like the least thus far, but need to spend more time experimenting).

Coming mostly from Chinese teas and high mountain oolongs, I've been pleasantly surprised by the mood enhancement I get from some of these teas. Very different from a cha qi that I'd get from a good puerh, which I chalk up to the high theanine content in these teas.
Image
Welcome to TeaForum @McScooter. Sounds like you’re into a good grove with Japanese teas and teaware. I’ve had the pleasure to meet Den’s Tea owner, who’s based out of Los Angeles, a few times during our LA Tea Festivals, super nice guy to chat with. Haven’t tried Kettl out of Brooklyn yet. When I’m looking for a smooth, hydrating, fresh green umami filled pick me, up I’ll reach for Japanese greens most mornings 🌞 when it’s chilly outside mostly roasted oolong 🍃.
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debunix
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Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:00 am

Tencha from Obubu, a special treat in my winter subscription shipment. The leaves are very broken up into little bits, and plenty make their way through Petr's filter, but the result is delicious, delicate, vegetal, sweet, no hint of bitter or sharp, just delicious. Quite a fine treat for a holiday morning.
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Victoria
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Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:10 pm

These past few very warm mornings I’ve been enjoying O-Cha’s Uji Gyokuro Gyokuhō and on alternate mornings Kagoshima Seicha’s organic Sencha. I first had the Gyoku-Hou during a gyokuro tasting @Chip organized in 2013, OTTI 17, so it’s a treat to revisit it eight years later. In 2013 the breed was posted as a mix of Uji-hikari, Gokou and Samidori, whereas in 2020 it is just Gokou. My tastes have probably evolved, but based on my 2013 OTTI tasting notes, this past year's Gyoku-Hou has a richer flavor profile even though I’m steeping using same parameters and same kyusu; 10g/120ml/135f/90sec in Chitoshi Morita‘s Koudou Studio180ml mogake kyusu. A rich and elegant gyokuro with smooth vegetal umami notes.
Chitoshi Morita Koudou Studio Mogake w Gyoku-Hou_.jpg
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Photo from 2013 OTTI 17 post.
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LeoFox
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Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:42 am

Uji Jubuzan sencha aracha from Hojo.

This is a naturally farmed zairai aracha. Description of terroir by Hojo:
Jubuzan (鷲峰山 682m) is a mountain located between the Wazika (和束町) and Uji Dawara (宇治田原). Once upon a time, these places were the bottom part of the Biwa Lake.
Description matches a lot of Hojo's clay sources so I decided to brew with kobiwako. I brewed based on Hojo's parameters using 90C to off boiling water, as zarai is classically brewed this way.

My notes:
In 100 mL kobiwako, 3 g/ 100 mL

90 C: 30s, flash, flash, flash, 30s, 1 min, 2 min

And then off boiling: 5 min, 5 min, 10 min


First infusion was a bit dull. Comparable to spent and oversteeped gaoshan


Second steep was eye popping! Very hard to describe but it is like entering an herb garden. There are some celery and minty notes as well as a subtle butteriness. Very little of the typical umami. No bitterness 

After third flash steeping, i thought the flavor was a bit flat so i did 30s. The flavor returns with deeper intensity!

The longer off boiling infusions were also very surprising: deep complex vegetal flavors and an animal like muskiness! No bitterness as expected from pre-assam hybridized tea.

Could have infused even further but had to stop due to time constraint. A fantastic and eye popping tea. There is a nice creamy and savory aftertaste
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This is 3 grams! It expanded quite a bit, filling half my 100 mL volume. This is after several infusions.
This is 3 grams! It expanded quite a bit, filling half my 100 mL volume. This is after several infusions.
IMG_20210121_092356_947.jpg (119.28 KiB) Viewed 547 times
This is after first infusion. Note that this kobiwako is already well seasoned with taiwanese gaoshan.
This is after first infusion. Note that this kobiwako is already well seasoned with taiwanese gaoshan.
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Dry leaves are long and intact with almost no scent
Dry leaves are long and intact with almost no scent
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Victoria
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Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:32 pm

Sounds like a good session @LeoFox. The low processed arancha leaves look almost albino like, with very little if any steaming. Zairaia breed is interesting in that it doesn’t yield consistent results ( unlike Yubatika, Sae Midori cultivars ) so can be tricky to buy and is often sold at cheaper prices. Since you were able to use such hot water to steep I’m thinking it was plucked at the end of the harvest season so leaves are thicker, closer to bancha.

Continuing with O-Cha’s Uji Gyokuro Gyokuhō. Refreshing and elegant using 10g/120ml/135f/90sec. Tomorrow I might try using less water just to try it that way. Love using Chitoshi Morita‘s kyusu, the ball filter to spout really pours well, holding back fine needles and doesn’t get clogged. Till now, a few years had passed since I’d used it. @LeoFox pondering about the white clay Yamada Sou uses in his Aoyu kyusu got me thinking about this kyusu again :) 🍃.
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LeoFox
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Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:19 am

Victoria wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:32 pm
Till now, a few years had passed since I’d used it. LeoFox pondering about the white clay Yamada Sou uses in his Aoyu kyusu got me thinking about this kyusu again :) 🍃.
Have you discovered what this white clay can do to the tea that is different from shudei?

