What Green Are You Drinking

Non-oxidized tea
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:50 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:22 pm
Just finished one of several enjoyable sessions I’ve had over the last couple of weeks with the organic kabusecha from Birouen. This time I used a Kobiwako kyusu, but I have had good results with other pots. I tried this at the recommendation of Victoria, and I must say it is one of the best organic Japanese teas I have tried, especially in terms of sweetness and smoothness. Thank you very much for recommending this tea! If you find organic teas too bitter, you might give this one a try. Even the last brew with boiling water had little to no bitterness (although I am not super sensitive to it) and was flavorful.
Always nice to know when someone else also enjoys a tea I appreciate. Doing the calcs I’ve consumed around 1,600 grams of Birouen’s organic kabusecha since last April 2019, so around 160 grams per month, steeping 10 grams each time. It’s soon to run out on their site and I wonder if they will be able to match the high quality again. I hope so, although a few years ago they had an amazing roasted sencha that sadly has not been matched since. Their great kabusecha tea bags have been consistently of high quality though.
Vanenbw
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:46 pm

Victoria wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:50 pm
Always nice to know when someone else also enjoys a tea I appreciate. Doing the calcs I’ve consumed around 1,600 grams of Birouen’s organic kabusecha since last April 2019, so around 160 grams per month, steeping 10 grams each time. It’s soon to run out on their site and I wonder if they will be able to match the high quality again. I hope so, although a few years ago they had an amazing roasted sencha that sadly has not been matched since. Their great kabusecha tea bags have been consistently of high quality though.
I placed my order yesterday afternoon. It shipped already.
faj
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:58 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:22 pm
Just finished one of several enjoyable sessions I’ve had over the last couple of weeks with the organic kabusecha from Birouen.
Out of curiosity, did you order this tea from smiletea.co? There is also a web page I find that leads to Amazon but does not ship to Canada.
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:16 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:58 pm
nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:22 pm
Just finished one of several enjoyable sessions I’ve had over the last couple of weeks with the organic kabusecha from Birouen.
Out of curiosity, did you order this tea from smiletea.co? There is also a web page I find that leads to Amazon but does not ship to Canada.
Yes that’s it, unfortunately they are almost all out by now.
Kagoshima Seicha mother company (wholesale only); http://kagoshimaseicha.co.jp/en/
USA distributors web; http://www.kentreeintl.com/Birouen.html
Kagoshima Seicha, Birouen Tea House - Amazon site Smile Tea Organic Kabusecha Sencha Green Tea (Loose Leaf) Award Winning in 2018
faj
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:23 pm

Victoria wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:16 pm
Yes that’s it, unfortunately they are almost all out by now.
Kagoshima Seicha mother company (wholesale only); From http://kagoshimaseicha.co.jp/en/
USA distributors web; http://www.kentreeintl.com/Birouen.html
Kagoshima Seicha, Birouen Tea House - Amazon site Smile Tea Organic Kabusecha Sencha Green Tea (Loose Leaf) Award Winning in 2018
Thanks a lot for the information.

Just to make sure, "smiletea.co" is a genuine source too? It seems to be the only option I would have for shipment to my location.
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:34 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:23 pm
Thanks a lot for the information.
Just to make sure, "smiletea.co" is a genuine source too? It seems to be the only option I would have for shipment to my location.
Smile Tea is just their new western facing marketing name, lol, on Amazon. I don’t think there is a smile tea.co web site though.
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nasalfrog
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:41 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:58 pm
Out of curiosity, did you order this tea from smiletea.co? There is also a web page I find that leads to Amazon but does not ship to Canada.
Yes, that’s the one. I see it listed on amazon.ca, but at about 3 times the price of the US website... It’s out of stock at the moment as well. I didn’t realize this may be a limited offering.
Last edited by nasalfrog on Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
faj
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Victoria wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:34 pm
I don’t think there is a smile tea.co web site though.
This website really exists, with their teas apparently available for sale.

