Gyokuro steep time


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Gyokuro steep time

Postby sencha » Dec 3rd, '11, 20:08

I have a little Gyokuro left from Upton (although if Chip is right, it's really just Kabusecha :cry:) and I'm wondering if I should try steeping the last of it differently than is suggested on the packaging. Upton suggests 1 tsp per 6-8 oz at a temperature of 170F for 2 minutes. I've read in certain places to use double the amount of leaf as usual (so 2 tsp) and a much lower temperature for a shorter period of time. What do you guys think?

Oh, and what temperature and time should I use for subsequent infusions (2nd, 3rd, etc?)
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby iannon » Dec 3rd, '11, 20:19

sencha wrote:I have a little Gyokuro left from Upton (although if Chip is right, it's really just Kabusecha :cry:) and I'm wondering if I should try steeping the last of it differently than is suggested on the packaging. Upton suggests 1 tsp per 6-8 oz at a temperature of 170F for 2 minutes. I've read in certain places to use double the amount of leaf as usual (so 2 tsp) and a much lower temperature for a shorter period of time. What do you guys think?

Oh, and what temperature and time should I use for subsequent infusions (2nd, 3rd, etc?)


Double the leaf..half the water ..temp down below 140 then the 2 min is ok. give that a shot!
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Chip » Dec 3rd, '11, 20:26

Actually I would not know if this selection is Kabuse or gyokuro. I mentioned it is pretty common for some vendors to sell kabuse as gyokuro. To some, shaded is shaded, period. Ot their supplier called it gyokuro. Bottom line, a lot of kabuse is being sold as gyokuro which is a shame.

As Ian posted, one way to help you to figure this tea out, is to brew it to the extremes as we would a gyokuro and see how it behaves.

However, bottom line, gyokuro or not, I would not expect too much from it considering the price of good gyokuro-s.
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby sencha » Dec 3rd, '11, 23:10

Thanks Ian! I'll give that a try. :D

Chip wrote:However, bottom line, gyokuro or not, I would not expect too much from it considering the price of good gyokuro-s.

Chip, what should I expect if it is a gyokuro? And $23.80/125g is cheap?
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Chip » Dec 3rd, '11, 23:26

sencha wrote:Thanks Ian! I'll give that a try. :D

Chip wrote:However, bottom line, gyokuro or not, I would not expect too much from it considering the price of good gyokuro-s.

Chip, what should I expect if it is a gyokuro? And $23.80/125g is cheap?

Yes, that is very cheap. Less than 30 USD per 100 grams is usually not very good. Gyokuro is a pretty premium priced tea.

The tea in a preheated pot has an aroma very different from sencha in a preheated pot. Gyokuro aroma is sweeter, mellower. Sencha aroma is more intense and veggie or grassy. Kabuse is in between the two.

Gyokuro taste is usually less bitter, less astringent. It is sweeter, but can still be veggie. Usually not grassy.

If it is good, you will be forced to sit down and proclaim "wow ... mmm." :mrgreen:
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Kevangogh » Dec 4th, '11, 04:15

Brew it with the lid off, in a pre-warmed teapot at around 55C. Yes, double the amount of leaf from what you are using. Watch it from above and when the leave just starts to open (about 2 minutes), pour.

But if you really have kabusecha, this will turn out lousy
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Dec 4th, '11, 11:13

Chip wrote:
sencha wrote:Thanks Ian! I'll give that a try. :D

Chip wrote:However, bottom line, gyokuro or not, I would not expect too much from it considering the price of good gyokuro-s.

Chip, what should I expect if it is a gyokuro? And $23.80/125g is cheap?

Yes, that is very cheap. Less than 30 USD per 100 grams is usually not very good. Gyokuro is a pretty premium priced tea.

If it is good, you will be forced to sit down and proclaim "wow ... mmm." :mrgreen:


I would not expect too much from it, when they don't even list harvest year.

$27/4oz (112g)
http://www.denstea.com/gyokuro-gyokuro- ... 9_101.html

^other peeps seem to love this one, highly rated(most recent from the 2011 First Flush harvest?):
http://steepster.com/teas/dens-tea/8143-gyokuro-kin

And what does Chip think of modern hybrid vs 'landrace/heirloom' cultivar...that is also priced less than <$30/100g...?

http://www.norbutea.com/HonYamaZairaiSe ... gory_id=94
^Norbu doesn't appear to sell much Japanese green tea, no 2011 harvest.

http://hojotea.com/item_e/g24e.htm
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '11, 12:24

wh&yel-apprentice wrote:And what does Chip think of modern hybrid vs 'landrace/heirloom' cultivar...that is also priced less than <$30/100g...?

http://www.norbutea.com/HonYamaZairaiSe ... gory_id=94
^Norbu doesn't appear to sell much Japanese green tea, no 2011 harvest.

