Suggested steep values seem to be wrong...
Hi everyone. I’m still a little new to tea, and I’m focusing on Japanese greens for now. The steep times and temperatures I’ve been using originate from Japanese websites & suppliers, tea handbooks, and other respectable venues. I just ran across a big discrepancy for a particular tea. “Company T” suggests [1 tsp (~4 g)| 175 F (79 C) | 45 s] on their “Gyrokuro Imperial.” I assume this to be for a 200 mL (~7 oz) serving. Based on what I’ve learned and had good luck with for gyrokuros straight from Japan, all 3 suggestions are wrong and seem to be those used for senchas. The salesperson at Company T also said the values were too high. Average values for a more delicate gyrokuro would be [1.5-2 tsp (~6 g) | 135 F (55-60 C) | 2 min]. I’ve tried both sets for brewing, and the tea is much better brewed with the 2nd set of values! Company T’s suggested values produce a bitter cup.
Does anyone know why Company T would suggest such high values, when one can achieve a higher quality cup with traditional values? I have a couple of theories but would like to read what you have to say first. Thanks for the feedback!
the company is probably listing “general” guidelines for the broader tea category. This is often true on comercialy packaged tea as well. If I am buying something new I usually research proper steeping values instead of relying on the sellers suggestion solely. That usualy leads me to posts like this one where someone has already tried the tea in different ways.
I wouldn’t say that Company T is listing wrong values. That just may be how that company recommends to drink that tea. Steeping parameters are a very personal thing, there are general guidelines but then you can vary different parameters to your own personal taste. What one person tastes as bitter, a different person may taste something else.