I brewed the zarai in kobiwako again this morning and the flavor was even more intense than yesterday. Basically everything I mentioned before, both good and bad, x 1.5!

This time the second infusion was so explosive that i felt as if someone pulled a bow across the front of my skull causing my brain to vibrate. It wasn't a painful or particularly beautiful experience: it felt as if something opened in my mind, or some part of my mind, long unused, was picked up and shaken slightly.

On another note, i brewed the same sencha last night in my new acquisition: a mayake yamada sou using a blend of unadulterated tokoname red clay. This was first time the pot touched tea so as expected, the flavor was a bit muted all around. Interestingly, the aftertaste was much more prominent, and the tea tasted more buttery. In terms flavors, they were much less powerful and felt "smeared" but not necessarily ugly. If kobiwako presented a romantic painting, full of strong emotions, the mayake rendered a more impressionistic picture (more along the lines of monet at giverney than van gogh or even manet).
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The two pots on either side have 100 mL capacity. The sou has 180 mL! Says a lot about how thin it is. Pours like a dream
The two pots on either side have 100 mL capacity. The sou has 180 mL! Says a lot about how thin it is. Pours like a dream
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LeoFox
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Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:32 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:42 am
Uji Jubuzan sencha aracha from Hojo.

This is a naturally farmed zairai aracha. Description of terroir by Hojo:
Jubuzan (鷲峰山 682m) is a mountain located between the Wazika (和束町) and Uji Dawara (宇治田原). Once upon a time, these places were the bottom part of the Biwa Lake.
Been brewing this same tea now with tozo's carbonized reduction akitsu mumyoi with same parameters. Once again, the difference is stunning. The first infusion is quiet and flowery. The second infusion has a whisper of herbal flavors but is dominated instead by a sun dried grass and what i can only describe as dried prairie floweriness. Third and fourth infusions are buttery but balanced by an emerging cucumber note. The longer infusions with boiling
water are surprisingly mild, but with a strong grassy and floral aftertaste.

So very different from the kobiwako!

Whereas kobiwako presents a wild, overgrown herb garden, the akitsu presents a late summer meadow after a dry season. The sou in contrast is sweeter but is closer to the akitsu in terms of smoothing the tea.

I don't understand why people insist clay only accounts for less than 5% of the tea experience...
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Bok
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Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:54 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:32 pm
I don't understand why people insist clay only accounts for less than 5% of the tea experience...
Those have possibly not tried enough/good-enough different clays, or have slightly less sensory awareness :lol:
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Balthazar
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Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:44 am

LeoFox wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:32 pm
I don't understand why people insist clay only accounts for less than 5% of the tea experience...
Who are saying this? I know many (myself included) are of the opinion that the quality of the leaf and the water are of larger importance then the brewing vessel, often in the context of warning newcomers who are willing to spend (relatively speaking) big bucks on pots but very little on teas. But I havent seen the <5% figure before....

Seems like you need to gather up these people and hold some blind testing sessions post-covid ;)
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LeoFox
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Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:52 am

Balthazar wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:44 am
LeoFox wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:32 pm
I don't understand why people insist clay only accounts for less than 5% of the tea experience...
Who are saying this? I know many (myself included) are of the opinion that the quality of the leaf and the water are of larger importance then the brewing vessel, often in the context of warning newcomers who are willing to spend (relatively speaking) big bucks on pots but very little on teas. But I havent seen the <5% figure before....

Seems like you need to gather up these people and hold some blind testing sessions post-covid ;)
I can't seem to find the quotes with the figure now, but i remember even 2%

I think the general advice along this line is that teaware has marginal impact.

http://www.marshaln.com/2009/04/friday-april-24-2009/
faj
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Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:12 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:52 am
I think the general advice along this line is that teaware has marginal impact.
http://www.marshaln.com/2009/04/friday-april-24-2009/
That post states that teaware is (in the author's opinion) the least cost effective way to improve tea. This does not mean that the impact on tea is negligible, but rather that it is cheaper to improve by first getting better water, better tea, and learning how to brew the tea. It says "[the impact of teaware is] not that obvious if you're newer to tea", which implies that if you are more experience the effect can be obvious. It says teaware is expensive and unpredictable, which seems fair to me (the effect can be obvious... and bad).

Take the analogy of sport equipment. I am not going to become a high-performance cyclist by purchasing an expensive, high-performance bicycle. I can buy all the bicycles I want and hop from one to the other, it will not make me climb hills much fast. But to a trained athlete, equipment is something to be paid attention to, because the small extra it bring can make a meaningful difference.
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