Sencha help


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Sencha help

Postby Beidao » May 17th, '08, 16:05

I bought some rather expensive sencha and was very happy to try it. Sadly enough, I've never got it to taste anything else than slightly bitter hay. Maybe I just don't appreciate this tea, but I wonder if the tea is spoiled or if I'm doing something wrong. Anyone's got some advice? You're all having shincha ecstacy and I can't even brew Sencha :oops:

This week I tried a short brewing in 70 degrees (Celcius) and it seemed sweet and not bitter immediatly after brewing. But, when it had cooled enough to drink it was not sweet at all - and enough bitter not to be enjoyable.

I haven't got very much leaves left now. But damn it, I WILL get a decent cup of Sencha before I run out of it!!
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Postby olivierco » May 17th, '08, 16:14

Which sencha is it?

If it is bitter: too long steeping time or too much leaves as 70°C is OK
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Postby greenisgood » May 17th, '08, 22:30

Some would argue that sencha is an aquired taste; it's at least pretty different than most other tea with its strong grassy "green" flavor. I thought sencha was kind of bitter and unpleasant the first time I had it, but I think I started liking it more (to the point of being probably my favorite kind of tea) by buying better tea, learning how to brew it, and just getting used to the flavor. It's very different than normal (non-Japanese) green tea in many ways, and if you are like I was and try to brew it like dragonwell, it probably won't taste as good. But learning how to make it correctly with a good teapot has been very rewarding.
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Postby Chip » May 17th, '08, 22:39

Sencha clicks for some, and for others it requires a period of aquiring the taste for it (and the methodology of brewing it correctly)

I think I knew from my very first sip of sencha that I was going to really love it. Yet still took a while to get there. There was no TeaChat then and the premium Japanese vendors were not around. I was buying out of printed catalogs. :shock:

I hope you figure it out and join the kool kidz!

But as Olivier was asking, knowing what tea it is and from where may shed some light on the subject!
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Postby devites » May 18th, '08, 00:03

try 74 C for 1 min 20 sec. If that doesnt work try 1 minute. It is probably bad tea if that doesn't work.
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Postby Beidao » May 18th, '08, 14:38

This Sencha is from a local store and it carried no other information than the name "Sencha". I've stopped asking questions in that store since the staff know zero about harvesting year or origin.

Thanx alot for the answers! I'll try again with less leaves and measure the time more closely. But maybe I just haven't learned to appreciate cooked hay yet :?

I have to admit that the only loose-leaf green teas I've had before were gunpowder and unspecified "green" from Ahmed tea. The last one was really delicius, the gunpowder still dwells in some cupboard but I will throw it away soon. I've loved some bag tea greens but that doesn't count.

Maybe I just don't understand green tea, tho I hate to admit it :oops: I may go for a tea-nerd if one doesn't look to close, but I'm nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing!
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Postby Victoria » May 18th, '08, 14:40

Not all the kool kidz are Green.
:wink:
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Postby Chip » May 18th, '08, 14:51

Ahhh...Beidao, I believe your first problem is the TEA itself!!!!!! Try a better quality one before pitching the great hay experiment.

But you still might get a decent cup out of the sencha you have.
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Postby Sydney » May 18th, '08, 15:50

When I first approached sencha, I pretty much just let Ed tell me what to do. It worked out quite well.

It was like asking Hugh Heffner for advice on the handling of half-artificial women.
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Postby Salsero » May 18th, '08, 16:28

padre wrote:It was like asking Hugh Heffner for advice on the handling of half-artificial women.

Which half? :shock:

I think I would ask Ed for advice on either issue before I would consult Hugh.
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Postby Sydney » May 18th, '08, 16:44

Salsero wrote:
padre wrote:It was like asking Hugh Heffner for advice on the handling of half-artificial women.

Which half? :shock:


The half you can see with the naked eye.
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Postby Salsero » May 18th, '08, 18:04

padre wrote:The half you can see with the naked eye.
Yeh, I guess there's plenty of times that the eye is only part that ought to get naked.
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Postby Ed » May 18th, '08, 18:42

Salsero wrote: Yeh, I guess there's plenty of times that the eye is only part that ought to get naked.

What fun is that? :)


Beidao: I agree with Chip that this sencha you have purchased from your grocery store is suspect.
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Postby battra » May 19th, '08, 03:56

I never buy sencha loose - green tea gets stale faster than black tea, and I think Japanese green tea gets stale faster than Chinese green tea (maybe since Japanese teas are steamed while Chinese are pan fried?)
Even at good tea shops, sencha is usually stored in big tin boxes - if you don't buy your sencha about the same day as this box is filled, your tea will be stale already when you buy it.

If you are in Stockholm, I think that the best place to buy Sencha is at the Japanese food stores where they have tea in nitrogen flushed packages marked with a best before date - JFK at Swedenborgsgatan had some good sencha last time I was there.
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Postby Beidao » May 19th, '08, 04:45

Thanx again! It wasn't a grocery store, it was a tea store, but a rather small one in a galleria. Not the best place to look for tea experts...

Battra: I owe you, didn't even know of that Japanese store, tho I'm in the neighborhood very often :D Do you remember if you bought the Gin one or the Midori one? Both of them are so much cheaper than the one I sit with. I will go there real soon and buy some Hoija too.

Stay tuned, I'll come back in a while and ask all you cool kids how to treat this beauty :wink:
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