Chip wrote:I never asked, but I equated Futsumushi with "traditional steamed" which I figured to be asamushi.
Are you saying asamushi is more traditional than chumushi? From what I've read (less than you I'm sure) chumushi is the base line, norm, average from which asa and fuka are measured. It would be interesting to know more about the history of steaming in Japan.
edit: I see Thes du Japon intermixes Futsumushi with Asamushi making them the same? "A refined standard steamed sencha from Miyakonojô in Miyazaki. ....The aromas and flavors are changing at each brewing as only a great futsumushi/asamushi sencha can do."
Just based on my limited Google search, it seems there's some confusion, at least among sites in English. They pretty much all translate both chumushi
as something like "normal steamed," "medium steamed," or "regular steamed"--though, of course, "medium" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as "normal" or "regular." But there seem to be about an equal number of pages out there which say that futsumushi
is the same as chumushi
and which say that it is the same as asamushi
. So at this point I throw my hands up and move on.
This morning I tried the last of my main-round OTTI samples, the Sugimoto Hachijyuu Hachiya. I decided to disregard all the advice of those who had gone before me and try cool-ish temperatures at a 1:1 ratio, and I was immediately forced to admit the errors of my foolish ways. The first steep was thin and watery, perhaps a little sweet but with little real flavor and next to no body. The subsequent steeps developed some clean astringency that was not unpleasant, but there still wasn't much going on.
5g/5oz, unheated kyusu
1st: 60 sec @ 70C
2nd: 30 sec @ 73C
3rd: 90 sec @ 76C
4th: 3 min @ 79C
It's interesting, I've used exactly half of the sample for each of these teas, expecting that I would come back around to each of them for a second try. But as I've finished my first pass through, I'm finding that my mind is really sticking on a few of them--particularly the Karigane, the Kondo-wase, the Yutaka Midori, and the Yamakai--and I have little interest in re-attempting the others. I hate to waste the tea, though, so I expect I will use it eventually, but I'm not feeling extra-motivated to revisit all of them right away.
I still have my bonus sample, which came in an oolong baggie labeled "Tenjo." I have no idea what to do with it, but it appears to be a fukamushi, so I suppose I'll give it a shot with what I seem to have settled on as my standard sencha parameters.