Hurtin with Japanese Greens


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Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby tst » Oct 5th, '12, 21:38

I know Japanese greens are one of the most widely liked and favored teas on these forums, but I just can't see it.

I've tried three different Japanese greens so far, and have to say I don't see what all the hoopla is about (blasphemy, right?) :lol:

So what am I doing wrong. I've tried temps between 150-160F so far. I'm adjusting brew length (between 30s and 2 mins) to correspond with which steep I'm on (second steep --> shorter brew time).

I just don't know what I'm doing wrong here (or perhaps I just don't like Japanese greens). Anyone have any ideas?

Much appreciated.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby debunix » Oct 5th, '12, 21:45

Definitely it makes a difference which greens you try, but much as I enjoy a cup of sencha in the morning, I'm really just as happy with a cup of oolong or long jing. I'd be sure you've tried some good ones before you give up on them, but don't feel obliged to prefer them.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby tst » Oct 5th, '12, 21:48

Thanks deb.

From what I've read, I have tried some good ones. I think you may be right though ... and maybe they just aren't for me.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby debunix » Oct 5th, '12, 21:55

I also wouldn't say 'never' unless you really don't like the stuff: your palate might change and you could really enjoy it next time around, in a few years.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby Xell » Oct 5th, '12, 22:12

Try to describe what you didn't like in japanese teas and what you like in others. This might help more, japanese green tea does have quite big variety in flavors actually. And depends on which tea and grade brewing parameters also can vary a lot.

Just an example, for inexpensive daily sencha i usually go for 0.5-0.7g/30ml and with high grade sencha can easy go as high as 1.5-2g/30ml
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby AdamMY » Oct 5th, '12, 22:18

But honestly it took me a while to get Japanese Greens too. They are certainly odd, in the sense that they can seem a lot more like a strong seaweed soup, with some grain character thrown in. While they can have a sweetness, its not the fruity sweetness you find in other teas, even other countries green teas. Their sweetness is more like the sweetness you can find in cabbage and other green vegetables ( again some people may think I am crazy for calling those things sweet).

I am not sure if its the more I have grown to like Sencha, the more I like vegetables, or the other way around. Either way Sencha can seem very much like eating ones vegetables, compared to other teas.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby dzrogers » Oct 6th, '12, 02:08

I'm discovering that I don't care for the senchas with a pronounced vegetable aroma and taste (and I LOVE eating all manner of vegetables and even drink some veggie juice). I also can't handle the smell of houjicha. It makes me want to gag. The taste is alright, but I just can't get past that smell!

I do much better with your middle of the road sencha. I'm currently enjoying Den's Organic Sencha, which is very mild and well-balanced. I brew it 2 level teaspoons per 8 oz or so with the water at about 170F.

If I'm honest, I really am just more of a Chinese green sort of girl. Give me something with a delicate floral sweetness and a hint of astringency and I'm in heaven!
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby Alex » Oct 6th, '12, 05:48

I hated JPN greens when I started. Just tasted of seaweedy foulness whatever grade I bought. But I kept going. And spent a period of time just drinking them. My taste adapted and I learnt to love them.

I had the same with oolongs actually at one point.

Anyway they are the majority of what I drink now. I think its more that my perception of what they should taste like and what is desirable in tea flavour has expanded/changed.

I drank nothing but Chinese greens for 5 years prior so that made my taste quite narrow.

I brew most of my sencha at 60c-63c which is quite a bit lower then most like but I like it.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby debunix » Oct 6th, '12, 12:12

I took a while to warm up to Japanese greens too, and while I don't really dislike any senchas, I definitely prefer the lighter asamushi styles to the fukamushi, because I love the lighter/vegetal/floral flavors and not as much the heavier/ocean/umami flavors of the fuka. I'm still not sure about gyokuro--I'm hoping for an OTTI (!) to sample several different really fancy gyos to see if that changes how I feel about them.

I'm also rather picky with Chinese greens, looking for the same flavor profiles--floral/sweeter/lighter/vegetal.

And we haven't even discussed the specialty Japanese greens, like some really delicious Kamairichas from Yuuki-cha that I had in another forum. They were closer to a Chinese green in flavor profile, but still....different, and lovely.

You don't have to be a deep-steamed & gyo fan to enjoy Japanese greens.

And now, I really want some sencha, but I have none. I thought that there was one last pouch at the bottom of the tea drawer, but it is.....gone. Aiyee!
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby Chip » Oct 6th, '12, 16:09

debunix wrote:And now, I really want some sencha, but I have none. I thought that there was one last pouch at the bottom of the tea drawer, but it is.....gone. Aiyee!

Hmmm, I guess it is time to announce a 3 day prior notice for a Sencha OTTI! :mrgreen: :idea: :arrow:

Sencha was a natural fit for me. I had a bunch of realllly mediocre sencha from domestic USA vendors early on which despite the fact that they were not good, they fueled my curiousity.

Then when I finally had a good one, I knew this was to be my personal favorite type of tea. And the rest is history.

So, obviously personal taste figures heavily in this equation.
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Re: Hurtin with Japanese Greens

Postby sherubtse » Oct 7th, '12, 08:34

tst wrote:I know Japanese greens are one of the most widely liked and favored teas on these forums, but I just can't see it.

I've tried three different Japanese greens so far, and have to say I don't see what all the hoopla is about (blasphemy, right?) :lol:


I know what you mean. Substitute "pu-erh" for "Japanese greens" above and you have my thoughts exactly! :lol:

Best wishes,
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