Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?


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Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby FlyedPiper » Mar 30th, '11, 00:39

So I've got 2 gaiwans, a 120ml relatively thin walled one and a thick walled 200 ml one. Would either of these work for senchas/gyokuro? I also need advice on brewing times and temps. I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive but still good green tea for everyday brewing this spring and summer. Thanks.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby iannon » Mar 30th, '11, 00:50

The consensus around here will *probably* be that you can make anything work BUT if you are making Fukamushi Sencha it'll be somewhat more challenging than say Asamushi just due to the deep steaming and smaller particles. A kyusu with a good screen will work best for Fuka
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby Xell » Mar 30th, '11, 02:12

Some more answers on same question http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=15360

Probably will be better idea to get a kyusu, you can get one for a cost of good 100g tea pack, small and useful investment, if you want to drink japanese teas :)
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby FlyedPiper » Mar 30th, '11, 21:54

Thanks Xell.

I guess I'll have to try a few more senchas before I take the plunge and buy another teapot. I know I like the Chinese green and whites so I'm good there. Those get kind of expensive to drink on a daily basis though. I'm rapidly aquiring a lot of teaware and accessories, money that could be better spent on drinking good tea :). I was under the impression that gaiwans were the answer for all loose leaf teas. Guess I was wrong.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby edkrueger » Mar 31st, '11, 00:40

You aren't wrong. Use a gaiwan or a kyusu.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby AdamMY » Mar 31st, '11, 09:05

FlyedPiper wrote:Thanks Xell.

I guess I'll have to try a few more senchas before I take the plunge and buy another teapot. I know I like the Chinese green and whites so I'm good there. Those get kind of expensive to drink on a daily basis though. I'm rapidly aquiring a lot of teaware and accessories, money that could be better spent on drinking good tea :). I was under the impression that gaiwans were the answer for all loose leaf teas. Guess I was wrong.



Gaiwans work for just about all loose leaf teas. Although Japanese teas due to getting broken up through the steaming process present a large challenge to pull off in a gaiwan properly (especially if it is more heavily steamed). So while it is not possible to be brewed in a Gaiwan, most of us have settled on Kyusu's as by far preferred for Japanese greens.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby Stentor » Mar 31st, '11, 10:31

As long as you don't mind using a simple tea strainer on your cup or serving pitcher, you should be fine with a gaiwan. You can always put the leaves that got held up by the strainer back into the gaiwan for the next infusion.

A nice handmade Japanese kyusu will give you a more enjoyable tea making experience, of course. The tea itself, however, should turn out just fine brewed in a gaiwan.

A good starting point for brewing (sencha) is 70° C for 1 minute. Adjust to taste. Second infusion 5-15 seconds, slightly higher temp. Adjust to taste.
Increase time and temperature for further infusions.
Use at least 0.5 g of tea per oz of water. And... adjust to taste ;)
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby FlyedPiper » Apr 1st, '11, 02:36

Thanks for the advice everyone. :D

I'm actually looking into ordering some chinese green. Thanks EE. I'm picking up some senchas to try out and compare too. If I like them more I'll look into buying a kyusu. Glad to hear I can still brew gyokuro in a gaiwan though, I like to treat myself to that once in a while. Looks like the 'houhin' they use for gyokuro are basically thick clay japanese gaiwans. You need so much leaf to brew it properly though, lol. Expensive.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby Chasm » Apr 1st, '11, 06:58

If your gaiwan skills are good, you should be fine making asamushi sencha. With fukamushi, you really need a strainer to save yourself frustration and find the true flavors it can offer sooner rather than several dozen tries into the process.

A fine mesh steel tea strainer is the way to go -- the inexpensive ones you can get at any grocery store are just fine. Just invert the strainer over the gaiwan and pour the water through for the next infusion to get the leaves from the strainer back into the gaiwan.

I'm with you on waiting to buy teaware until you know you're going to use it -- I adore our collectors here and the miracles some of them can produce with the marriage of the right pot to the right tea, but not all of us can do that. Luckily for us, these experts with large collections give us great advice when we do want a new pot.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby Chasm » Apr 1st, '11, 07:23

I forgot to mention: You might, particularly with Fukamushi, get the best results by removing the gaiwan lid before pouring and dumping the whole thing through the strainer. Set the strainer to rest over a cup or the gaiwan until the next infusion -- more water will slowly drain from the leaves, and letting it drain will make it easier to prevent bitterness.

One way or another, you definitely want to allow the leaves to cool between infusions to prevent cooking, so leave the lid off whatever is holding them until you start the next infusion.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby FlyedPiper » Apr 1st, '11, 10:05

Thanks for the info Chasm.
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby jaderabbit » Apr 3rd, '11, 10:51

How about the other way around? Does anybody use their shiboridashi or houhin for brewing chinese greens? I think if it works, I might as well forgo buying a gaiwan and just purchase shiboridashi cuz they look more appealing to me. :lol:
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Re: Gaiwan brewing OK for sencha?

Postby Chasm » Apr 5th, '11, 07:24

jaderabbit wrote:How about the other way around? Does anybody use their shiboridashi or houhin for brewing chinese greens? I think if it works, I might as well forgo buying a gaiwan and just purchase shiboridashi cuz they look more appealing to me. :lol:


I probably would if I had a shiboridashi or a glazed houhin. My most-used houhin gets Japanese greens put through it so much I'd be worried it would affect the Chinese greens. My other houhin I'd worry would be too thick-walled. My best luck with Chinese greens has come from brewing in the thinnest porcelain I can get, or thin silver.
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