Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tea Maestro's Routine "Tea Cupping"

My father, Tea Maestro Sugimoto, has been making tea for over 40 years. Since he started his career as a tea professional, tea cupping is his daily crucial routine. He performs cupping before, during, and after the tea production to make sure his tea is being produced the way he wants.

He always uses boiling water to steep 4-5 grams of tea leaves. Once pouring the boiling water, he scoops and smells tea leaves. He doesn't necessarily drink the tea. Smell of the tea leaves tells everything. Use of boiling water is very important, he said. The boiling water brings out all the tea's characteristics, even negative elements. The key of the cupping is to find any fault to fix it.
When he finds faults, he meticulously adjust the blending ratio of the tea leaves.

Tea Maestro does this every single day. This is how our green tea is produced.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eye-Opening Cold-Brewing

So, we've talked about how to make iced green tea with teabag last time.
Today I want to share with you the method of cold-brewing with loose leaf.
No hot water needed. That's right. No hot water at all!

Cold-brewing is a delicious and simple way of making sweet and flavorful green tea. Perfect for summer.
Have you ever wondered why the same green tea you have sometimes taste different?
It is most-likely due to the water temperature you use to brew your tea.

It's all about chemistry. The water temperature changes the balance of catechin (=bitterness) and theanin (=sweetness) in green tea, and gives you a wider range of flavor. So, Here's the tip.
The tea becomes sweeter when brewed with lower temperature.
The tea becomes bitter when brewed with higher temperature. With that in mind, you can enjoy variation of flavor with the same tea by controlling the water temperature. It's worth trying.

Today, we brew with very cold water.

1. Use a little more loose leaf than your regular hot-water brewing. We use 3-4 teaspoons of Sen Cha loose leaf for a 12 oz Tokoname teapot.

2. Add ice cubes and water into the teapot.
3. Brew for 5 minutes.

4. Pour into your favorite glass. When you pour, you may want to shake your teapot a little to evenly pour out the extract. That's all.

It is very flavorful and sweet! Even thought it is not brewed with hot water, it's got the fantastic aroma and color of green tea. You can enjoy the second brewing, the third brewing and even the forth!

Try cold-brewing with SA Sen Cha!
All Sen Cha Loose Leaf products are on sale through August.

Because our SA green tea is "fukamushi (deep-steamed)" green tea, it works perfectly well for cold-brewing.

Another interesting method I want to introduce to you is ice-brewing. I personally have not tried it yet but I am VERY interested.
You literally brew green tea with ice only. Drip by drip brewing slowly. It must be SOOO good.
I found ice-brewing teapot on Amazon.
Anyone wants to try ice-brewing with our Sen Cha?