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Sunday, September 15, 2013

A wonderful day for Gyokuro!

Today I filmed myself trying to remember how to brew Gyokuro.  Thankfully I remembered how to brew Gyokuro incredibly well.  The weather may have helped as well, as it is a cool Fall day, with a persistent drizzle.

I hope you enjoy this video, as my previous Gyokuro video is one of the most viewed, and one comment I get the most is people wanted more explanation on what I am doing, so I am trying to do that by having this video with audio commentary.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 6, 2013

How much leaf is too much?

Private Collection 102K Da Yu Ling (2)

Chances are if your pot looks like above, you used too much leaf.  At the same time this was very close to passable and nearly great, simply because of the type of tea it was, which can be very incredibly forgiving with brewing parameters.   Honestly I have been brewing a large number of rolled balled oolongs lately, yet I am still having a very hard time zeroing in on the right amount.  If this goes on any longer I may need to resort to using a scale, as it seems I either under or over shoot my goal amount.

What are the symptoms of too little leaf?

While of course this is also dependent on your brewing parameters, such as steeping time, and temperature of the water/ temperature maintained during the steep.  Too little leaf can often throughout the first 2-4 steeps seem a little thin, and lack luster.  Often underwhelming in almost all aspects.  The one part that can actually shine better than the rest of the tea is aroma.  This can make the tea seem sweeter, so if that is what you are going for you may want to aim for using less leaf.

What are the symptoms of too much leaf?

Well besides the obvious over powering bitterness.  The tea will feel almost too thick, in a sense that even if it is not bitter, it will seem almost sticky, and leave you wanting water after each cup.  You may suffer from palate fatigue very quickly.  By that I mean after a few infusions you may find yourself feeling like you are no longer able to taste anything well at all.

What do I consider ideal?

I could go with the obvious answer between the above two, but I'll elaborate.  I do want to highlight that this is my own personal preferences, as everyone has their own personal flavor profile and sensitivities to bitterness.   I like my tea to the point that I get a slight sense of bitterness, enough that it lingers in the aftertaste, and turns sweet, but not so bitter as to become overpowering.  I often feel that this has the best mouth feel as well, because it seems at least in my opinion most of the thickness in tea is tied to actually the sense of tannin/ bitterness in the tea, so when it is at that point it is light enough to feel refreshing and thirst quenching, but thick enough to coat everything nicely and stick around just long enough.

To now ask my readers, what do each of you find ideal?

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