Grandpa style brewing is a casual way to drink tea. Simply find a large mug, throw in some leaves, pour in the water, and enjoy. Many tea drinkers use this on-the-go brewing style for Chinese tea. As I primarily drink Japanese greens, I decided to put this method to the test with some asamushi sencha. The results: surprising.

Brewing Parameters

The term grandpa style was coined by tea blogger MarshalN. At the heart of it, this brewing style is a conveniently simplistic method that isn’t concerned with temperature, time, or leaf/water ratios.

Leaf: 1 tbsp/500ml
Temp: 85C(185F) ~ish
Time: Infinite
As Japanese tea can be finicky, I was skeptical if grandpa style brewing would produce an enjoyable flavour. To hedge my bets, I decided to use very little leaf, and allow the boiled water to cool for a bit.

These parameters equated to approximately 1 tablespoon of leaf per 500ml, and a temperature of roughly 85C (185F).

Settling Leaves

Initially I was concerned that I would be drinking leaf with every sip. For this reason, I chose to use an asamushi rather than a crumbly fukamushi. As expected, when I poured the water into my mug, the leaves scattered into a whirlwind. However, after a minute they settled to the bottom.

Aside from the couple stragglers that took an extra minute to settle, the leaves remained unmoved at the bottom, and proved to be a non-issue.

grandpa style brewing Japanese green tea

Taste and Bitterness

The first few sips were very light on flavour. Around the 5 minute mark, a fuller taste became more noticeable. This fuller taste didn’t sing as much as it would have if I brewed this asamushi in a traditional way, but it was pleasant nonetheless.

After 10 minutes of brewing, I expected a prominent bitterness. As I drank the last few sips of tea, I found this was not the case. The flavours were a little out of balance at that point, but still tasty.

Final Thoughts on Grandpa Style Brewing

While the results of grandpa style brewing are pleasant, the overall taste does not have the same level of intricacy that it would if brewed in a traditional way. However, the uncomplicated brewing method is refreshing and convenient.

Grandpa style brewing is a viable way of getting your Japanese green tea fix, especially if you are away from your regular teaware. Why not give it a try today? 😀

Want to Learn More?

Visit the forum and check out This Discussion on the Topic. 😉

Griff is the co-founder of The Art of Japanese Green Tea website and video series.

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