Junzo Kobiwako vs. Tachi Shigaraki

User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:46 pm

Chip wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:50 pm
Bok wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:01 am
Victoria Yet equal leaf and water ratio does not compensate for heat retention. For that the larger would probably need slightly shorter infusion times.
True! One reason brewing a large pot of gyokuro the same way as a very small shib will likely not work well.

I even considered a shorter brew time for the Tachi Shigaraki because i sensed the clay is so highly reactive when brewing. But I kept times the same. Lol, so many variables, these tests might run into 2020.

My volumes were all the same.
The test volume I used through out the testing was 210 ml.

However, I have been considering this since I replied earlier ... and recalled that I used both 210 ml volune and then several 105 volumes through out the testing period which made little difference with the Kobiwako clay. It was always very good.

I did a few 105 ml volumes with the Tachi as well. But cannot fully recall if volume impacted results much for the Shigaraki clay. So I assume it was very similar to the 210 ml.

Anyway, today i brewed sencha selection #2 in 2 sizes of Kobiwako. This morning with the larger kyusu and 210 ml. This afternoon with the smaller kyusu and 105 ml.

Hope to post about this later tonight ... but I will say this much ... technically speaking ... they were both freakin good! 💚
20190930_213012.jpg
20190930_213012.jpg (347.72 KiB) Viewed 269 times
student t
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:51 am
Location: Australia

Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:31 pm

Thanks, Chip and Victoria, for these comparisons; so interesting and beautifully documented in the photos.

Could you say something about the number and length of the steeps that you do? I suspect the "1.30" in Victoria's post relates to this but I'm unsure how to interpret it.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:42 pm

student t wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:31 pm
Thanks, Chip and Victoria, for these comparisons; so interesting and beautifully documented in the photos.

Could you say something about the number and length of the steeps that you do? I suspect the "1.30" in Victoria's post relates to this but I'm unsure how to interpret it.
Well length of and number of steeps with Japanese greens depends on tea and personal preference. I will typically have 3 rich first steeps, followed by a very long several hour 4th steep that is much lighter. Others might go to 4 or 5 steeps.

My shorthand for steeping parameters: 5g/100ml/155f/1.30 in Shigaraki clay Masaki Tachi 120m, filtered tap.
Longhand: 5grams dry leaf /100ml water /155F water temperature /1minute 30 seconds steeping time, steeped in Shigaraki clay Masaki Tachi 120m kyusu, using filtered tap.
Flavor Hedonist
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:56 am
Location: Philippines

Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:24 am

nasalfrog wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:41 am
Aw, dangit... I may have to buy another pot from HOJO :lol:
Same feeling I got when I am reading this post :D :?
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:34 am

We may have our first “homegrown” teapot hype-hysteria :mrgreen:
Flavor Hedonist
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:56 am
Location: Philippines

Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:21 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:34 am
We may have our first “homegrown” teapot hype-hysteria :mrgreen:
To completely honest, I bought a Kobiwako because of your posts. :lol:

I drink a lot of high mountain oolong and you said Kobiwako is good for that. Hence, it made sense for me to buy one. :D
.m.
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:47 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:34 am
We may have our first “homegrown” teapot hype-hysteria :mrgreen:
I hope so. I'd like to see people to start selling their Hokujo's, now that they are no longer as good as it once was thought. :lol:
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:52 am

Flavor Hedonist wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:21 am
To completely honest, I bought a Kobiwako because of your posts. :lol:

I drink a lot of high mountain oolong and you said Kobiwako is good for that. Hence, it made sense for me to buy one. :D
Haha, guilty as charged!
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:55 am

.m. wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:47 am
I hope so. I'd like to see people to start selling their Hokujo's, now that they are no longer as good as it once was thought. :lol:
I think that’s been happening a while ago already. Yet I think it’s not so much that Kobiwako is better, rather than to find a better tea match for Hokujo.

I just reset my Hokujo and am working to find one.
User avatar
tjkdubya
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:57 am
Location: SF / Beijing
Contact:

Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:37 pm

Bok wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:55 am
.m. wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:47 am
I hope so. I'd like to see people to start selling their Hokujo's, now that they are no longer as good as it once was thought. :lol:
I think that’s been happening a while ago already. Yet I think it’s not so much that Kobiwako is better, rather than to find a better tea match for Hokujo.

I just reset my Hokujo and am working to find one.
I like my Hokujos with roasty oo. Does a great job developing the aroma without muting it much, while clarifying texture by holding back some of the astringency/tannins(?). Seems a running feature of reduction fired high iron low porosity materials. Also the occasional sheng, young to clean semi-aged.

