Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro


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Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby FlyedPiper » Oct 19th, '11, 14:08

So here's the scoop... As I am anxiously awaiting my OTTI sencha delivery I decided to brew the last bit of sencha I had (Chiran fukamushi from O-Cha). As I opened the bag I discovered about 2 or 2.5 grams of tea. Hmm... it would be a weak one. So I decided to brew it in my new little 2 oz kyusu I just got for personal gyokuro brews and later evening sencha fixes. Then I thought- screw it. I'm going to brew it like gyokuro and see what happens.

WOW :shock:

I'm on steep 6 right now and it's just now starting to taste like the third steep of my normal 6 oz conventional brewing method. All I can say is I love this little kyusu and I love green tea twice as much now. I don't know if I'll ever go back to "normal" brewing again :lol: .
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby chingwa » Oct 19th, '11, 18:54

I just ran out of chiran fukamushi :cry: ... hmmm... I wonder if it works the same with asamushi? Did you drop the temp lower as well?
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby Chip » Oct 19th, '11, 20:16

So, how much leaf per how much water did you finally settle on?

I will often brew small hobin or shiboridashi sencha ... mostly when it is too late to brew 5 ounces of tea ... 2 ounces works out great. But I generally follow normal sencha parameters otherwise, though I might up the leaf slightly.
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby Chip » Oct 19th, '11, 22:38

... which BTW, I just did tonight! :mrgreen:
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby FlyedPiper » Oct 20th, '11, 00:41

I know you normally brew at a low temp, Chip. But you should try it at a super low temp like gyo. Mind blowing!

I used about a 1.5g to 1oz ratio with gyo water temps. Not sure exactly what that is- about 130-140 I would guess, basically used the lowest setting on my kettle and let it cool in a yuzamashi until it was hot water, but not so hot I couldn't put my finger in it for a couple seconds. Then went longer on the steeps: 1 minute first brew, 30 second 2nd, 3 minute 3rd, 4 minute 4th, etc. Basically double the times you would normally use. I stopped at five to go to work but probably would have gone seven. Preheated kyusu and cups kept hot. Water temp increasing ever so slightly on subsequent brews.


Not sure how good this would be with different steamings, but I plan to find out!
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby AlexZorach » Oct 20th, '11, 13:35

I have experimented with brewing a lot of different green teas with a lower brewing temperature (as low as 160F). While I like 160F for Gyokuro, I must say, I really do not enjoy it for any other teas I've tried.

It's especially bad (to my tastes) for Chinese pan-fired green teas. But I don't even like regular sencha, and especially not bancha, brewed in this way...180F is the temperature I usually shoot for.

I like my tea a little edgy though...some crispness, bitterness, and astringency is the way I prefer it, so this may explain my preferences here. I encourage everyone to find the methods that work best for them!
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby FlyedPiper » Oct 22nd, '11, 18:59

AlexZorach wrote:I have experimented with brewing a lot of different green teas with a lower brewing temperature (as low as 160F). While I like 160F for Gyokuro, I must say, I really do not enjoy it for any other teas I've tried.

It's especially bad (to my tastes) for Chinese pan-fired green teas. But I don't even like regular sencha, and especially not bancha, brewed in this way...180F is the temperature I usually shoot for.

I like my tea a little edgy though...some crispness, bitterness, and astringency is the way I prefer it, so this may explain my preferences here. I encourage everyone to find the methods that work best for them!


Wow. Your temps are crazy high! 160 for gyokuro?

I don't approach 180 on a sencha often. Maybe on a 5th steep of some really primo stuff.
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby FlyedPiper » Oct 22nd, '11, 19:06

Just finished steep 3 of Xell's best fuka brewed gyokuro style. I think this is my new preferred brewing method for fuka. It also seems to be a really good test of the tea. If it's quality tea it will hold it's own and not be bitter (Xell's tea is wonderful so far BTW, very interesting taste profile- I will be brewing it "normal" style tomorrow morning). It brings out every subtle flavor and nuance out of every nook and cranny. Nowhere for "off" flavors to hide, if there are any.

I brewed gyo this morning in the same tiny kyusu as I'm brewing this fuka in now and I'm honestly enjoying it almost as much, although the gyo is slightly better and different flavor wise and has a much more noticeable theanine blast.

Also, it's really not any more costly to brew in this way, provided you have a small enough pot. You get smaller steeps, but you get 3-4 more steeps than normal.
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby FlyedPiper » Oct 22nd, '11, 19:23

Strong hints of lavender on steep 4 :shock: .
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby AlexZorach » Oct 31st, '11, 13:41

FlyedPiper wrote:
AlexZorach wrote:Wow. Your temps are crazy high! 160 for gyokuro?

I don't approach 180 on a sencha often. Maybe on a 5th steep of some really primo stuff.


I find it fascinating how much people's ideal brewing temperatures differ! I know some people who like to steep some green teas hotter than I do -- boiling for some Chinese green teas.
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby sherubtse » Oct 31st, '11, 14:33

I too have found the lower temps to be good for some senchas, viz. the fuka-s. In fact, I now brew all of my fuka-s at 65 deg., and only occasionally at 70 deg. For me, the lower temp provides more flavour over the various brews. :)

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby David R. » Oct 31st, '11, 16:00

sherubtse wrote:I too have found the lower temps to be good for some senchas, viz. the fuka-s. In fact, I now brew all of my fuka-s at 65 deg., and only occasionally at 70 deg. For me, the lower temp provides more flavour over the various brews. :)

Best wishes,
sherubtse


I tend to do this more and more also, with a strong ratio (1,5:1). But I met the exception which proves the rule, a great fukamushi which was far better when when brewed at 80°C and above. So I tend to be careful. :roll:
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby sherubtse » Oct 31st, '11, 17:20

David R. wrote:I tend to do this more and more also, with a strong ratio (1,5:1). But I met the exception which proves the rule, a great fukamushi which was far better when when brewed at 80°C and above. So I tend to be careful. :roll:


Which fuka was the exception that you cited above?

Thanks.

Best wieshes,
sherubtse
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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby David R. » Oct 31st, '11, 20:24

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Re: Brewing Sencha like Gyokuro

Postby sherubtse » Nov 1st, '11, 06:37



Thanks. :mrgreen:

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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