Well, this Zairai is sencha, not gyokuro. I like to try other varietals/cultivars of Japanese teas such as sencha and gyokuro. I am all for that, though I do not believe I have yet to try Zairai cultivar.

And less than 30 USD for sencha is fine ... most sencha I buy costs less than 30 per 100 grams ... some cost more. When you get cheap gyokuro, red flags should go up. High quality gyokuro is simply not cheap. There are higher production costs, aging, and the laws of supply and demand that will not allow a premium gyokuro to sell cheaply.

I have not had Gyokuro Kin from Den's, so I cannot speak about this particular gyokuro. If people like it, that is great. I see they call for 160° and also a lower leaf ratio for Kin, I am guessing it may not favor the ratios and temps of higher grade gyokuro.
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Tead Off » Dec 4th, '11, 12:46

Chip wrote:
wh&yel-apprentice wrote:And what does Chip think of modern hybrid vs 'landrace/heirloom' cultivar...that is also priced less than <$30/100g...?

http://www.norbutea.com/HonYamaZairaiSe ... gory_id=94
^Norbu doesn't appear to sell much Japanese green tea, no 2011 harvest.

Well, this Zairai is sencha, not gyokuro. I like to try other varietals/cultivars of Japanese teas such as sencha and gyokuro. I am all for that, though I do not believe I have yet to try Zairai cultivar.

I think this is the Zairai you might want to try, Chip. http://hojotea.com/item_e/g24e.htm
It might not be what you're used to paying.
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '11, 13:02

Tead Off wrote: I think this is the Zairai you might want to try, Chip. http://hojotea.com/item_e/g24e.htm
It might not be what you're used to paying.

Wow, a lot of reading to find out what the tea is, then saw it is sencha right at the top. :oops:

"Zairai gives very flowery flavour which is similar to oolong cultivar."

How much is it, I did not see the price? I am guessing that after a spell is cast after reading all the info, the buyer does not care? :lol: I see they offer 2 different Zairai sencha.

I also do not see this selection in the listing of green teas to the left. How did you find this selection?
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby sencha » Dec 4th, '11, 18:19

I just tried Ian's method and the result isn't bad, but nothing spectacular. It has a much deeper seaweed aroma and taste, no bitterness whatsoever (very buttery/smooth), but I like it better using Upton's suggested method. I guess until I get a better job and try a verified gyokuro, I won't know if this is the real thing or not. Oh well. :D
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Tead Off » Dec 4th, '11, 23:19

Chip wrote:
Tead Off wrote: I think this is the Zairai you might want to try, Chip. http://hojotea.com/item_e/g24e.htm
It might not be what you're used to paying.

Wow, a lot of reading to find out what the tea is, then saw it is sencha right at the top. :oops:

"Zairai gives very flowery flavour which is similar to oolong cultivar."

How much is it, I did not see the price? I am guessing that after a spell is cast after reading all the info, the buyer does not care? :lol: I see they offer 2 different Zairai sencha.

I also do not see this selection in the listing of green teas to the left. How did you find this selection?

The blessed ones receive the Newsletter with the latest blessings. Price is beside the point. How could you ask such a question? :wink:
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '11, 23:44

Ah, actually I receive the newsletter, I will have to pay more attention to it. I will check it out for news of this tea.

Does he list the price anywhere?
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '11, 23:45

sencha wrote:I just tried Ian's method and the result isn't bad, but nothing spectacular. It has a much deeper seaweed aroma and taste, no bitterness whatsoever (very buttery/smooth), but I like it better using Upton's suggested method. I guess until I get a better job and try a verified gyokuro, I won't know if this is the real thing or not. Oh well. :D

Well, you can also ask. Ask how many actual days this actual tea was shaded.
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Re: Gyokuro steep time

Postby Tead Off » Dec 5th, '11, 00:12

Chip wrote:Ah, actually I receive the newsletter, I will have to pay more attention to it. I will check it out for news of this tea.

Does he list the price anywhere?

That would be one blessing too many. You have to ask for it!
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