Brewing vessels. If you have a kyusu, great! Remember for Fukamushi, more careful pouring is required in order to prevent too much particle from passing through or clogging the screen altogether.
If you do not have a kyusu. If you use an infuser basket, for the fukamushi I recommend doing things a bit backwards. Put the leaf in the infuser, water in the pot, then set the infuser into the water. Otherwise too much particle will pass through the infuser or it may get really clogged up.
How much. If you have been on TC long enough, you have likely heard the term ratio used in determining how much leaf to use. A ratio is simply general or preferred strength that allows increasing and decreasing of either leaf weight or volume water while keeping the strength steady.
Generally, the longer you have been drinking sencha, the higher leaf ratio you will use. Newer to sencha, you will generally use lower ratios as your tastes have not fully adjusted to sencha.
Your leaf ratio is calculated X grams leaf : Y ounces water. If you fill in the grams at 4, you can adjust the amount of water to find your ratio. Or you can fill in a value for the water and adjust the amount of leaf. I am suggesting using 4 grams leaf for each session and adjusting the amount of water. And I offer corresponding amounts of water below based on using 4 grams, rounded off. This will also give you 2 full sessions, just use half each time.
1:1 4 grams : 4ounces water
0.9:1 4 : 4.5
0.8:1 4 : 5
0.7:1 4 : 5.5
0.6:1 4 : 6.5
Just about any Shincha, I will first try at a ratio I somehow intuitively come up with … then adjust with future sessions. Below are my somewhat adjust ratios for each tea. Again if you are newer to sencha, you might want to adjust down a bit, but that is up to you! Based on the ratio, you can plug in the values listed above, or create your own.
Temperatures! This is so subjective. I thought I heard everything, then the owner of O-Cha posted even lower temps on TC. Zencha lists crazy low temps for the best sencha. Well, I have not tried those yet.
There are differing temps based upon whether one preheats the kyusu (teapot) or not. Basically if you do not preheat your pot, the temp you use should be approx 15* F hotter due to rapid drop in temps. Lately I have been preheating the pot, but I go back and forth periodically.
If you preheat, smell the warming leaf in the pot, mind blowing!
I will list in order from the OTTI topic.
Rishi Shincha Kukicha can be approached casually, but I recommend paying attention for this tasting. 1:1, 170** in a preheated kyusu, 1 min
Rishi Nishi Organic. .9:1, 158* in a preheated kyusu, 60 seconds
Rishi Sae Midori 1:1, 158* in a preheated kyusu, 60 sec
Zencha Takumi 1:1 150* in a preheated kyusu, 60 or so seconds
Zencha Moe 1:1, 165* in a preheated kyusu, 40-60 seconds
Bonus, Maeda-en's Super Premium Shincha 1:1, 160* in a preheated kyusu, 40-60 seconds
Too intense, decrease leaf.
Too bitter, decrease temp and/or time. Cooler water makes for a less aromatic but sweeter cup.
Multiple steeps. Absolutely! A good rule of thumb for me …
2nd 165*, 20-30 sec
3rd 175*, 60 sec
4th 185* 60-120 sec
5th boiling, 1-infinity … there is nothing left to make your brew bitter. Just mellow, sweet tea water.