What Green Are You Drinking

Non-oxidized tea
faj
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:45 am
Location: Quebec

Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:52 am

I just finished a session with O-Cha's Yume no Ukihashi's Gyukuro. In an earlier thread, @Chip recommended it to me, and commented it might blow my mind.

I first tried this tea shortly after opening the bag about a week ago, and was disappointed. It was thin, and there was an aromatic aspect which I disliked ; I called it "paint thinner" in my notes. The umami and salty taste was week, aromas lacked immediacy, the whole felt like a background, not a full picture. The next couple of days I tried with less leaf, which reduced the offending "paint thinner" aspect, which I attributed to dilution. Still no success though.

This morning, I wanted to prepare sencha, but took out the wrong bag (not the first time it happens to me...). I realized my mistake in time to change teapot selection and temperature. I was instantly floored by the difference four or five more days made. I used the same parameters as my first tasting, but the result was like a different tea. Rich, whole, persistent, with just a tiny hint of bitterness that perfectly fit with the sensory scenery. A very satisfying first infusion. 4g in non-preheated Hokujo shiboridashi, 60C, 90s.

I had never experienced such a drastic change after opening a tea bag, going from "a purchase I will surely not repeat" to "among the good ones I tried". Not being as experienced as some other members, I often find myself surprised at how much of a difference apparently small things make. Comments I might at one point have understood to be people imagining things, now I am not so quick to discount.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1942
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:25 pm

@faj this has happened to me also many times. Opening a pack, reclosing, and waiting a few days really helps to balance the leaves. I think this allows for a slight amount of oxygen, and moisture to return to leaves after being nitrogen flushed and sealed. I really enjoyed O-Cha's Yume no Ukihashi's Gyukuro but at first found it a little thin so upped the leaf:water to (1.2gr :1oz) 8gr/5oz/140f/2min. pretty close to what you seem to have arrived at. I posted my tasting notes a few years ago here.

This morning I decided to try and steep a larger amount of O-Cha’s 2014 Yutaka Midori (refridgerated). The leaves are now, from age, very small so a fine filter is important. I decided to try my glass Yo-Yo Bodum set and it worked really well. I had forgotten how useful this glass set is. I used this set early on even created a product review page on Steepster for it back then. I’m not a kyusu snob after all :) .

C231E12C-9F65-4940-AA65-11E66BBFCB86.png
C231E12C-9F65-4940-AA65-11E66BBFCB86.png (295.02 KiB) Viewed 421 times
User avatar
debunix
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:32 pm

This morning I am enjoying my last session with O-Cha's Suigyoko Uji gyokuro. I haven't drunk it over time enough to know how it has aged since opening, particularly given the long gap while it was refrigerated under vacuum-ish conditions, but right now, it's marvelous. Rich, deep, refreshingly gyokuro as-I-love-it: less oceanic broth, and more vegetal with a chocolate tinge--even before I nibble a tiny piece of chocolate with it. I am struggling for words for that flavor essence, but it's like the difference between a bright lemon yellow green (sencha-essence)

Image

and a deep misty forest green (gyokuro-as-I-love-it essence)

Image

without being quite as mossy and indistinct as this (my percerption of gyokuro-as-others-love-it)

Image

I can *see* the differences this way, but the flavor distinctions are harder to describe.

Sencha is to basil as gyokuro-as-I-love-it is to chocolate-mint (the herbal cousin to peppermint) as gyokuro-as-others-love-it is to sage, maybe?

Anyway, this last session of Suigyoko Uji gyokuro is gyokuro-as-I-love-it. Mmmm.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1942
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:47 pm

Beautiful post @debunix. I actually have a pack of that gyokuro in my refrigerator and so now look forward to trying it. I got it because I’ve found O-Cha’s excluse offer teas are usually exceptional. This one having been a 1st Prize Gyokuro winner at the Uji Green Tea Festival sounded especially unique.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 1942
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:31 pm

Continuing with my refrigerator stock pile experiments to clear the decks for sincha 2020:
After successfully experimenting this morning with 2014 O-Cha’s Yutaka Midori I treated myself with his umami rich Okabe Shizuoka Gyokuro. It is a little lighter than I prefer, but is a very good gyokuro nonetheless with long lingering salivation.

