Sencha Recommendations - quick infusions?

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Feb 2nd 18 8:53 pm
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Joined: Jan 30th 18 7:29 pm

Sencha Recommendations - quick infusions?

by Sundrienne » Feb 2nd 18 8:53 pm

Hi there,
I've been exploring Japanese green tea but I'm still in the process of figuring out what teas and what brewing parameters match my preferred tastes. I am IN LOVE with the various smells of sencha - nutty, grassy, sweet, buttery, oceany, salty. But honestly, once brewed, it's not as enjoyable to me. I've gotten it to where I usually enjoy the first few sips of each infusion, but halfway through each cup the flavor changes and the bitterness starts to creep in. I could go back to genmaicha (always yummy to me) but I really want to figure sencha out! My dream is to master brewing a sencha that tastes EXACTLY like it smells :)

I've been experimenting with different light/medium steamed senchas and fukamushi senchas (from dens and o-cha) and using the recommendations given with each tea, but there's so many different parameters to play with each for tea type - it's a lot of (expensive) work to sort out! Is anyone else out there bitter sensitive or prefer the nutty/buttery flavors the most? Any recommendations for either specific types of tea to try or general brewing parameters?

I've experimented with different tea/water ratios and temps, but it seems like, in general, all I've figured out is that I like the flavor of a short infusion (10-20 secs)- though sometimes I feel like it's too weak and I'm missing out.

Does anyone else do quick infusions with sencha? Any temps/ratios to try?

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Feb 14th 18 5:22 pm
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Re: Sencha Recommendations - quick infusions?

by chingwa » Feb 14th 18 5:22 pm

Ignore the brewing recommendations on the bag.
They almost always overestimate the water temperature and recommend too high of a temp.

For Sencha, try 1.5 tsp for 60-75 seconds, at 160f. If it's too weak for your tastebuds at that strength, then go up to 90 seconds. If it's too strong than do a bit less than 60 seconds.

For the second steep, do 165f for 5 seconds tops. Pour in the water, put the lid on and then pour it out.

Additional steeps can be a hotter and longer each time.

I follow this for about every Sencha (though I often do 2tsp to get a bit more flavor). On occasion I'll steep the first one a bit cooler than the above, but this is my baseline.

I don't do quick infusions on the first steep, as usually I want the leaves to open up a bit on initial contact with the water. Subsequent steepings I do very quick infusions.

Mar 12th 18 9:51 am
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Joined: Apr 24th 10 2:37 pm

Re: Sencha Recommendations - quick infusions?

by absence » Mar 12th 18 9:51 am

A certain amount of bitterness is an expected part of the sencha experience, and just like alcohol, it may take some time to get used to it. Note that the serving size for sencha is typically less than 100 ml, which is easier to stomach for inexperienced sencha drinkers than a huge Western-sized mug.

If bitterness remains a problem, you can try other types of Japanese tea. Kabusecha has less bitterness, but usually also less of the nutty flavours, so you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater that way. Another less common option is Kamairicha, which is pan-fried and often has much higher levels of nuttiness than sencha.

Mar 12th 18 10:42 am
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Joined: Mar 7th 18 3:33 pm

Re: Sencha Recommendations - quick infusions?

by ujio » Mar 12th 18 10:42 am

I have always found that the bitterness of good sencha turns into sweetness in a few seconds. My current sensha is a Morimoto Fukamushi, which has that effect. I love it :mrgreen: