First taste of Ippodo

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First taste of Ippodo

Postby Muadeeb » Feb 10th, '14, 22:03

I'm trying out some Ippodo green tea for the first time, Kaboku being the first bag I opened. It seems to contain less small bits of leaf than Den's Zuiko, but that might just be the fact that I'm at the end of the bag of that one.

4 grams at 165° for about a minute in my 150ml kyusu.

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The taste is very clean with a subtle flavor. The umami hits at the end with a bit of a drying sensation. There is not a lot of difference among the 3 steeps, but I see that as a good thing as the zuiko gets a bit astringent by the 3rd steep. I've been doing fuka and karigane sessions these past few days, so this is a great new flavor.

Once I have a chance to dial in the parameters it should be even better. The instructions on the side suggest a much higher ratio. Suggestions welcome!

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Chip » Feb 10th, '14, 22:25

Yes, you will want to try the higher ratio! WEEEEEEEE!!!!! :mrgreen:

I am guessing you are about 1:1 right now (grams per ounces). You could try easing it upwards, maybe try 1.25:1 next.

Did you watch their video on brewing sencha their way?

Nice Petr-Yaki???!!!

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby chingwa » Feb 10th, '14, 22:56

I've found with Ippodo that the higher ratio makes a huge difference... turning what I used to think were nice (but not very flavorful) offerings into some really great tea!

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Joel Byron » Feb 11th, '14, 09:09

I just got my first Ippodo order yesterday. I'm having some Kaboku right now :) It's very clean tasting, if that makes any sense. Vegetal and buttery with a nice drying finish. I'm using 5g in a 140ml kyusu. Maybe I should up the ratio too. What say you TeaChatters(Chip)? 8)

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Chip » Feb 11th, '14, 10:49

Joel, you can definitely try upping the ratio. I am guessing you are probably around 1:1 with the displacement caused by the leaves and are not quite filling the Kyusu. You can also of course increase the ratio by using less water.

I would try 1.25:1 next time.

Of course, there is a point of diminishing returns ... but playing with times and temps and water volume and amount of leaf leaves you with many options.

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Muadeeb » Feb 11th, '14, 22:08

I tried 6 grams in the (you guessed it) Petr-Yaki at 175 degrees tonight. It definitely brings out the vegetal nature. Next time I'll use the same ratio but at my usual 165 degrees, I think that might be the sweet spot!

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Stentor » Feb 15th, '14, 12:39

Kaboku is probably one of the best green teas I've ever had. I think you're right; it does seem to contain very few smaller/broken pieces and generally consists of quite uniform needles. I think that's part of why it's relatively expensive. It is not only very high quality leaf but also very well sorted.
Whether that is absolutely necessary is another question but if you want very consistent brewing results and don't mind spending the money for the luxury, Kaboku is a great choice.

You can definitely use a lot of leaf with Ippodo teas. Sounds like you're getting there. I usually start closer too 160° F with most Japanese green tea but I know Ippodo recommends a higher temperature.

Anyway, that's some really good tea you have there. Enjoy!

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby rickardg » Feb 15th, '14, 13:35

I'm just a noob, so my wimpish tastebuds can only handle a 1:1 ratio (about 7 gr leaf in 200 ml water) at 70 C.

In fact, I almost gave up on Ippodo by following their instructions, it was just too vegetal and too bitter for me.

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby chingwa » Feb 15th, '14, 17:07

long-term consumption of sencha has been shown to reduce the tea-flavor sensitivity of tastebuds, requiring constant uppage of tea ratios to generate similar tea response! I'm sure this is just what tea-vendors want... it's a conspiracy!!! :D :D :D

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Poohblah » Feb 15th, '14, 21:15

I like Ippodo very much, but their brewing suggestions have not done well by me. I can never get the tea to come out anything but bitter by their suggested brewing method. I tried some of their gyo at the suggested 10 grams / 80mL / 90 seconds / 60˚C, which was WAY too much! Blech!! I had to cut both the amount of leaf and the time in half to remove the bitterness!

I will try brewing their sencha stronger, but I've had good luck sticking to 5gr / 150mL, which is a thinner ratio than Ippodo suggests for most of their senchas.

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby MIKE_B » Feb 16th, '14, 00:34

I love the higher end Ippodo teas. I use the amount of leaf they suggest, but I cut back on the time when I want a lighter cup.
I also found that higher Ph water works great with gyokuro especially but also sencha.

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Re: First taste of Ippodo

Postby Poohblah » Feb 16th, '14, 02:08

I have a packet of open mid/lower grade Ippodo sencha. I tried brewing it a little stronger this afternoon. It was an improvement over my usual method.

I do have an unopened packet of Kaboku in the fridge. I will make sure to brew it strong when I get around to it.

I really enjoyed Ippodo's premium organic sencha. I have a feeling most would prefer Kumpu or Kaboku over their organic offerings.

I have a habit of brewing all sencha the same way every time. My method is pretty similar to Chip's "1:1" ratio. I usually tweak it a bit to accomodate different sencha, but not by very much. I need to expand my horizons, I suppose...

Mike, higher pH (more alkaline) water sounds like it would indeed be a little better for gyo... I prefer sencha over gyo, though. I'm not much of an umami freak. (Yet.)

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