Sencha: what water temp do you use for the second cup?

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ShuShu
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:13 am

It seems that many agree that the first cup should be brewed at about 160F-180F (70C-80C). Yet opinions vary with respect to the second or even third round. Although the majority of sencha drinkers I know use off the boil water (or close to it) to brew the second cup (usually for about 10-20 sec) I have always felt that it generates considerably more astringency and bitterness than using colder water (160F-180F).
How do you brew your second cup?
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Victoria
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm

I brew second cup same as first in most cases, occasionally 5-20 seconds less if brew becomes bitter. My sencha steeping temperatures range from 135-170F (57-76C) for first and second steeps, to keep bitterness and brassiness at bay. I never use off boiling water, unless I am going to use yuzamashi (water cooler); first off boil water into kyusu, then into cups, then further cool by filling yuzamashi, and back into kyusu with leaves. Each time temperature drops approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you begin with 206F goes to 190, 170, 150F, depending on how much time water rests inside each vessel. Typical steeping times are 1-2 minutes for 1st and 2nd steeps, adding time and 2-5F degrees temp after 2nd steep. A rule of thumb I use is to begin with a baseline of 1gr leaf:1oz water/145F/1minute, 1min, 2min, 5min. and make adjustments to improve results; more leaf/less heat/more time etc..Typicaly I end up with more leaf to water ratio. I also keep a log to refer to next time; right now I’m sipping on a sencha that steeped at 165F was bitter according to my notes, but at 145F is perfectly sweet.
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Chip
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:15 pm

I am definitely in the cooler camp. Too hot (or too long) and successive steeps lose balance becoming too bitter and/or astringent which just ruins further steeps. I am shooting for 5ish steeps, and too hot on any steep cuts the session short for me.

I used to steadily increase temps for successive steps, but now I brew it at drinking temp for every steep.

2nd steep, always around 30 seconds although I do not time it.
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tealifehk
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:45 pm

I use around 80 C for all three infusions: 45, 30 and 90 seconds. Works well for me!
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Shine Magical
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:20 pm

Chip wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:15 pm
I am definitely in the cooler camp. Too hot (or too long) and successive steeps lose balance becoming too bitter and/or astringent which just ruins further steeps. I am shooting for 5ish steeps, and too hot on any steep cuts the session short for me.

I used to steadily increase temps for successive steps, but now I brew it at drinking temp for every steep.

2nd steep, always around 30 seconds although I do not time it.
What is drinking temp for you?
Even at 175F I have to wait for the tea to cool down a little.
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Baisao
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:41 am

Off boil for sencha is dippy. These teas are crafted for lower steeping temps.

My temps range from 145-175° for sencha (even lower for gyokuro) using a kyusu that has not been pre-warmed. The first two steeps are about the same temp (156° on average), the third is a little hotter. I pay close attention to steeping time and less attention to temperature so long as it is in the range above. I measure the temps sometimes so I can explain to others what I am doing, which is why I know the average is temp.

First steeping is 60-120 seconds depending on tea and if there are many fines in it. More fines means less brewing time.

Second steeping is about 10 seconds, or the time it takes to rotate the teapot 5 times.

Third steeping is usually 10 seconds less than the first steeping.
entropyembrace
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Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:48 pm

I always use the same temperature for each infusion since I find that increasing the temperature for later infusions tends to draw out an unpleasant straw like flavour from sencha.

The temp I use is....when holding my hand to the side of the kettle starts to feel uncomfortable.
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ShuShu
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Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:31 pm

Baisao wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:41 am

First steeping is 60-120 seconds depending on tea and if there are many fines in it. More fines means less brewing time.

Second steeping is about 10 seconds, or the time it takes to rotate the teapot 5 times.

Third steeping is usually 10 seconds less than the first steeping.
Thank everyone for sharing their experience.
Baisao — your setup gave me the best third cup. Gentle and full of flavor. Thanks!
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Baisao
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Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:00 am

ShuShu wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:31 pm
Thank everyone for sharing their experience.
Baisao — your setup gave me the best third cup. Gentle and full of flavor. Thanks!
I’m glad we could help. :-)
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Chip
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Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:26 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:20 pm
Chip wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:15 pm
I am definitely in the cooler camp. Too hot (or too long) and successive steeps lose balance becoming too bitter and/or astringent which just ruins further steeps. I am shooting for 5ish steeps, and too hot on any steep cuts the session short for me.

I used to steadily increase temps for successive steps, but now I brew it at drinking temp for every steep.

2nd steep, always around 30 seconds although I do not time it.
What is drinking temp for you?
Even at 175F I have to wait for the tea to cool down a little.
I used to measure temp for every first steep of sencha, but it has been a number of years since I have. I just don't anymore, just feel. And feel turns out is also drinking temp after steeping and pouring.

Like I said, I am in the cool camp, so I am guessing 150-160 ... +/-
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