Inaugural Group Tasting: Sinensis Yokkaichi & Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro

Vanenbw
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Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:49 pm

What a great thread. Such delightful photographs. This is the first time I might have regretted getting rid of my Canon Rebel XS SLR because of disuse. My phone camera is just so-so.

This is some powerful advertising here. I want to go out and buy 100 pots and 1,000 grams of a variety of tea leaves.
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Victoria
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Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:56 pm

Vanenbw wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:49 pm
What a great thread. Such delightful photographs. This is the first time I might have regretted getting rid of my Canon Rebel XS SLR because of disuse. My phone camera is just so-so.

This is some powerful advertising here. I want to go out and buy 100 pots and 1,000 grams of a variety of tea leaves.
Yes, having a nice camera really is a good thing if you want to illustrate the narrative of your journey. Since this tasting wasn’t a commercial endeavor, rather a group sharing of hard to access quality teas, I’d say some member posts are so complexing and enticing that I too sometimes feel like going out and getting more of everything tea related. TAD activation :) 🍃
Vanenbw
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Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:23 pm

Yes, indeed. I might have to consider picking up a camera again.
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Victoria
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:51 pm

Salivating as I reach nearly the bottom of Sinensis Yokkaichi gyokuro pack. The fruity vegetal umami notes, are layered with sweet baked bread aroma today. Taste receptors stimulated to a high degree ... hmmm so good 🍃.

9g/113ml/108f/2.30min in preheated Shigaraki 120ml by Tachi Masaki, Chrystal Gyser Olancha, Ca water.
L.S.G.artapprentice
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:25 am

t-curious wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:58 pm
Thanks Victoria! I received mine in the mail today. :D

Could anyone recommend a brand of bottled water that's "balanced water -not too alkaline or too low TDS?" I'm not sure about that one. I'm in the continental U.S.

what Victoria recommended is spot on. I also recommend;

Fiji (quite sweet good for almost all fine teas. Makes very wonderful results when used with mid-high grade sencha and gyokuro)
Voss (very smooth)
PH+elctrolytes

from seeing ya all's posts I can say for sure I should never use anything but a Kyushu for making sencha and I NEED to get a shibordashi lol. I have used a wide mouth Taiwan buuuut I guess that's a no no ;)
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debunix
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:26 pm

L.S.G.artapprentice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:25 am
from seeing ya all's posts I can say for sure I should never use anything but a Kyushu for making sencha and I NEED to get a shibordashi lol. I have used a wide mouth Taiwan buuuut I guess that's a no no ;)
I certainly enjoyed this tasting without a kyusu or shibo in sight, although the pour from the gaiwans is pretty slow when the leaves are so fine. After long delay (technical issues related to new camera), here is my version of this tasting of three splendid gyokuros (I added O-Cha's special limited edition gyokuro because I'd just ordered it before this tasting had been organized).

A: Uji Gyokuro Suigyoku from O-Cha
B: Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro
C: Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro

All were the best grade we could obtain from their sources. I am not a gyo pro; at this point I’ve only tried a handful of different gyos and I tend to enjoy them, as usual, brewed more dilutely and also with warmer water than is usual.

Used my tiny glazed porcelain gaiwans and a set of small tasting cups from Petr Novak. Started with 2 grams of leaf per small gaiwan, about 45 mL water per infusion

A: Uji Gyokuro Suigyoku from O-Cha
B: Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro
C: Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro

Image

Dry leaf:
A: Leaf is more broken up, and the green less intense, but has been sealed in a jar under vacuum in the refrigerator for a couple of months, and a week plus just sealed in an airtight but not sealed container; scent is the lightest and most floral smelling but still deeply vegetal
B: Deep umami, vegetal, sea, less floral than A
C: Deep umami, vegetal, sea, less floral than A

Image

1st infusion, 150 degrees, 90 seconds
A: strongest scent right away, likely because of smaller leaf, strong floral notes; rich umami and vegetal flavors
B: As with scent of leaf, less floral, deep umami scent during infusion, but a litle more similar in the liquor taste, rich umami
C: Deep umami, less rich scent than B; similar flavor, can't really distinguish yet from B

Image

2nd infusion, again between 145 and 150 degrees, 45 seconds
A: Lighter than B in texture and flavor; slightly less umami, but vegetal notes stronger; floral not coming out
B: Deep umami, rich, deep, vegetal, cooked peas and green beans with a hint of grass
C: Hint astringency vs sample B, but not truly astringent; still warm, vegetal umami, cooked peas and green beans with a hint of grass

3rd infusion, 165 degrees (pot overshot goal of 160 a bit), 90 seconds
A: Here are the floral notes coming now, less umami and a little more floral
B: Umami lightening a little bit, still richly vegetal, more green beans than peas
C: Umami lightening a little bit, still richly vegetal, more green beans than peas

Image

4th infusion, 176 degrees, 60 seconds (backing off on time because I do like it lighter)
A: Drunk as several sips by itself, this is lovely, floral notes opening up again with the hotter/shorter infusion, but head-to-head, sip-to-sip, B has more of the floral notes
B: This one is building floral and fruity notes on lightening vegetal base; I definitely prefer this one right now
C: Also a little lighter, really lovely, but preference goes to B because of the floral notes stronger there

5th infusion, 180 degrees, 75 seconds
A: Floral plus vegetal: not rose-sweet, but more subtle and delicate notes rounding and lightening the vegetal notes; it's more snowpeas barely cooked, perhaps with a hint of carrot or parsnip sweetness, than english peas
B: Again, this one is keeping a bit more floral character than sample C, but maybe a little less sweet than A
C: I keep defining this one by it's difference from B, still not quite as floral and a touch deeper cooked pea note than sample B

Image

6th infusion, 190 degrees, about a minute, stopped keeping such close track
A: Very delicate now, still floral and lovely
B: Seems quite similar to sample A, delicate, lighter, floral
C: Similar to A & B, a fading to sweetwater, floral, delicious

7th infusion, 205 degrees, 3 minutes
Just enjoyed all samples

And after that, I had to leave, so I put the remaining mostly quite spent leaves in a bottle of water, refrigerated it, and enjoyed it as subtle “sparkling gyokuro” the following day.
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