User avatar
Aug 27th, '17, 13:14
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jan 10th, '10, 16:04
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact: debunix

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by debunix » Aug 27th, '17, 13:14

It's wonderful how some foods make a particular tea sing like that. I'd never have guessed about watermelon and sencha. I''m about to head to the farmer's market, and will buy a little watermelon to check this out. No tea yet this morning, because I need to get going to the market now; but recently I've been drinking Kayanamidori sencha from O-Cha, tasty and rich, but not quite as amazing as the Tsuen Aoi.

User avatar
Aug 27th, '17, 14:48
Posts: 278
Joined: Mar 29th, '15, 21:32
Location: OH

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by Ferg » Aug 27th, '17, 14:48

Shine Magical wrote: However, what made today special was that I had red watermelon before having this tea. The aftertaste of the red watermelon made the tasting of this tea so sublime... the faint green tea flavors with the light sweet aftertaste of watermelon... wow.

It was very special.
Interesting on the watermelon. I actually have some chopped up at the moment, so I'll have to give it a go this week. After church coffee, I decided to drink a fukumushi, Shizu-Inzatsu 131 cultivar.

This one is different than what I've come to consider fuka. The dry leaves look and smell more like a kamairicha. The smell is quite intoxicating. Reminds me of some type of plant I'd smell at my grandmother's. Very perfumey.

My brewing parameters:
Measured out 8 grams of leaf
1st steep - 173.8°F w/ ~ 150ml of water @ 50 seconds
2nd steep - 164.2°F w same water volume @ 30 seconds
3rd steep and beyond - I pour hot water from kettle into yuzamashi to cool. As soon as I'm able to drink tea in cup I pour 'clayed' water from yuza into pot. I typically never measure water volume, but eyeball it. I tend to only use thermometer and scale, if that. I like to use my intuition and adjust my parameters based on the feedback I receive from my current cup. I feel I can focus on the tea and enjoy the moment more than worrying about instruments. Perhaps, I'm just lazy. :P

The taste evokes jasmine, thick if brewed too long or hot. Had this not been labeled a fuka, I never would've known it. I am glad to have tried this, something different, but I won't be purchasing again. Shame, I had such high hopes for this based on it's 'flowery' backstory. Oh well, I now know I prefer steamed fuka.

The spent leaf looks more like asa or kama as well. This was my last fuka, so I'll be rotating between a dozen asa/kama and a couple gyo's from my remaining shincha stash.

Unfortunately, TC won't allow me to post two of my resized photos, so I'll edit once I'm able to. Here is the one pic that is working for some strange reason.
first cup.jpg
first cup.jpg (57.34 KiB) Viewed 894 times

User avatar
Aug 31st, '17, 12:51
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by plod » Aug 31st, '17, 12:51

I received a big box of Japanese teas + gear yesterday, and had my first real experience with sencha today. I did as I was told by The Internet, and had the Hosen from Ippodo. It pleased me greatly to start off with a tea which name means "trousers" or "pants" in one of my languages.

The whole ritual was very rewarding. Favorite moment was definitely pouring the dry leaves into the pre-heated kyusu and feeling the spark in my synapses. The aromas were lovely.

Need to work on the brewing technique and parameters, of course, but the contents of the cup were already quite satisfying. I went for: 5 grams, 120 ml, 75 degrees. 60 seconds first brew, flash for second and third, about a minute for the fourth. Slightly strong and astringent for the first two cups, but enjoyable. Will spend the next 2-3 weeks finishing the bag, figuring out this tea before moving on. But Japanese teas and I are off to a good start.

User avatar
Aug 31st, '17, 13:16
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by victoria3 » Aug 31st, '17, 13:16

plod wrote: I received a big box of Japanese teas + gear yesterday, and had my first real experience with sencha today. I did as I was told by The Internet, and had the Hosen from Ippodo. It pleased me greatly to start off with a tea which name means "trousers" or "pants" in one of my languages.

The whole ritual was very rewarding. Favorite moment was definitely pouring the dry leaves into the pre-heated kyusu and feeling the spark in my synapses. The aromas were lovely.

