Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing


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Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby Xell » Jun 20th, '12, 11:23

I actually didn't go high before. Today i've tried some nice Yame gyo at 2g/30ml and it was really good. But question here is... how people go higher, when leaves already look something like this and water can't even cover them? :?
Image

Think i will reduce a bit for next session with it :)

p.s.
click the pic for full size
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby Chip » Jun 20th, '12, 11:35

I may have gone as high as 3:1 (3 grams per 30 ml). High ratios generally work well for higher grades. And you can go seemingly much higher ...

I have heard of the extreme where the gyo is brewed in a gaiwan like cup and the "dew" comes out in drops. This is drunk right from the brew vessel. Maiko sells a similar set-up. http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/shopping/susuri.htm They call this Susuricha.

And old TC topic from 2007 on so called drop tea called Shizuku cha: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2698&p=16500&hilit=+drop#p16500

Unfortunately the first link in the post no longer works ... it went to a video.
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby AlexZorach » Jul 13th, '12, 16:01

I think this would be too much for me. Gyokuro is a pretty intense tea and I find that it can easily overwhelm if I brew it too strongly. More leaf generally requires briefer infusions, and if there is too much leaf, it's very tricky to not oversteep. If it's a very high-quality tea, and you are careful with the brewing temperature, there may be little bitterness and astringency, but I find other aspects of the tea can still overwhelm me.

I know it's a matter of personal taste, but I also think that the "umami" or savory quality of gyokuro can easily get to be too much. And it is highly caffeinated as well, which can also be too much for me. Lastly, there's the vegetal aroma, which, although I really like it in moderation, can also overwhelm.

But I know people who like teas like gyokuro very intense.
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby Xell » Jul 13th, '12, 21:16

After experimenting a bit i ended up at 1,5g / 30ml. I see now, that gyokuro can have quite big difference in density. This one expands a lot during brew. Also can't imagine using 4g and 20ml of water. To get even a single drop i would have to press tea leaves strongly, all water would be absorbed by tea and refuse to move :) Probably now i'm ready to try it once, to add water just enough to get only few drops out of it.
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby Chip » Jul 13th, '12, 21:40

... which is why it is called "drop tea." :mrgreen:

The key with gyokuro that is worthy of brewing full throttle brewing is temp ... too high really screws things up.

But then I just read about using near boiling for iced gyokuro ... I think Ippodo mentions this as an option.

Gyokuro is not really that hard ...

First start with a really good one from a reputable source

Next get the temp right

Then get the time right ... more leaf does not necessarily mean shorter brew times

Thing is, I really love the jade dew, but I still want sencha virtually all the time. This way having gyokuro is a nice and special event.
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby brlarson » Jul 14th, '12, 18:08

Once or twice a year, when family or very good friends are visiting, I will brew them Zencha's Ultimate gyo in a porcelain hobin with 10 grams of leaf and 50ml of water at 100F steeped for about 60 secs. It has a pure artichoke taste of incredible intensity.

As Chip mentioned, Maiko's gyos are superb enough to brew with very high proportions of leaf and also low temps. I usually put 8 grams of any of Maiko's gyos in a 3 ounce hobin and then just cover the leaves with 120F water. Then just put a few drops in your mouth, close your eyes, gently roll the teadrops around your mouth. mmmm.....

But for me brewing gyo in this way is only for sharing with close friends on special occasions.
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby Xell » Jul 17th, '12, 08:35

Just tried this method, used 6g of tea and something like 25-30ml of water. It was almost not enough to cover dry leaf. After 2min leaves increased in volume and sucked inside almost all water, got only 4-5 drops of tea. But those drops were incredible, i really didn't expect this. Amazing sweetness, explosion of flavors from just one drop and surprisingly no bitterness or astringency. Was certainly worth trying, interesting experience. But those drops are truly "precious" considering how much high grade gyokuro cost... certainly not an everyday event :)
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby debunix » Jul 17th, '12, 10:28

After those fantastic few drops, what are the later infusions like, compared to starting with the same quantity of tea and a larger quantity of water?
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby Xell » Jul 17th, '12, 11:09

debunix wrote:After those fantastic few drops, what are the later infusions like, compared to starting with the same quantity of tea and a larger quantity of water?


I repeated it once more, added little bit of water and got several more drops.

Usual infusion was less sweet i think. About same as second infusion the usual way. And i also treat it as second, i.e. relative short step.
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Re: Gyokuro high leaf ratio brewing

Postby riccaicedo » Sep 24th, '12, 23:17

I don't drink gyokuro that often, but when I do I use 4gr, 20 ml, 3 minutes.
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