Shiboridashi brewing guide

 

The shiboridashi is a traditional Japanese brewing vessel that is ideal for brewing higher grade green teas, such as gyokuro and high grade sencha.

Palm-sized, handleless and easily clasped in one hand, the shiboridashi is distinct from the kyusu, which is often commonly (though not always) found with a handle. Brewing with the shiboridashi is straightforward; a minimal amount of warm water and a large amount of leaf is used to create a concentrated tea liquor.

Because only low temperature water is used in steeping, you won’t burn your hands using it. A precisely engineered brewing vessel, the fine slits near the spout function as a strainer, retaining the leaves and ensuring optimal pour rate.


Parameters

Please see the Senchado brewing guide.

Method

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Measure the leaf and place directly into the centre of the shiboridashi. Then, measure and bring the water to your desired temperature.

To lower the temperature of water, transfer it into a room temperature bowl. The temperature drops by 10 degrees each time. Do this as many times as needed to bring to the desired temperature.

Alternatively, use a temperature controlled kettle, or check with a food thermometer.

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Pour the water carefully around the leaves, slowly and in a circular fashion, to avoid splashing.

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While steeping, leave the lid off the shiboridashi.

Keeping the lid off helps you to appreciate the aesthetic of the tea leaves as they unfurl. Further, if you are not relying on a timer, the amount of ‘bloom’ visible in the tea leaf is helpful in deciding when the tea is ready to serve.

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Allow the tea to steep and bloom. The steeping duration will depend on the parameters you have selected above. If you choose a longer steep time, the tea will brew stronger, but potentially taste more bitter and astringent.

Pour the tea from the shiboridashi into the drinking vessel(s).

If you are serving guests, try to distribute the liquor equally by pouring a little at a time into each cup.

 
Green teaJasmin WongJapan