Need to work on the brewing technique and parameters, of course, but the contents of the cup were already quite satisfying. I went for: 5 grams, 120 ml, 75 degrees. 60 seconds first brew, flash for second and third, about a minute for the fourth. Slightly strong and astringent for the first two cups, but enjoyable. Will spend the next 2-3 weeks finishing the bag, figuring out this tea before moving on. But Japanese teas and I are off to a good start.
I also love pre-heated kyusu roasted leaves aroma, the best. I haven't tried your Hosen yet :lol: I see you pretty much followed Ippodo's steeping recommendation. If it's too strong and astringent try slightly cooler, slightly more water 5gr/150ml/70c/60

User avatar
Aug 31st, '17, 13:36
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by plod » Aug 31st, '17, 13:36

victoria3 wrote: I also love pre-heated kyusu roasted leaves aroma, the best. I haven't tried your Hosen yet :lol: I see you pretty much followed Ippodo's steeping recommendation. If it's too strong and astringent try slightly cooler, slightly more water 5gr/150ml/70c/60
You're suggesting that my Hosen may have been too hot? I'll dress more conservatively for the next session.

Thanks for the advice, I'll adjust according to your parameters tomorrow.

User avatar
Sep 1st, '17, 10:41
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by plod » Sep 1st, '17, 10:41

Dungarees and 68 degrees made for a much better fit, thanks!

Also had a go at some hojicha last night, also pretty good. Again, the aromas on these Japanese teas are remarkable. Starting to think Ippodos brewing recommendations generally are too strong for me, though, and that I'd better scale down about 20% on the leaf all around.

Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself. There's something about the whole energetic-fitness-protein-spandex-mafia, which seems to be the only matcha-purveyor where I am located, that I just knew would ruin the taste for me (I may be prejudiced, but at least I know it and adjust accordingly.)

It's surprisingly similar to raw cocoa and certain kinds of confectionary, both in texture and depth of flavor. I'll need a more suitable bowl, though, seems my rookie technique can't handle the curvature on the one I used today.

User avatar
Sep 2nd, '17, 11:25
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by victoria3 » Sep 2nd, '17, 11:25

plod wrote: Dungarees and 68 degrees made for a much better fit, thanks!

Also had a go at some hojicha last night, also pretty good. Again, the aromas on these Japanese teas are remarkable. Starting to think Ippodos brewing recommendations generally are too strong for me, though, and that I'd better scale down about 20% on the leaf all around.

Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself. There's something about the whole energetic-fitness-protein-spandex-mafia, which seems to be the only matcha-purveyor where I am located, that I just knew would ruin the taste for me (I may be prejudiced, but at least I know it and adjust accordingly.)

It's surprisingly similar to raw cocoa and certain kinds of confectionary, both in texture and depth of flavor. I'll need a more suitable bowl, though, seems my rookie technique can't handle the curvature on the one I used today.
Whisking macha to a froth definitely requires a lot of practice and skill. After all these years I still haven't had one I love, too rich and thick, a bitterness I'm not fond of and makes my heart race much more than three espresso. I'm sure there are more refined elegant ones that I just haven't tried yet though.

If you have Ippodo's Gyokuro I'd start with their recommend parameters, I find those to be perfect, even if initially it seems like a lot of leaf at 10gr/80ml. When I used to have sencha every morning the aroma in pre-heated Kyusu was so intoxicating, then Maiko gifted me a surprise Sincha Tea Pillow to dream with, wow

User avatar
Sep 2nd, '17, 11:26
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jan 10th, '10, 16:04
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact: debunix

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by debunix » Sep 2nd, '17, 11:26

plod wrote: Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself.
I'm looking forward to having some quality matcha prepared for me when I go to Japan, because I haven't enjoyed it very much when I've made it at home, and couldn't be sure if it was that I didn't get the best quality tea (hard to invest a lot in top of the line if I am not sure I'll want to finish a bag), or used poor technique (never having seen it prepped except on YouTube videos), or if it simply is not my thing.

