Saturday, April 21, 2012
Earlier this month I wrote a post comparing the two chasen I currently have, an 80 prong vs a 100 prong chasen. I would like to announce that after practicing at least once a week with the 80 prong chasen I can now produce matcha nearly as well as I could with the 100 prong. Sadly the photo above is focused mostly on the bowl, but you can see that the mint green sheen in the depths of the bowl has next to no color variation, a sing of a nice thick froth on top of the matcha.
While it is much more improved, it is still not perfect, it still has some bubbles that are larger than I would like. Though this is definitely minor compared to the issues I have been having previously.
So just like with all things, spend some time doing it each week, whether its working with a gaiwan, or getting down brewing techniques for a certain tea. One thing that often daunts new tea drinkers, and leads them down a path I feel is far too distracting from the tea itself. That is so many people stick to thermometers and timers, which while you will get the same results time after time, you loose the life a tea can have by spontaneously altering results ever so slightly. Not to mention, when you do screw up a tea on one infusion, its a true brewing test to try and figure out how to make the rest of the infusions taste right.
It takes some time to get it at first, but now when brewing Japanese greens I know when its at the temperature I want by feeling the outside of the cup, or if its a cup whose thermal properties I do not know yet, touch the water itself. Then I use my built in senses to judge how long it has been brewing. Its common to make quite a few mistakes at first, but again practice makes perfect.
Posted by Adam Yusko at 8:44 PM