But never yancha. The aromas develop too much, it's a bit overwhelming. If you've ever tried brewing yancha in Purion, you know what I mean. It's not as weirdly funky as that, but a step in that direction. Again, it's the reduction... I avoid putting yancha in anything significantly reduced. With Hokujo I avoid oolongs very fragrant to begin with because I'm looking for a certain balance, but if your tastes lean towards boosting those floral aromatics, you might also like lighter oos and bug-bitten in it?

If nothing else works, please sell me all your Hokujos. :D
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:15 pm

Sencha #2 for my testing is Asanoka asamushi from O-Cha. This is a bit of a sleeper at around 15 USD per 100 grams, I consider it a bargain!

Asanoka is a very distinct cultivar with a bold flavor profile, deep mouth feel, robust aroma dry and in the kyusu after brewing. Its flavor is hard to describe being so distinct and even atypical for sencha. "Nasally" is perhaps the best way to describe it.

The cultivar is also prone to being too bold, garish, cloying, astringent and bitter ... particularly if brewed improperly.

I find it is also a great blender!

I really like this cultivar and buy it whenever I find it. Thus, I have been anxious to see how it did in this kyusu test. For this test I again used 10 grams per 7ish ounces, 210 ml. I brewed for 65-70 seconds.

Unofficially, I'll also do some smaller sessions of 5.5 grams per 3.5ish ounces, 105 ml.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:17 pm

First up, Kobiwako by Junzo. Did 2 tastings yesterday, 1 official and 1 unofficial. I'll discuss the official tasting although both were comparable to each other. I used the most recent gen version.
20191001_151437.jpg
20191001_151437.jpg (473.98 KiB) Viewed 192 times
I love to smell Japanese green tea, the aroma was nothing short of devine in the kyusu after the first steep.

Again, the Kobiwako impressed! It brewed a very bold first steep that was quite robust, sweet, very deep mouth feel with the typical nasally sensation. Yet balanced w/o being cloying. It brought all the good things this cultivar has to offer. The brewed leaf in the kyusu after pouring was sensational.

There was an ... evenness to the brew that is not so easy to pull off with Asanoka.

At the same time, it was devoid of bitterness and astringency ... with just a very faint hint in subsequent steeps.

I don't know if this selection at 15 USD could be brewed any better than this. W/o hesitation, simply a 10 out of 10.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:19 pm

Tachi Shigaraki Asanoka round. First gen kyusu.
20191001_151310.jpg
20191001_151310.jpg (414.28 KiB) Viewed 192 times
First steep was quite pleasant. Yes, it was quite bold, indicative of the highly reactive clay. More bold and intense and less noticeably sweet than the Kobiwako yesterday ... again indictative of this clay bringing a lot to the cup. But it was much better than sessions with Sae Midori, the first sencha tested.

In the first steep, it was not bitter nor noticeably astringent! The iron sensation was also absent. Yet did not have the ... evenness of the Kobiwako.

The aroma of the brewed leaves in the kyusu was much better than the Sae Midori.

2nd steep and beyond, both bitterness and astringency became more apparent. By the 5th steep, all that was left was sweetish tea water ... the leaf had been used up by the reactive clay ... seemingly.

This was virtually identical to the small, unofficial session I am just completing.

I cannot rate this as high overall as the Kobiwako, but much more suited to this sencha than to the Sae Midori. I'll score it an 8.5 out of 10 ... though I think Jo would score it lower.

My take on this is that milder sencha like the Sae Midori are possibly not as suited to this clay as the much bolder Asanoka. Sae Midori seemed ... bullied by this kyusu. The Asanoka was up to the reactivity of this clay.
User avatar
Chip
Admin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:47 pm
Location: In the TeaCave atop Mt Fuji
Contact:

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:34 pm

I did mention that I have a first generation and a later generation of both Junzo Kobiwako and Tachi Shigaraki kyusu. I did want to clarify this a bit.

My 1st gen Tachi Shigaraki is around 12-13 years old. The clay looks and feels much different than my later generation versions that are around 7-8 years old. The newer clay seems courser yet smoother. The newer generation clay appears to be very similar to more recent generations that are in the hands of members here.

Nevertheless, it seems to brew pretty much the same as my 1st generation.

The Junzo, I have a few 1st generation that are around 7-8 years old and a few of the most recent and current. The clay seems identical while the style and execution has changed significantly.
User avatar
Jo
Mrs. Chip
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:48 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:15 pm

Opening Yabukita AOI from the O-Cha tonight. So the experiment shall continue tomorrow. Can't wait, since I do recall some pronounced bitterness and astringency with this selection in the past ... we shall see.
Post Reply