O-Cha order arrived
I'd ordered the beginner's kit for my first of all the basics, and tried it out today with the delicious Yutaka Midori. I brewed 2.8g in ~100mL, going off Chip's parameters in this post
. First try at verbalizing my impressions, so bear with me.
1st infusion (60s @ 158* into pre-heated kyusu) was a tad weak, although all the flavours (vegetal, marine, umami) were coming through without a hint of bitterness. The leaves smelled amazing, strongly, with all the same flavours. As the brew cooled, more of the tastes came out, I'm guessing as the particles in the cup continued to infuse. I decided to run the 2nd infusion on the longer side...
2nd infusion (30s @ 165*) - fantastic. The brew was much fuller, with a brothy mouthfeel and stronger umami. The taste was on the cusp of bitterness - not there yet, but just around the corner, wonderfully balanced. The brew did not improve as it cooled - on the contrary, the flavour moved towards "fishy". I'll stick to drinking this quite warm. The leaves began giving up their vegetal aroma, leaving room for buttercream.
3rd infusion (60s @ 175*) had a touch more bitterness, "there and not there" at first, but progressed into a distinct presence as the brew cooled. Not unpleasant, but I prefer without. The leaves continued to shift their aroma more towards a warm sweetness - beautiful.
Given the slight bitterness on this round, I backed off on the next...
4th infusion (60s @ 175*) - definitely too weak. Curiously, though, the bitterness remained. Not at first - at first I was back to that "cusp" - but as the brew cooled. This infusion felt drier as well. Tasting this, I realized some dryness was also present in the previous infusion, but it took its stronger presence here to bring it to my attention. As for the leaves, curiously again, a vegetal aroma returned. Overall, this round felt understeeped. Could this be a case of "too hot too fast"? Next time, I will try infusing longer, at lower temp, in hopes of extracting the rest of the leaves' sweetness before their bitterness.
Here's a picture of my setup-in-progress. I debated removing the pyrex cup, but in the interests of tea honesty
, all is there.
Next up - Kabusecha!