Meanwhile, I've been enjoying some Kanayamidori sencha from O-Cha this morning, brewed up hot, but mostly drinking cool-brewed teas this past week during a heat wave: the same Kanayamidori and some An Ji Bai Cha from Jing Tea Shop dropped into chilled sparkling water (first time I've tried An Ji Bai Cha this way, and it was magically delicious, prepped two more bottles this morning for drinking later today); some of the Organic Kamairi Tamaryokucha from O-Cha that I start with a bit of hot water for a minute or three, then fill the thermos with cool water; and Milk Oolong from Bird Pick Tea is excellent this way too.

Sep 3rd, '17, 06:55
Posts: 224
Joined: Aug 28th, '11, 08:08

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by Noonie » Sep 3rd, '17, 06:55

debunix wrote:
plod wrote: Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself.
I'm looking forward to having some quality matcha prepared for me when I go to Japan...
I'm curious, are you visiting Japan mainly as a tea enthusiast? I ask because in the back of my mind I have a trip planned where I visit Japan for a tea and sushi smorgasbord! I'm also an avid cyclist, and if I could explore the countryside by bicycle it would truly be a "bucket-list" experience.

User avatar
Sep 4th, '17, 07:00
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by plod » Sep 4th, '17, 07:00

victoria3 wrote: Whisking macha to a froth definitely requires a lot of practice and skill. After all these years I still haven't had one I love, too rich and thick, a bitterness I'm not fond of and makes my heart race much more than three espresso. I'm sure there are more refined elegant ones that I just haven't tried yet though.
Yes to the triple espresso comparison, I was surprised at the jolt it gave me first time around. Quite enjoyed it the second and third times, though, when I was less tired and the experience more refreshing. As for the taste, it is definitely a bit imposing, bordering on challenging. But part of my attitude to new categories of tea is that I should find something to like about each tea, or at least each type of tea. Doesn't mean they'll all become staples, of course, and matcha could very well be a bit rich for my blood. When I've figured out the ropes, and finished the two small tins from Ippodo (Horai + Tancho), I might look for something slightly more subtle. Yet I already love both the ritual (in the casual sense) and the feeling of returning refreshed from the time-out.
victoria3 wrote: If you have Ippodo's Gyokuro I'd start with their recommend parameters, I find those to be perfect, even if initially it seems like a lot of leaf at 10gr/80ml.
Thanks again, will do! I got two teas from each category, and will get around to Gyokuro in about one bag of sencha.

User avatar
Sep 4th, '17, 10:35
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by victoria3 » Sep 4th, '17, 10:35

plod wrote:
victoria3 wrote: Whisking macha to a froth definitely requires a lot of practice and skill. After all these years I still haven't had one I love, too rich and thick, a bitterness I'm not fond of and makes my heart race much more than three espresso. I'm sure there are more refined elegant ones that I just haven't tried yet though.
Yes to the triple espresso comparison, I was surprised at the jolt it gave me first time around. Quite enjoyed it the second and third times, though, when I was less tired and the experience more refreshing. As for the taste, it is definitely a bit imposing, bordering on challenging. But part of my attitude to new categories of tea is that I should find something to like about each tea, or at least each type of tea. Doesn't mean they'll all become staples, of course, and matcha could very well be a bit rich for my blood. When I've figured out the ropes, and finished the two small tins from Ippodo (Horai + Tancho), I might look for something slightly more subtle. Yet I already love both the ritual (in the casual sense) and the feeling of returning refreshed from the time-out.
victoria3 wrote: If you have Ippodo's Gyokuro I'd start with their recommend parameters, I find those to be perfect, even if initially it seems like a lot of leaf at 10gr/80ml.
Thanks again, will do! I got two teas from each category, and will get around to Gyokuro in about one bag of sencha.
How did you find Horai + Tancho to differ? I see Ippodo says Hario has a good balance, while Tancho is 'for those who prefer a slightly lighter taste'. I love their Gyokuros, so after you've had those it will be interesting to hear how you compare them all.

From now on I'm going to try and purchase smaller bags of Sencha and Gyokuro so I don't have to worry about degradation and a rush to finish before that happens. Although I see Ippodo only has 10gr. or 50gr. on the lower end of size spectrum, so I guess I'd go for 50gr.

