Thursday, February 3, 2011

I brewed sencha with different temperature water

I wanted to show you an example of how the taste changes along water temperature. Today I actually brewed tea in different temperatures. I adjusted brewing time on each brewing to get the right density.

** Conditions **
Tea: 2grams (average sencha)
Water: 60ml (2.1oz)

A: 90degC (194F), 40sec
B: 80degC (176F), 60sec
C: 70degC (158F), 90sec

A: Strong bitterness
Rich bitterness filled my mouth. I tasted umami but the presence of bitterness still prevailed. The bitterness continued to stay until the aftertaste. And as the taste of bitterness faded away, the sweetness remained in mouth as a cozy afterglow.

B: Good balance of umami and bitterness
It had a good body of rich umami and bitterness. I liked the nice harmony of the flavors. It had a simple but satisfying aftertaste.

C: Sweetness
It had a rush of light bitterness, but after that, sweetness filled my mouth. I guess the umami taste also gives off some sweetness. This tea was a little mild for me. I should have brewed a little longer, 120sec perhaps.

Overall, Tea gets bitter with high temperature water and milder with low temperature as I mentioned yesterday. I liked B best among the three. I think 80degC (176F) water and 60sec brewing are good for this tea.


  1. Very interesting.

    What kind and type of Water you use ?Mineral?

    Best Regards.

    . PHILIPPE .

  2. Konnichiwa PHILIPPE-san
    Thank you for visiting my blog (^-^) I usually use tap water for my tea. Tap water is not bad in my area. I have a built in filter on my faucet, so it can brew pretty good tea.

    If you are interested in water, please look at my previous posts. I have tested different water for green tea.

    These four posts are about water for green tea.


  3. I have been trying B and C for some days as a matter of fact. I tend to prefer C, but it depends on the tea I guess.

    Have you tried this kind of experience with fukamushi sencha ?

  4. You are right, David-san! It will depend on the tea (^-^)

    This theory works with fukamushi-sencha as well, but you need to shorter the brewing time. 20sec(90degC), 30sec(80C), 50sec(70C)… somewhere around that. But again, it depends on tea (^_-)-☆

  5. Hello Kohei-sab,

    I have found that I need to match temperature and brewing time for different varieties of Sencha. Some (like Yutakamidori) need - in my experience - lower temperatures otherwise they taste too bitter. Other varieties (not necessarily lower grade) need higher temperature and a bit more time to brew.

    I think personal taste has a lot to do with it as well. As a westerner I do not pretend to know what is "right"... this gives me the freedom to experiment with what tastes nice to me.

    BTW I have an Hiroshi Mizuno teapot on its way to me, recently ordered from your online shop. I have no doubts the tea brewed with it will turn out very lovely.

    Best regards, Jonathan.

  6. Hi, Anonymous-san,

    You are right. There is no absolute answer for the temperature. As you say, it is very depends on personal taste. Even in Japan, some people prefer brewing sencha with boiling water^^ Have fun and great tea with Hiroshi teapot!

  7. I just tried this experiment with a wonderful "Sencha Arihara" (I think Arihiara is the name of the company that blends it) that I got at my local tea shop.

    Brewing method A was AWFUL. Will never do again. Yikes!

    Brewing method B was awesomely vegetal and produced a strong cup. Definitely packed more of a caffeine punch to it. It's the way to go for a nice cup to wake you up in the morning.

    Brewing method C was much more "mellow." It had less caffeine (you could tell) in the cup and the liquid felt thicker in my mouth. This is great for an evening brew or maybe something to go alongside a meal but not overpower the food's taste.

    I'm curious about if I did method C and tried 120 seconds instead, as well. My guess is it would be somewhere in the middle between methods B and C.

    1. I’m glad to hear that you have tried this test for yourself. Isn’t it interesting?
      I think your guess will be right. The prepared tea with method C for 120 sec will probably have the taste between methods B and C. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

  8. I always brew my sencha with method B (80C/60sec) and it's really good. Do you have a good method for brewing cold sencha? When I lived in Japan I liked buying the bottled oi ocha from vending machines, but I've never been able to make sencha that tastes the same by myself.

    1. Hi, Jason-san, Oh, you have lived in Japan! I love bottled tea, too, but I believe that own prepared tea is much more delicious than bottled tea. I have written about preparing cold sencha on this blog. I’ll be grateful if you check the following entries.

      Maybe you can try this >>>
      Iced sencha, adjusted recipe

      I’ve have some other entries iced sencha >>>
      Iced sencha, my recipe of trial and error
      Exquisite cold sencha
      Experiments don’t go well sometimes

  9. Just found your blog. Thank you for sharing so much information with us. I am going to have to try the different temperatures and see what difference it makes. I live in Denver which is at an altitude of about 5,400 feet(1646 meters), which does have a impact on water temperatures and tea brewing. Love reading your posts, thank you for taking time to post.

    1. Wow, 5,400 feet! But, Japanese tea doesn’t require the high temperature water. Lucky you! cknapp-san, I’m glad that you found my blog informative.

  10. Hi Kohei-san,

    I´m relatively a novice in the world of japanese green tea, trying to find my favourite type of tea. What do You think of mixing Sencha and Matcha?

  11. Best work you have done, this online website is really cool with great facts.
    matcha tea

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