Easy-brewing sencha for the office


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Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby saxon75 » Feb 21st, '14, 01:26

Hi all,

I drink a lot of tea while I'm at work during the day. We have a hot water dispenser, which is very convenient, but the temperature out of it varies a lot--anywhere from a bit below 70C to somewhere above 85C. Add to that the fact that I don't have a scale at work and that means I tend to stick to teas that are very forgiving in terms of brewing parameters: oolongs, Chinese greens, hongcha, and the occasional Assam or pu-erh.

But lately I've been finding that I really crave sencha while I'm at the office, so I was wondering if anyone could recommend one that will tolerate a fair amount of slop in the temperature/time/leaf ratio.

Thus far my favorite Japanese teas have been Maiko's karigane, O-cha's yutaka midori, and Thes du Japon's kondo-wase and yamakai. But I'm willing to try anything so long as it stands a chance of coming out well without a timer, scale, and thermometer.
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby Noonie » Feb 21st, '14, 07:27

I've had success with O-Cha's yutaka midori and oku yutaka (latter takes the water at a cooler temp).

I will sometimes trigger the boiler to come on in the hot water dispenser (it's on a coffee machine), as I know once it shuts off the water is at its hottest. I bring it over in my kyusu without leaves, let it sit for a minute, pour it into my cup, add leaves to kyusu and then poor the water in. The flavour varies a little but I've been very happy with this tea at work.

Good luck
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby MEversbergII » Feb 21st, '14, 10:59

If you've got a microwave you could consider bringing in a pyrex cup to heat water in - that's what I do.

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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby entropyembrace » Feb 22nd, '14, 17:18

70C is about right for most sencha, if the water heater is running hot you could use a second vessel to cool it a bit before you brew. :)

actually I think since the water heating is dispensing at such a low temperature you'd probably get better results from green tea than what you have been brewing...
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby saxon75 » Feb 25th, '14, 18:16

It's not so much the temperature that I'm worried about, although that is a concern. Mostly it's that I don't have (and don't want to have) a scale or stopwatch at work. The teas I drink at the office these days are very forgiving to brew, and I can easily eyeball the amount of leaf and "feel" the steeping time. I never do that with sencha at home because most of the sencha I've tried has been very finicky--just a little too much time or leaf and it gets bitter, not enough of either and it's flat.
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby Chip » Feb 25th, '14, 22:41

You could always premeasure a session and take it to work. Timer is easy if you have a cell phone, I use the stopwatch to avoid beeping. It might not be the perfect set up but it worked for me.
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby saxon75 » Feb 26th, '14, 14:37

I hope this isn't rude, but I find it a little odd if the question is "What is a tea that doesn't need me to use a scale and timer?" to answer by telling me a different way to use a scale and timer. I mean, if there is no such tea, that's fine and maybe I just have to suck it up and leave the sencha for at-home drinking. But as much as I'm willing to fuss with my tea when I'm at home, it's just not appealing for the office.
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby Chip » Feb 26th, '14, 14:50

:mrgreen: I hope this isn't rude or odd ... then get green Bancha ... easy peazy ... :mrgreen: I am actually serious about this as Bancha is extremely forgiving. :idea:

I was simply offering a way for you to have the sencha you like in a simplified way which you want for the office. Either that or develop your intuitive side to brewing so you do not need things like scales, timers, thermometers and the like.

In TeaChat discussions we often branch out in our discussions ... and try to figure out different ways to approach problems in order to find solutions. No offense was intended.

Virtually any good sencha is going to require a bit of attention to detail though you can go in a more Western style brewing of it and it is more forgiving.
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby saxon75 » Feb 26th, '14, 18:12

Sorry if I was a bit prickly. :)

Bancha is a good suggestion. I hadn't thought of that. Any suggestions for vendors?
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby MEversbergII » Feb 26th, '14, 18:20

Den's bancha's pretty good. Houjicha might also be pretty forgiving, but I've not had any other than Yamamotoyama's. Den's got that too.

http://www.denstea.com/

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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby debunix » Feb 26th, '14, 18:26

Whichever sencha (or bancha, or whatever) you pick, it's good to remember that when brewing conditions aren't optimum and the tea gets too strong/bitter/over brewed, it's often possible to rescue by diluting with extra plain water.....this, and adding a dollop of cool water to enable to very hot brew to be drinkable temperature quicker, is the main use I make of my yuzamashi....

(edited to fix stupid phone text mistakes)
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby entropyembrace » Feb 27th, '14, 18:10

saxon75 wrote:I hope this isn't rude, but I find it a little odd if the question is "What is a tea that doesn't need me to use a scale and timer?" to answer by telling me a different way to use a scale and timer. I mean, if there is no such tea, that's fine and maybe I just have to suck it up and leave the sencha for at-home drinking. But as much as I'm willing to fuss with my tea when I'm at home, it's just not appealing for the office.


If you put it that way my answer is that no tea requires a scale and timer since I never use either when brewing tea.
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Re: Easy-brewing sencha for the office

Postby gunbuster363 » Mar 20th, '14, 02:31

For timer I use the little clock display in the computer. You know, if you click the time display at the bottom-right corner of windows os, it will pop up a little analog clock whom could be observed while it is clicking at a per-second inteval.

And I have a little scale with a size smaller than my hand at the office. The scale could also be put into my bag easily.

And also a instant read digital thermometer too.

I could easily brew gyokuro at the office.
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