https://smiletea.co/collections/all
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:49 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:42 pm
Victoria wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:34 pm
I don’t think there is a smile tea.co web site though.
This website really exists, with their teas apparently available for sale.
https://smiletea.co/collections/all
Ah okay, yes that must be a new western facing web site.
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Darbotek
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Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:35 pm

I may have to try this. I am so glad there is a resource available with people much more knowledgeable than myself. I would NEVER think to buy a Sencha from Amazon, with the brand name SmileTea.
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Victoria
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Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:15 am

Darbotek wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:35 pm
I may have to try this. I am so glad there is a resource available with people much more knowledgeable than myself. I would NEVER think to buy a Sencha from Amazon, with the brand name SmileTea.
Right, neither would I have. I meet the Japanese representative and then the owner at the LA Tea Festival several years ago, each year buying a few of their ‘special selections’, many which aren’t typically even sold. After sampling their select roasted sencha I was hooked, then came along this kabusecha 🍃.
Vanenbw
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Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:21 am

I placed my first order with Thes Du Japan a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday my order arrived and I tried the organic sencha from Shimizu, Sayama Kaori cultivar last night. I'm still getting used to these light-colored teas. I first experienced it with the sae midori asamuchi from O-cha. I've been used to drinking dark, cloudy green teas. I thought the sencha was very flavorful, not very astringent. Had a nice, umami flavor and thickness to it. I really enjoyed it. I used 160ml of water, 5 grams of tea, and steeped at 73c for my first infusion.

Today, however, I decided to try brewing according to Thes Du Japon's recommendation: 70-80ml of water to 4-5 grams of tea. I used 80ml to 5 grams. Boy was it bitter. I think the water was 70c, and I steeped for 1 minute, but it was way too bitter for my taste. What I learned rather quickly last year was that you cannot rely on a vendor's recommended guidelines for brewing tea, because it varies greatly. O-cha recommends .6 grams per 1 oz of water; some vendors recommend 1 gram per 1 oz. I've even seen 2 grams per 1 oz recommended. Lately I have been starting with 5 grams for 160ml of water and then I either pull back or add more leaf from that point.
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nasalfrog
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Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:59 pm

Vanenbw wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:21 am
...Boy was it bitter...
That tea is quite bitter, and it may have to do with the cultivar. In addition to the tea you mention, I’ve had O-Cha’s sayamakaori, which is a fukamushi, and the deep steaming seems to help, but it is still quite bitter in comparison to most other cultivars I have tried. I have reordered O-Cha’s at least once, though. Beyond the bitterness, I do find it to be complex in flavor. I remember likening the bitterness to near 100% dark chocolate levels or dandelion greens, and I enjoy both of those once in a while.
Vanenbw
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Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:06 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:59 pm
Vanenbw wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:21 am
...Boy was it bitter...
That tea is quite bitter, and it may have to do with the cultivar. In addition to the tea you mention, I’ve had O-Cha’s sayamakaori, which is a fukamushi, and the deep steaming seems to help, but it is still quite bitter in comparison to most other cultivars I have tried. I have reordered O-Cha’s at least once, though. Beyond the bitterness, I do find it to be complex in flavor. I remember likening the bitterness to near 100% dark chocolate levels or dandelion greens, and I enjoy both of those once in a while.
I don't mind bitter tea and food. I love broccoli rabe, which is quite bitter. I add ginger root to my smoothies, which is not really bitter, but it's strong and burns a little. But I thought the taste of this tea was so bitter when I used 5 grams to 80ml of water that it completely drowned out the pleasant, umami flavor I experienced with 5 grams to 160ml yesterday.

When drinking this tea, what ratios do you use for your leaf and water?
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nasalfrog
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Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:24 pm

Vanenbw wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:06 pm
When drinking this tea, what ratios do you use for your leaf and water?
Looking back at my notes, I was going with Florent’s suggested ratio of ~4g/60-80ml and settled on 165F/74C for the temp. I can see why going lighter would be good with this one, as I remember my sessions with it being quite uneven in results and ranking it lower on my list of teas from that vendor. Learning from Victoria, I would definitely try it with some other pots you have, or porcelain, as I did not. I was only using the Kobiwako and it may shine with lower leaf or lower temp and another material.
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