Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby blairswhitaker » Oct 30th, '12, 03:54

ethan wrote:Top Leaf from Mellow Monk. It is > bitter! Their suggested 167F for 3 minutes = bitter; suggestion for following infusion for 30 seconds = bitter; quick steeping in Yixing teapot = bitter.

This is much > bitter than the spinach/vegetal taste of some oolongs, which I don't prefer but still can enjoy because they also have some sweetness etc.

I've enjoyed some smooth, brothy, flavorful green tea in Sushi bars; some also have a wonderful mouthfeel. That's why I continue to venture into green tea from time to time, but I fear that I won't find one I like, especially one that is affordable. Any suggestions?


Ethan,the type of tea you have had at sushi bars is more likely than not going to be Konacha or agari, both words refer to the same thing, it is often considered the "dust" of the sencha and gyokuro world, however their are more premium versions out there. The mellow monk site you ordered from offers one such example, "blissful buds green tea". (I have never had any of Mellow monks tea I can not vouch for the quality but this does look to be a higher end Konacha). The main reason for the mouthfeel you describe is that a lot of tiny tea particles are suspended in the cup.

As for brewing the guricha you have, I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to brew tea, but if you were to brew me that tea the way you are going about it I would say "YOUR DOING IT WRONG!"

I have gathered you are not a fan of bitter, you may not like astringency all that much either. Most guricha I have tried seems to have less astringency than rolled sencha for some reason, this could be to your benefit, so please do not give up on this tea as of yet.

I offer you these suggestions:
leaf ratio: I recommend you try.67 grams per ounce of water or,
(water) X (.67) = (amount of dry tea leaf to use in grams)
this is on the lighter side and a good place to start if you are getting to know a tea.
example: a tea pot that you will brew 4oz of tea in would be this ratio
4 x .67 = 2.68 so you would want to use 2.68 grams of tea
as you get more comfortable you should consider going up to a 1:1 ratio.

Water temperature: lower water temp is going to bring you "sweeter tea" try 70c instead of 75c thats 158f instead of 167f, not a huge difference but I believe you should start here.

Time: Timing is critical. Brew for 60 seconds for the first steep.
Three minutes? that seems waaaay to long to me.

second steep: 10 seconds

third steep: 60 seconds again

lastly be very sure you are draining everything out of your teapot, leaving water behind will cause bitterness to ensue.

If all else fails I will give you my address so I can properly dispose of that tea for you.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby sherubtse » Oct 30th, '12, 05:42

blairswhitaker wrote:
ethan wrote:Top Leaf from Mellow Monk. It is > bitter! Their suggested 167F for 3 minutes = bitter; suggestion for following infusion for 30 seconds = bitter; quick steeping in Yixing teapot = bitter.


As for brewing the guricha you have, I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to brew tea, but if you were to brew me that tea the way you are going about it I would say "YOUR DOING IT WRONG!"


I agree.

I have tried Top Leaf before, and it is definitely not bitter if brewed "correctly". In fact, most / all of Mellow Monks' teas are rather mild-tasting -- certainly milder than many from Japanese-based vendors.

Here are my brewing parameter for Top Leaf:

First infusion – 5g. per 8 oz. water, 65 deg., 50 sec.
Second infusion – 5g. per 8oz. water, 60 deg., 1 min.
Third infusion – 5g. per 8 oz. water, 55 deg., 10 min.

Play around with the brewing until you hit the "sweet spot".

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby ethan » Oct 30th, '12, 16:13

blairswhitaker & sherubtse,

I can't thank you enough. W/ your advice I am now drinking this Top Leaf w/ pleasure & think I'll find even better results w/ a little more experimenting.

Last night strong wind was smashing heavy rain against the windows; so, it was a perfect time to enjoy hot tea & for taking the time to get acquainted w/ a new tea. However, I got frustrated & could not think my way past several failures. You got me straightened out.

It will change a bit, but I'm sure I won't stop steeping for no more than a minute, using less temp. & less tea (now using 3/4 teaspoon of tea for 8 ounces of water no hotter than 68C). Mellow Monk may be suggesting the long initial infusion because the tea does need some time to "wake up". A quick rinse to get tea going is probably a better idea.

