Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gyokuro brewing workshop 2

I’ll continue to talk about the gyokuro brewing workshop from where I left off yesterday.

For the second brewing, use the hot water in the water cooler, which is about 45 degrees C. Pour it into the teapot. The amount of water should be about as same as the first brewing.

After waiting 2 minutes, serve the tea into the teacup.

The taste was little different from first brewing, but it was still very good, and had rich gyokuro flavor with profound umami. It was very gyokuro.

We enjoyed the sweets after second brewing. For gyokuro or sencha, it is better not to have sweet in the beginning. Enjoy the tea first, and then sweets.

I tried the third brewing with 60 degree C water for 2 minutes. The brewed tea had still good umami, and the taste was like kabusecha.
This picture is the tea leaves after third brewing. The leaves were not totally open yet. It looked that you can enjoy more brewing with the leaves.

I tried the fourth and fifth brewing with higher temperature of water. The umami got milder, but they were still good. They were very nice and mellow tea. This picture is for the fifth brewing.

After enjoying some cups of tea, you can eat brewed tea leaves by adding a little soy sauce with citrus juice. My tea leaves remained strong tea flavor and bitterness. They were little too strong for me. I could have enjoyed more brewing and infused more tea component. Then the taste of the leaves would have been milder.

The Gyokuro that I tried at Sagano-yu on a past trip, didn’t last to the fifth brewing like the gyokuro here. The flavor has almost gone at the third brewing on the Sagano-yu gyokuro. I believe it is because that fewer leaves and more water were used.
The tea plants for gyokuro are usually covered for 20 days to avoid direct sunshine. The master at Takumi-no-yakata said that their gyokuro was covered for 40 days. Maybe, it is one of the reasons for that their gyokuro is good. But I don’t think it’s so simple. Longer covering makes better gyokuro? If so, people are already doing so. The tea is very profound, I think.


  1. Kohei-san, thank you so much for your blog. It's simply amazing with all your tips and experiments around brewing methods! It's absolutely one of my top blogs. Every time my browser starts, your blog pops up.

    Actually, I'm Mattias who emailed you a couple of months back. I was unable to reply at the time, but I'll say it while writing this comment, that I'm very grateful for all your hard research, and all the information about japanese tea webshops you gave me. I'm impressed by your generosity!

    I actually have a blog of my own now, although it's in swedish, at http://senchaholic.wordpress.com

    You're my main inspiration for me while writing at that blog!

    I hope we'll have contact again soon, and I'm sure to pay a visit to your store again when possible.

    Thank you!


  2. Hi, Senchaholic-san,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I’m very flattered. I’ve visited your blog. I don’t understand Swedish at all, but I looked at the pictures. You seem trying a lot of things with Japanese teas. That’s great! I’m glad that you are enjoying it (^o^)

  3. Where would you suggest purchasing a houhin from, online?

    1. Thank you for stopping by. I regret to tell you that I myself don’t buy tea wares online and I cannot give you a good advice on that. I’m sorry (^^;