ethan wrote:Top Leaf from Mellow Monk. It is > bitter! Their suggested 167F for 3 minutes = bitter; suggestion for following infusion for 30 seconds = bitter; quick steeping in Yixing teapot = bitter.
This is much > bitter than the spinach/vegetal taste of some oolongs, which I don't prefer but still can enjoy because they also have some sweetness etc.
I've enjoyed some smooth, brothy, flavorful green tea in Sushi bars; some also have a wonderful mouthfeel. That's why I continue to venture into green tea from time to time, but I fear that I won't find one I like, especially one that is affordable. Any suggestions?
Ethan,the type of tea you have had at sushi bars is more likely than not going to be Konacha or agari, both words refer to the same thing, it is often considered the "dust" of the sencha and gyokuro world, however their are more premium versions out there. The mellow monk site you ordered from offers one such example, "blissful buds green tea". (I have never had any of Mellow monks tea I can not vouch for the quality but this does look to be a higher end Konacha). The main reason for the mouthfeel you describe is that a lot of tiny tea particles are suspended in the cup.
As for brewing the guricha you have, I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to brew tea, but if you were to brew me that tea the way you are going about it I would say "YOUR DOING IT WRONG!"
I have gathered you are not a fan of bitter, you may not like astringency all that much either. Most guricha I have tried seems to have less astringency than rolled sencha for some reason, this could be to your benefit, so please do not give up on this tea as of yet.
I offer you these suggestions:
leaf ratio: I recommend you try.67 grams per ounce of water or,
(water) X (.67) = (amount of dry tea leaf to use in grams)
this is on the lighter side and a good place to start if you are getting to know a tea.
example: a tea pot that you will brew 4oz of tea in would be this ratio
4 x .67 = 2.68 so you would want to use 2.68 grams of tea
as you get more comfortable you should consider going up to a 1:1 ratio.
Water temperature: lower water temp is going to bring you "sweeter tea" try 70c instead of 75c thats 158f instead of 167f, not a huge difference but I believe you should start here.
Time: Timing is critical. Brew for 60 seconds for the first steep.
Three minutes? that seems waaaay to long to me.
second steep: 10 seconds
third steep: 60 seconds again
lastly be very sure you are draining everything out of your teapot, leaving water behind will cause bitterness to ensue.
If all else fails I will give you my address so I can properly dispose of that tea for you.