Brewing greens: lid on or off?


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Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 1st, '11, 08:41

If this has already been posted, forgiveness please!

I'm trying to figure out whether to brew greens in a gaiwan (and soon a kyusu and shiboridashi) with the lid on or off. This may or may not impact taste, bitterness, heat distribution, etc. I'd just like to get a feel for what is successful for everyone else. I'm a tea-noob and all, so I must learn. :oops:

Brewing greens in a:

Gaiwan
Chinese greens
Lid on or off?

Kyusu
Japanese greens
Lid on or off?

Shiboridashi
Japanese greens
Lid on or off?

Thanks,

Christian
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby Xell » Apr 1st, '11, 08:49

Don't know if it affects taste or not, at least i didn't notice it. I like to watch first infusion, but on all next steps i use lid with kyusu. Also i saw some kyusu without a lid at all. Looks like it is a matter of preference.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby JRS22 » Apr 1st, '11, 09:10

I brew my chinese greens in gaiwans. I find, from experimentation, that some teas just taste better brewed with the lid off. My theory, just speculation, is that it's similar to, but not the same as, brewing at a lower temperature.

So what I'm trying to say is that there's a difference between using 165 degree water and letting the heat escape by keeping the lid off, versus using 160 or 155 degree water with the lid on. I just experiment with new tea to find the sweet spot.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby David R. » Apr 1st, '11, 12:09

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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby bambooforest » Apr 17th, '11, 15:31

My practice is that when I use a kyuusu the lid always stays on.

When I brew in a gaiwan, the lid always stays off.

I don't think it's traditional to keep the lid off while brewing Japanese green tea using a kyuusu.

Chinese green tea tends to be more delicate and sensitive to excessive heat. At least that is the impression I get.

So, while I do often use water temperatures of 175 degrees for Chinese green tea, I keep the lid off. Also, I enjoy being able to see the tea leaves as they're infusing.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby Kevangogh » Apr 21st, '11, 11:20

After pre-heating everything, you should brew gyokuro in a small houhin or shiboridashi with the lid off. You watch until the leaf starts to open up a bit, then put the lid on and pour your first infusion. After pouring, you put the lid on so that it is cocked and not fully closed. Then do it again 4 or 5 times. After the last infusion, put the used leaf in a small dish and pour some "ponzu" sauce over it and eat the leaves, it's really good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzu
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 21st, '11, 11:48

I think the lid on or off question is really going to make no difference if you change your water temperature in some other way. Cooler water lid on is probably going to make the same difference as slightly warmer water lid off. It, however, is nice to watch the leaves.

Also, if you don't have access to good ponzu, you can just squeeze a lemon or orange over the tea leaves and the add some shoyu. I do lemon for sencha and orange for gyokuro and top with some sesame seeds and salt.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby Xell » Apr 21st, '11, 11:56

Kevangogh wrote:After pre-heating everything, you should brew gyokuro in a small houhin or shiboridashi with the lid off. You watch until the leaf starts to open up a bit, then put the lid on and pour your first infusion. After pouring, you put the lid on so that it is cocked and not fully closed. Then do it again 4 or 5 times. After the last infusion, put the used leaf in a small dish and pour some "ponzu" sauce over it and eat the leaves, it's really good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzu

Interesting, another new thing about japanese green tea for me, going to try it. Don't have gyokuro now, but will try once 2011 crop will appear. Eat it as rice topping or just without anything else?
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 21st, '11, 12:20

I have done it with rice, its good, but the flavor is muted.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby thomaslw123 » May 11th, '11, 05:12

I would reccomend with the lid on, hold in the flavour and nutrients. :)
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby lkj23 » May 11th, '11, 05:49

For greens I don´t use "gunfu style". Always a glass mug with infuser and lid on or a glass teapot (both 300ml-360ml). But always glass, I like to see the leaves and the color of the infusion.

The lid on because I like use it like aroma cups.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby Kevangogh » May 11th, '11, 06:46

The tea instructors in Uji make gyokuro with the lid off. Of course, you don't have to do it that way but from my experience, their reasons usually turn out to be correct.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby JRS22 » May 11th, '11, 08:01

Kevangogh wrote:The tea instructors in Uji make gyokuro with the lid off. Of course, you don't have to do it that way but from my experience, their reasons usually turn out to be correct.


Do they increase the temperature to compensate for keeping the lid off when brewing gyokuro? And does this apply when using a shiboridashi as well as a kyusu? I ask this because the shiboridashi has a larger exposed tea surface, at least compared to my small kyusu.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby Kevangogh » May 11th, '11, 09:19

I had it made for me the other day by an instructor, it was made in a houhin but it would be the same thing with a shiboridashi. The reason the lid is kept off is so you can observe from above the leaf opening and determine the right time to pour. The lid is put on for pouring only. The hot water is first poured into the (tiny) cups, then the teapot with the leaf. Yes, you do have to compensate heat..that's something you just have to experiment with but pre-warming everything is important with gyokuro.
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Re: Brewing greens: lid on or off?

Postby Chip » May 11th, '11, 12:35

Kevangogh wrote:I had it made for me the other day by an instructor, it was made in a houhin but it would be the same thing with a shiboridashi. The reason the lid is kept off is so you can observe from above the leaf opening and determine the right time to pour. The lid is put on for pouring only. The hot water is first poured into the (tiny) cups, then the teapot with the leaf. Yes, you do have to compensate heat..that's something you just have to experiment with but pre-warming everything is important with gyokuro.

Now that is really getting to know your tea!

I could see this working quite well, but would require keen observation and a lot of dedication to learning the process. Any idea at all what temp they were using?
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