User avatar
Sep 4th, '17, 11:09
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jan 10th, '10, 16:04
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact: debunix

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by debunix » Sep 4th, '17, 11:09

Noonie wrote:
debunix wrote:
plod wrote: Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself.
I'm looking forward to having some quality matcha prepared for me when I go to Japan...
I'm curious, are you visiting Japan mainly as a tea enthusiast? I ask because in the back of my mind I have a trip planned where I visit Japan for a tea and sushi smorgasbord! I'm also an avid cyclist, and if I could explore the countryside by bicycle it would truly be a "bucket-list" experience.
Not mainly as a tea enthusiast, but the first time I went to Japan I was not yet very interested in tea. This time tea will be a special interest, but I will be traveling with my mother, who is not interested in tea, and we will be visiting temples and gardens and shops. I do plan at last one side trip to Uji, and hope to get to a tea farm along the way.

User avatar
Sep 4th, '17, 11:13
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by victoria3 » Sep 4th, '17, 11:13

debunix wrote:
Noonie wrote:
debunix wrote:
plod wrote: Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself.
I'm looking forward to having some quality matcha prepared for me when I go to Japan...
I'm curious, are you visiting Japan mainly as a tea enthusiast? I ask because in the back of my mind I have a trip planned where I visit Japan for a tea and sushi smorgasbord! I'm also an avid cyclist, and if I could explore the countryside by bicycle it would truly be a "bucket-list" experience.
Not mainly as a tea enthusiast, but the first time I went to Japan I was not yet very interested in tea. This time tea will be a special interest, but I will be traveling with my mother, who is not interested in tea, and we will be visiting temples and gardens and shops. I do plan at last one side trip to Uji, and hope to get to a tea farm along the way.
If you go to Kyoto see if you can get Ippodo's highest end Gyokuro, only available at the main store, it is worth the experience.

User avatar
Sep 4th, '17, 11:36
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by plod » Sep 4th, '17, 11:36

victoria3 wrote: How did you find Horai + Tancho to differ? I see Ippodo says Hario has a good balance, while Tancho is 'for those who prefer a slightly lighter taste'. I love their Gyokuros, so after you've had those it will be interesting to hear how you compare them all.
I have only tried the Horai so far, figured I should get at least halfway through it before comparing. Will report back soon!
victoria3 wrote: From now on I'm going to try and purchase smaller bags of Sencha and Gyokuro so I don't have to worry about degradation and a rush to finish before that happens. Although I see Ippodo only has 10gr. or 50gr. on the lower end of size spectrum, so I guess I'd go for 50gr.
I agree that it would be nice to avoid the rush, wouldn't mind splitting the 100gr. bags I got. On the other hand I appreciate spending a little time with one tea (almost) every day for a while. Makes it easier to distinguish how different parameters affects the outcome versus how mood/energy/global political outlook alters the perception of taste. Most importantly, it gives me an extra incentive to prepare it well and find something to like about it. If I'm feeling lazy or predetermined, the expiration date means I'll still have to take my medicine like a good boy, so I might as well make the best of it. This is pretty much my take on life in general, I guess.

User avatar
Sep 4th, '17, 11:37
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

Re: Official what GREEN are you currently drinking?

by plod » Sep 4th, '17, 11:37

debunix wrote:
Noonie wrote:
debunix wrote:
plod wrote: Just tried matcha, also for the first time. I've hitherto stubbornly refused to try it until I could make it myself.
I'm looking forward to having some quality matcha prepared for me when I go to Japan...
I'm curious, are you visiting Japan mainly as a tea enthusiast? I ask because in the back of my mind I have a trip planned where I visit Japan for a tea and sushi smorgasbord! I'm also an avid cyclist, and if I could explore the countryside by bicycle it would truly be a "bucket-list" experience.
Not mainly as a tea enthusiast, but the first time I went to Japan I was not yet very interested in tea. This time tea will be a special interest, but I will be traveling with my mother, who is not interested in tea, and we will be visiting temples and gardens and shops. I do plan at last one side trip to Uji, and hope to get to a tea farm along the way.
Sounds lovely, I think. Hope you have a great trip, tea-wise and otherwise!

+ Post Reply