Using your suggestions, I lost the bitterness. I'm now just looking for the maximum flavor but am already happy. The other style of green tea is probably a project for next Spring; so, thanks for sharing info on that also.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby sherubtse » Oct 30th, '12, 18:19

ethan wrote:I can't thank you enough. W/ your advice I am now drinking this Top Leaf w/ pleasure & think I'll find even better results w/ a little more experimenting.


Glad to hear that you are now enjoying Top Leaf.

And yes -- keep experimenting until you have the various parameters "nailed" for your particular palate. And once you have that info, make a note of it somewhere so that next time you use the tea, you won't have to "re-invent the wheel".

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby blairswhitaker » Oct 30th, '12, 18:26

ethan wrote:blairswhitaker & sherubtse,

I can't thank you enough. W/ your advice I am now drinking this Top Leaf w/ pleasure & think I'll find even better results w/ a little more experimenting.

Last night strong wind was smashing heavy rain against the windows; so, it was a perfect time to enjoy hot tea & for taking the time to get acquainted w/ a new tea. However, I got frustrated & could not think my way past several failures. You got me straightened out.

It will change a bit, but I'm sure I won't stop steeping for no more than a minute, using less temp. & less tea (now using 3/4 teaspoon of tea for 8 ounces of water no hotter than 68C). Mellow Monk may be suggesting the long initial infusion because the tea does need some time to "wake up". A quick rinse to get tea going is probably a better idea.


Glad to hear things are improving. I would strongly recommend against rinsing green tea. Greens are not like oolong and puerh they do not benefit in any way from a rinse if you are looking for more flavor try increasing the leaf volume. You may also consider adding some time to each steep 10 seconds or so.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby JeiKun4114 » Oct 30th, '12, 20:35

More Sencha Superior :mrgreen:
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Hokujo Cup along with some Sencha Superior
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby Chip » Oct 31st, '12, 11:59

Fuji Hikari from Thes du Japon. Delightful! :mrgreen:
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby blairswhitaker » Oct 31st, '12, 15:00

a nice cup of Hibiki-An Organic gyokuro started my day off right.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby brandon » Nov 1st, '12, 09:00

Kagoshima master blend from The Makari 3rd Ave.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby ethan » Nov 1st, '12, 21:31

Again, Top Leaf from Mellow Monk. Now steeping at < temperature etc.: got it right now which means some pleasing & interesting flavors & 0 bitterness, surely good enough for regular drinking.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby David R. » Nov 2nd, '12, 03:57

At last, I've tasted Thés du Japon's Tôbettô. This is the most expensive sencha I've ever had, but it is worth a try.

This year, I have tried a few of this kind of sencha, from "mountains", with minimalistic firing and little to no fertilizer (natural farming) which leads to no umami : Hon.Yama Yokosawa and Tôbettô, Hojo's Jubuzan Sencha and another one coming from Postcard's. This is definitively my cup of tea.

As for this Tôbettô, you just have to open the teabag to understand how incredible it is going to be.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby brandon » Nov 2nd, '12, 08:01

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Tôbettô before work. I always find myself missing the umami. I still prefer Okumidori from this collection. Sorry Mr. R.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby David R. » Nov 2nd, '12, 12:19

World would be sad without different tastes... :wink:

Your Yamada So shibo is amazing Brandon ! I had the chance to try a yohen kyusu from the same artist which belongs to a good tea friend (lionel). What a geat piece ! One day...

Here's a picture.
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby sriracha » Nov 2nd, '12, 19:44

Obubu Tea Plantations' kabuse right now, desperately needed, both for winding down and for rehydrating. Why is my workplace such a desert? My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth when I got home =_=
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Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

Postby blairswhitaker » Nov 4th, '12, 18:25

A very nice Hawaiian green tea from Mauna Kea. light, clean, and mildly floral with some flavors hinting at some bao zhong oolong, but all and all a completely unique variety.
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