Later in the day, I steeped Maeda-en’s 2013 Shincha Oohashiri which I also had in the refrigerator all this time. I decided to steep tonight, rather than do so first thing in the morning and be disappointed while still waking up. Proceeded with same parameters and kyusu used in 2013, and wow had great success, even though it has now been refrigerated 7 years. The broth is semi-clear and elegant, with sweet smooth rounded flavors. The fresh grassy notes are more subdued, but not muted. It still tastes fresh, just more rounded out. I shared tasting notes in 2013 at our old site. I’m happy to find this Sincha tastes so good, what a surprise since I was ready to be disappointed. Proper refrigeration works well with some Sincha. I should update my old post when first comparing 2013 vs refrigerated 2016. It’s now four years later and I’m still going through that stash.
User avatar
Darbotek
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:25 pm
Location: East Texas

Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:52 am

Down to the last of my tea. I have been more into sencha lately than gyokuro, so Uji Gyokuro Shōun from O-Cha is what I'm drinking until my order from Thes Du Japon gets here. Honestly the way the last few days have gone, it's been much more about the ritual and the quiet than the flavors of the tea. I just read In Praise of Shadows, so I have been enjoying my night time tea by candle light. Which has the added bonus of being able to pull the curtain aside and enjoy the rainy night without worrying about peeping toms.

This Gyokuro is good, its enjoyable, but there isn't really anything remarkable about it. Nothing really stands out to me. But like I said, I may just not be paying attention due to me just craving the ritual.

Image
User avatar
debunix
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:17 pm

Sounds like a lovely session. But....the last of your tea? May delivery come through soon.
User avatar
Darbotek
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:25 pm
Location: East Texas

Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:33 pm

debunix wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:17 pm
Sounds like a lovely session. But....the last of your tea? May delivery come through soon.
I probably have about 50g left. If EMS/USPS keeps up its usual pace, it should only be Wednesday or so.
User avatar
Bok
Vendor
Posts: 2735
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:25 pm

Darbotek wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:33 pm
debunix wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:17 pm
Sounds like a lovely session. But....the last of your tea? May delivery come through soon.
I probably have about 50g left. If EMS/USPS keeps up its usual pace, it should only be Wednesday or so.
Hope for the best, Taiwan is already reducing or outright halting parcel shipments to most of Europe as commercial flight reduction decreases transportation capacities. Only a matter of time when the US reaches Italian levels and flights are not going to get in anymore.
User avatar
Darbotek
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:25 pm
Location: East Texas

Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:50 am

Bok wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:25 pm
Darbotek wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:33 pm
debunix wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:17 pm
Sounds like a lovely session. But....the last of your tea? May delivery come through soon.
I probably have about 50g left. If EMS/USPS keeps up its usual pace, it should only be Wednesday or so.
Hope for the best, Taiwan is already reducing or outright halting parcel shipments to most of Europe as commercial flight reduction decreases transportation capacities. Only a matter of time when the US reaches Italian levels and flights are not going to get in anymore.
Unless something super drastic happens, I'm thinking it will be in the Chicago Customs Center in the next 24hrs. That seems to be the pattern, 3 days of not much progress then BOOM, Chicago.

Fingers crossed!
User avatar
Bok
Vendor
Posts: 2735
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:56 am

Darbotek wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:50 am
Unless something super drastic happens, I'm thinking it will be in the Chicago Customs Center in the next 24hrs. That seems to be the pattern, 3 days of not much progress then BOOM, Chicago.

Fingers crossed!
Good luck and may Hermes be with you! Surely not the time to have an empty tea cabinet!
Noonie
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm
Location: Canada

Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 am

After dinner last night I brewed up some Genmaicha I recently received from Camellia Sinensis. I was under the false impression it was low I’m caffeine so I used 10g. Headed upstairs for bed around 10:30, fell asleep around 12:30!

I was having some roasted Dong Ding last few nights (5g) and no problem sleeping.

Lesson learned!
User avatar
Darbotek
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:25 pm
Location: East Texas

Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:36 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:56 am
Darbotek wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:50 am
Unless something super drastic happens, I'm thinking it will be in the Chicago Customs Center in the next 24hrs. That seems to be the pattern, 3 days of not much progress then BOOM, Chicago.

Fingers crossed!
Good luck and may Hermes be with you! Surely not the time to have an empty tea cabinet!
Well, good news! Hit Chicago today just like I expected! What that means is that I have been getting way too much stuff via EMS the last few months, I shouldn't be able to so accurately predict that lol.
zeldaella
New user
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:28 am

Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:40 am

I drink green tea that I bought when I traveled to Vietnam. It's really aromatic
User avatar
debunix
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:47 am

'Brightness' sencha from Obubu Tea Farm, from summer harvested leaves, partly shaded. Enjoying sweet rich vegetal tea with delicate umami. Tasty.
Post Reply