Monday, March 12, 2012

What happens if you change the water temperature while brewing?

There are some different ways of preparing gyokuro.  One of the unusual ways is that you put tea leaves into a teapot with hot water.  Later, you can then add lukewarm water, and then wait a little more while.  In this case, you lower the temperature during the brewing.  I wonder how it is different from ordinary even-temperature brewing.  And I also wonder what happens if it is brewed in the opposite way, while adding hot water later in the lukewarm brewing.  What do you think?

I don’t have gyokuro at the moment, so I tried three different brewings with kabusecha in the following condition: 

A, Even temperature (ordinary brewing)
60ml 70C (2.1oz 158F) for 1min

B, Hot lukewarm
30ml 90C (1oz 194F) for 30sec, then add 30ml 50C (1oz 122F) and wait 30 seconds more

C, Lukewarm hot
30ml 50C (1oz 122F) for 30sec, then add 30ml 90C (1oz 194F) and wait 30 seconds more

I used 3g of leaves in either condition.

These are the teas brewed in the different conditions.  “A” is relatively clearer than the other two.  I think this is because “B” and “C” are agitated by adding water in the middle of brewing.

I didn’t find significant difference among the three, but there are certain differences.
A, Mild
B, Bold and profound
C, Clear but densed
The result is pretty much the same as you can see in their appearance.  When I did a similar test in the past, I liked “A” the best.  But this time, I find “A” as too light and watery.  I like “C” most in this test, and I tasted a well-balanced flavor right after I sipped.  The flavor is never ambiguous and you know exactly what you are tasting.  It beautifully faded out in the end by keeping the elegance.   I think adding hot water sharpened the flavor. 

Now, I have more choices for brewing.  I might sometimes use method “C” as my secret tip.


  1. Wow, I would not think about preparation this way.

    1. This is not a common way, but it works. It is always good have more options (^^)