In the back of my head I had an itch to do a little cold brewing. Ever since using ice to brew…
I had previously purchased 3 water bottles which I had intended would be my brewing receptacles. Unfortunately, I consumed 2 of them before they could be put to use…
I was down to the bottom of prized bag of gyokuro that I bought while in Japan. I decided I would use that.
I had a 500 ml water bottle. I poured out a little to make room for the tea. Call it 400 ml.
There was a little more tea than I had originally thought when I poured it onto a plate for inspection. Oh well, it’s all going into the brew.
I am going to guess I put close to 10 or more grams of leaf into the bottle — everything I had left.
I screwed on the cap to seeal it. I put it in the fridge and went to bed.
4 hours and 34 minutes later, the bottle was out of the refrigerator and on my counter.
I grabbed the bottle and headed to the bus station. I was going to meet a friend in a remote part of northern Thailand.
As I arrived at the bus station and was getting ready to leave my friend texted me that my ride (needed to be picked up and transported to a remote spot) was missing (and therefore unconfirmed.) We decided it best I didn’t come. Instead, we decided we would try and meet up elsewhere in a few days.
I decided I would push on.. I was already planning to head up to Chaing Rai and then Mae Salong.
I ordered an Uber. I must go a different bus station.
Uber arrived. We headed off.
As I arrived at the bus … I set off to book my ticket. At this point ‘cold’ brew had now been brewing for almost 8 hours.
The bus ticket was acquired… however, it didn’t leave for another four hours. I decided to head home to finish the brewing.
By the time I arrived home the gyokuro had been brewing for approximately 8 hours and 45 minutes. This was significantly longer than I had originally intended.
I poked a bunch of holes in the top of the water bottle cap. I would use this to drain the liquor from the cold brew bottle.
I was planning to pour it into another water bottle for storage purposes, but how to do it with out spilling tea all over the counter. (This unfortunately, still occurred…)
I found a plastic bag and decided I could use it as a vehicle to catch and transfer the tea into he other bottle.
5 minutes later, and I had my gyokuro brew.
The liquor was super cloudy, almost to the point of being opaque.
I scribbled in my journal “pale green, almost like a military color. This stuff would be lost in the jungle. Thick, like a broth.”
I poured some into my cup.
Wow. Super thick.
Let’s try it.
I love the vegetal taste in gyokuro.
I noted in my journal:
“Vegetal. It always makes me think of asparagus for some reason.”
Mmmm. I love asparagus.
“Astringency is a little over powering.”
This caught me off guard a little. I guess because it had brewed for so long that it pulled that out of the leaves.
Ah yes. That’s why I came, the umami. It was an intense and welcomed hit of savory in my mouth.
I sat there for a while and poured myself several glasses of the pale green both and saved the rest.
I decided to take it with me on the trip… give it another shot tomorrow.
I wasn’t sure how well it would do on the travel. I put it in the freezer in hopes that I could keep it cool just long enough for the 4 hour travel.
Upon arriving to my accommodation, I put the now room temperature brew in the fridge.
Over the next two mornings, I sampled the liquor and noted how it had changed since the first taste and with “rest”.
Day 2 notations:
It had somehow gotten sweeter as it rested in the fridge for 24 hours.
Not astringent at all
So by the third day… the taste profile had changed significantly. The astringency was gone. And the umami had somehow intensified. Maybe less of the former opened up a capacity to note the latter.
I had a lot of fun with this. Next is something with oolong!