New to Gyokuro - Rimpo


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New to Gyokuro - Rimpo

Postby shads » Dec 12th, '11, 19:57

Hi all,

Ive been lurking for a while and finding all the forums very interesting! Just thought i'd get some opinions about gyokuro.

I've been drinking sencha for ages and usually get my stuff from O-Cha, Hojo, etc. I've got my technique down to - 1 heaped tsp, about 100ml of water, 60 - 65C for about 45 sec, which seems to work pretty well for me for most senchas.

So ive just stepped up to gyokuro (Rimpo for Ippodo). I followed their instructions but it was WAY, WAY to strong for me, so i tried to cut the leaf down to two heaped tsps to around 80ml of water. The strength with that was better, but to be honest im not sure i like the actual taste that much. Its good, but not great. I was expecting to be blown away!

So is this something I need to persevere with? Does the flavour grow on you. I also have some Kanro waiting to be opened...
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Re: New to Gyokuro - Rimpo

Postby Chip » Dec 12th, '11, 20:02

Gyokuro brewing does take some practice. I weigh with a digital scale most of the time, well, almost all the time for Gyokuro.

I am sure by now you have also read about ratios for gyokuro here on TeaChat?

With Rimpo, you are in that price zone where your expectations should not be super high ... you should not expect this to taste as good and as pure in flavor as say a 50 USD/100 gram gyo ... or a 75 USD one. Otherwise it would be pointless to buy higher end gyo.

I have not had Rimpo, so I cannot tell you from personal experience with this one. But usually the lower the cost, the less amount of leaf you will use for gyokuro.
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Re: New to Gyokuro - Rimpo

Postby Tead Off » Dec 12th, '11, 23:47

shads wrote:Hi all,

Ive been lurking for a while and finding all the forums very interesting! Just thought i'd get some opinions about gyokuro.

I've been drinking sencha for ages and usually get my stuff from O-Cha, Hojo, etc. I've got my technique down to - 1 heaped tsp, about 100ml of water, 60 - 65C for about 45 sec, which seems to work pretty well for me for most senchas.

So ive just stepped up to gyokuro (Rimpo for Ippodo). I followed their instructions but it was WAY, WAY to strong for me, so i tried to cut the leaf down to two heaped tsps to around 80ml of water. The strength with that was better, but to be honest im not sure i like the actual taste that much. Its good, but not great. I was expecting to be blown away!

So is this something I need to persevere with? Does the flavour grow on you. I also have some Kanro waiting to be opened...

Maybe you can be more specific with the actual gear you are using to make the tea with. Also, the water you use will have a big effect on the taste.

I have had Ippodo's Kanro and Rimpo. Both should give very good results. However, I will usually brew the 1st cup with 55C water using 7-8g leaf for 1.5minutes or so. Always in about 90-100ml Banko teapot. Tokoname would be fine, too, as I find the flavors are best with clay, not porcelain, as gyokuro and sencha are umami rich with strong, green, oceanic flavors, not floral/fruity flavors like greener oolongs. You have to keep at it and adjust everything to your own taste. Brewing tea is a skill developed with time and patience (and a lot of money!).
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Re: New to Gyokuro - Rimpo

Postby shads » Dec 13th, '11, 02:33

I have two kyusus - the first is a Shimizu Ken made from Sado Red Clay from Hojo and the second is a really cheap one from tokoname with a metal screen filter.

The Shimizu Ken one is awesome for asa sencha, but ive been really struggling with it getting blocked with anything that is deep steamed or gyokuro, as it only has about 6 tiny holes in the filter.

I brew most of my tea whilst at work and use the cold water from a filtered water dispenser. The water is boiled in a rubbish plastic kettle and then I fill up my cast iron tea pot and take that back to my desk.

At the moment with the Rimpo, I actually find I much prefer the 3rd or 4th infusions.
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Re: New to Gyokuro - Rimpo

Postby Tead Off » Dec 13th, '11, 02:52

shads wrote:I have two kyusus - the first is a Shimizu Ken made from Sado Red Clay from Hojo and the second is a really cheap one from tokoname with a metal screen filter.

The Shimizu Ken one is awesome for asa sencha, but ive been really struggling with it getting blocked with anything that is deep steamed or gyokuro, as it only has about 6 tiny holes in the filter.

I brew most of my tea whilst at work and use the cold water from a filtered water dispenser. The water is boiled in a rubbish plastic kettle and then I fill up my cast iron tea pot and take that back to my desk.

At the moment with the Rimpo, I actually find I much prefer the 3rd or 4th infusions.

I suggest you not try to brew this stuff at work and do it when you have full attention and the right tools at hand to make it all work. You need a good mineral water. Rarely, will tap water suffice. Try something like Volvic if you can get it. You want a ph of at least 7. Water makes a big difference.

I have no experience with a cast iron teapot so I cannot make any comments about using one. Ideally, you want a small kyusu for gyokuro, no more than 100ml using 7-8g. You can adjust this, of course. Follow Hojo's directions or Ippodo's. They appear on their respective websites. I don't think I would use Sado clay for gyokuro but it could work. Already you have found one of the limitations of using this kyusu for gyokuro and deep steamed teas. It's really not made for this. You can also use shiboridashi or Hobin vessels. Temp and time are key to good brews.
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Re: New to Gyokuro - Rimpo

Postby David R. » Dec 13th, '11, 08:03

shads wrote:The Shimizu Ken one is awesome for asa sencha, but ive been really struggling with it getting blocked with anything that is deep steamed or gyokuro, as it only has about 6 tiny holes in the filter.


I have a kyusu from the same artist. I really prefer this kind of filter compared to ball shaped ones. Anyway, to avoid this kind of problem, you really have to be careful. Here are some tips :

- use the kyusu half full only,
- poor very slowly so that the leaves do not move til the end,
- put the airhole of the lid opposite from the spout.

I think you also want to follow TeadOff's advice and try to brew this tea outside of work, when focused. And water is everything, so keep an eye on its quality and where you put it before it touches the leaves... :wink:
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