Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Regular readers of this blog know that sometimes when getting work done I enjoy brewing tea "Grandpa style." Having a decent bit of work to be done this spring break, I have been craving to brew Grandpa style, the problem though, the only leafy teas I have on hand are sencha. Sencha by nature as usually slightly more delicate than Chinese and Korean greens, often even in the top/ middle of the bags includes a higher portion of small leaf bits, Sencha has long since been considered by me as a tea that should just not be used for Grandpa style.
Though I did have a friend in the past tell me he has successfully brewed sencha Grandpa style, although gave no detailed instructions as how to accomplish this task. I have found a process that seems to work, and it breaks ever so slightly from normal Grandpa Style brewing. First off, I still only think this should only be attempted with Asamushi Sencha, the lighter steamed the better.
Step one with water that has just boiled, and given a chance to go just off boil, fill the bowl just enough to cover the leaves, and let it sit for a while ( bowl should be at room temp and not preheated). You should wait for that too cool slightly, which will usually happen once the sencha leaves expand and soak up the water so it looks more like wet grass clippings on the very bottom of the bowl. (30seconds - 1 minute)
Step Two as is more typical with Grandpa style, add water from the kettle to fill the bowl/ Chawan 1/3rd of the way. This and the last step are to establish a solid root, but also to not stew the leaves but expose them to enough water and heat that when the chawan is filled to 2/3rds or 70% of the way the sencha leaves will settle to the bottom, allowing you to drink from the top with ease. You will want to allow the leaves to sit in this 1/3rd bowl full of water till there is very little steam rising and the bowl is warm but not hot to the touch.
Step Three feel free to top off the bowl, and when it cools to drinking temperature drink, down to the 1/3rd full. Repeat until you are tired of the tea, or you feel it has lost all flavor.
A picture showing that I am enjoying Matcha Maddess this march, in a lovely new Chawan.