Best way to brew sencha?

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Best way to brew sencha?

Postby trent » Mar 13th, '08, 00:52

What is the best way to brew Sencha Green tea?

I find that I have trouble extracting a sweet ( & non-astringent) taste, even when I brew the tea for a short amount of time at a low temperature.

However, about a month ago (using the same sencha) I extracted an amazingly sweet flavor. I desperately want to replicate this taste.

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Postby olivierco » Mar 13th, '08, 01:50

If it is too astringent, you can reduce the brewing time and/or lower the temperature.

With a new sencha, I usually start with
8gr 70°C (preheated teapot) 180ml 60s
second steep 75°C 20s
third steep 80°C 30s

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Postby hirtue » Mar 13th, '08, 04:04

trent.knebel wrote:What is the best way to brew Sencha Green tea?

I find that I have trouble extracting a sweet ( & non-astringent) taste, even when I brew the tea for a short amount of time at a low temperature.

However, about a month ago (using the same sencha) I extracted an amazingly sweet flavor. I desperately want to replicate this taste.


I guess most variations on different brews come because you used different water temperature. It's absolutely crucial when we're talking about Japanese greens.

And if you have trouble with water temperature(like you don't have a thermometer) you can use this "technique"(?) from o-cha:

Pour boiling water into the teapot.
Wait ~1 minute to preheat(I guess that time depends on the kind of teapot - if it's tetsubin you can go with ~30 sec and it works fine).
Pour into a cup and transfer once or twice to another cup/samashi.
Put leaves into your teapot.
Pour the water back to the teapot.

And the brewing times olivierco recommended are what you're looking for. If the second steep will be too subtle(which I doubt, but yeah), you can increase it to 30sec and the third to ~40.

Hope this helps. ;)

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Postby Pentox » Mar 13th, '08, 12:21

In my experience brewing a great cup of sencha truly is about practice and experience. Play with water temperature. Try preheating your teapot. Try using a tokoname kyusu, i've heard that the iron content in the clay used for tokoname pottery helps reduce astringency. (I'm not sure how much i believe that though). Perhaps try a different sencha, some are more astringent than others.

But in short, try different things, experiment and enjoy the path of learning how to brew great tea.

(Although if you were to believe Lu Yu you need to go get your water from a spring near the farm your tea was grown in)

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Postby Salsero » Mar 13th, '08, 16:38

olivierco wrote:With a new sencha, I usually start with
8gr 70°C (preheated teapot) 180ml 60s
second steep 75°C 20s
third steep 80°C 30s
Holy mackerel, that's over twice the leaf I have been using!! Could that be due to personal variation or could it be the (rather small number of) senchas that I have tried?

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Postby Chip » Mar 13th, '08, 17:05

Salsero wrote:
olivierco wrote:With a new sencha, I usually start with
8gr 70°C (preheated teapot) 180ml 60s
second steep 75°C 20s
third steep 80°C 30s
Holy mackerel, that's over twice the leaf I have been using!! Could that be due to personal variation or could it be the (rather small number of) senchas that I have tried?


Sal, if you read directions on may Japanese sites, you will see this is very common. Usually steep times are shortened. So, think gong fu for Sencha, similar theory. I generally use 4-5 grams for most sencha per 180 ml for 90-120 sec. Several sencha such as asamushi (light steamed) I will increase leaf to 1 gram per ounce ratio...so, 6.8 grams per 6.8 oz water (200 ml).

I usually start with 5 grams per 180 ml and adjust up or down from there.

Regarding the author's problems...this sencha has been open over a month...the sencha itself could be the problem since it fades very quickly.

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Postby Pentox » Mar 13th, '08, 17:21

Oh come on didn't you guys watch the video? The girl filled the kyusu to the brim with leaves and then added a smidge of water to it!

:P

(note: do not take this statement seriously)

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Postby Wesli » Mar 13th, '08, 18:28

2tsp - 180mL - 176°f - 1.5 minutes

2tsp - 180mL - 168°f - 1.8 minutes

2 methods. Both good. Each better than the other for different senchas.

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Postby Space Samurai » Mar 13th, '08, 19:03

Agreed, Chip. I've come to think of brewing Japanese tea as moderate gong-fu.

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Postby Sydney » Mar 13th, '08, 19:20

Yeah, I don't actually classify sencha as green tea at this point. Yes, it's tea, and it's green, but it seems more different from than similar to other greens.

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Postby trent » Mar 13th, '08, 22:08

Thanks!

I followed olivierco's instructions and got a great brew.

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Postby Chip » Mar 14th, '08, 00:50

Glad to hear that, Trent!!! If you ever want to use less leaf, increase the time accordingly. Saves TeaBucks and is a little less caffeine.

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Postby olivierco » Mar 14th, '08, 01:46

Salsero wrote:
olivierco wrote:With a new sencha, I usually start with
8gr 70°C (preheated teapot) 180ml 60s
second steep 75°C 20s
third steep 80°C 30s
Holy mackerel, that's over twice the leaf I have been using!! Could that be due to personal variation or could it be the (rather small number of) senchas that I have tried?


As Chip wrote, recommendations (given by serious sellers) for sencha brewing range for 4g to 10g for 200ml.
I will soon compare both methods with hibiki sencha premium, normally this week-end.

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Postby TaiPing Hou Kui » Mar 16th, '08, 00:39

As many have said most sites will tell you to use that "large" of an amount. It really all depends on your style of brewing and most importantly, your own personal taste. I feel it is kind of like asking how you like your steak.........let say the majority of people like it medium rare, but you like it well done. Does this mean that the way you like your steak is wrong just because "most" people like it a different way? Of course not. So what if you brew it against the instructions on a website or back of a tin. If you can make it the way you like it, than you arent doing anything wrong. Hope this helps!

-Nick (TaiPing)

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Re: Best way to brew sencha?

Postby tdell001 » Sep 17th, '14, 09:11

I have brewed sencha several different ways in the past. For awhile I was brewing 1 tsp sencha, 1 cup water, 160F, 1 min (first steep). Then I ordered tea from O-cha, this site recommends brewing similarity but at a higher temp; 175F. I have been following the directions designated to a specific tea lately and I have had great results. I find the 175F gives me a nice thick grassy tea. Sometimes if I use more leaf I will get a bitter tea. The 160F was more watery, light, and a little sour (like lemon). I try to be very precise with my tea brewing and still I get variation.

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