brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions


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brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby blairswhitaker » Apr 5th, '12, 01:23

So I just ordered this from hojo as I stated in a previous thread,( I was impressed by swift shipping despite the order delay, but I have never had anything less with ems. [I also received some tea samples]).

So I gave it an initial brew using my fairly standard sencha brewing technique 1 oz to 1 gram, I went with 80c water (usually go with 70c)
first brew was 1 min
second 00:10
third 1 min
fourth 1:10
fifth 1:20
sixth 1:30

so this tea had a real slow burn effect not even opening up all the way until the third infusion, it was strange drinking sencha without the "umami". I liked how the infusions just kept going...

Yet I feel I am missing something, I really need to try a few more things before jumping to any conclusions so I am asking those who have gone there before.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BEST RESULTS WITH THIS TEA?

thanks in advance, Blair Sky Whitaker

edit: only have 100 grams of this tea so I can play around with it a little, but no crazy experimenting
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby David R. » Apr 5th, '12, 02:58

I'll have to get back to you on this cause I have just finished my Kaboku sencha this morning, meaning tomorrow I will open up my 100g pack of Tsukigase Zairai. :)

I only brewed it once or twice myself yet I have drunk plenty before (but I wasn't the one brewing it). For what I gathered, as for good quality teas, this is rather flexible. I have even drunk this very tea "gong fu cha style" in a very small kyusu (around 10cl) using very hot water. The result was really surprising, with no flaws. It strangely made me think of a oolong (gao shan cha).

Usually, my parameters for futsumushi sencha are something like : 5-6g/10 cl, 65°C/1'30, 70°C/30', 80°C/2' and playing around from here. I'll tell you how it goes.

FYI, the article regarding this tea on Hojo's site sums up very well his thoughts about umami, as you sound surprised not to find it in your tea.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby Ambrose » Apr 5th, '12, 03:52

Very wonderful tea!

I personally like to use about 1 gram to 20ml and I get better brews with hotter water. I use about 85°C 90 sec first infusion to get the leaf to start to open. From there about 10 seconds 2nd brewing adding 5-10 seconds to each additional brew until it fades.

A very durable tea that can tolerate high temperatures and not bite back. It's subtle, rich, deep, smooth, and a sweet purity. I taste minerals of hay, avocado and subtle olive oil :shock:

You will get feel drunk from this tea too :mrgreen:
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby chado.my.teaway » Apr 5th, '12, 04:32

My technique. 1g-50ml

1- 70cel 60s

2 -75cel 30s

3 -80cel 3-6 min.

And its..good;) But sometimes I brew sencha like gyokuro.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby David R. » Apr 5th, '12, 05:05

If you want to play a bit, add one leaf of this tea to your glass of water, juice, beer, wine, even food. Just taste before and after. Sometimes the difference is really impressive.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby blairswhitaker » Apr 5th, '12, 14:20

Just gave the Kasuga zairai a brew and this responded much more like I expected this is a rich and sweet and nearly floral tea that responds beautifully to the brewing techniques I used.

I am about to give the Tsukigase another try I will see how it responds to everyones suggestions. thanks for the input.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby David R. » Apr 6th, '12, 09:04

2 attempts already. I think Ambrose is right : this tea seems to respond far better with hotter water. Tomorrow, I will start at 75/80.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby David R. » Apr 12th, '12, 08:22

After a few days trying to brew this sencha more like a green tea (gaiwan, etc.), I came back to my kyusu and increased the leaf ratio a bit (7g/10cl). 80°C/1 min, and from there slightly increasing the temp, with flash brews for 2 and 3, and increasing from there. Nice, especially in my Nosaka kyusu.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby Ambrose » Apr 13th, '12, 05:39

Yes indeed :D and once you try it in nosaka it is hard to see life without having nosaka :mrgreen: Here is my reduction yohen nosaka kyusu ! I love it!
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby David R. » Apr 13th, '12, 06:22

You're lucky to own such a beautiful kyusu, I love it too ! :)
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby blairswhitaker » Apr 14th, '12, 00:00

I am brewing this at a one gram to one ounce ratio and hitting it with 80c-85c water. I am getting better results with slightly longer steeps as well. It's pretty good but I don't know that I would keep this in my regular tea rotation.
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Re: brewing Tsukigase Zaïraï questions

Postby Bakkoi » Apr 14th, '12, 00:24

I've been drinking the 2011 Kagoshima Zairai from Yuuki-cha and I've also noticed that the tea definitely performs better at higher temperatures. My guess is that it has something to do with the differing amino acid content. Lower temperatures seem to work better with teas that are very rich in amino acids, like Yutaka Midori sencha or even gyokuro. The way the tea is brewed may ultimately depend on how it was grown. Zairai tends not to get the heavy fertilizer treatment to produce a pronounced umami, which is why it tastes so much different... and also seems to last longer.

My favourite parameter has been:

5 grams of Zairai, 250-300ml water

First steep: 1 minute @ 80 C
Second steep: 20-30 seconds @ 80 C
Third steep: 40-50 seconds @ 80 C
Fourth steep: 2 minutes @ 85 C
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