OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Drax » Jul 15th, '11, 10:53

hopeofdawn wrote:As someone who's never participated in an OTTI before, would it be possible to get some tips on what people like to see in reviews? How detailed do we need to be? Do we have to taste more than one at a time to cross-compare more effectively?


Reviews vary a lot, so it's mostly up to your preference. Some people do side-by-side comparisons, most seem to take them one at a time. Pictures are always nice, but not required. And be as detailed as you feel comfortable! With sencha, brewing times and temperatures would probably be the most useful along with aroma, color, and taste info. But you can get as detailed as brewing vessels, drinking cup, water used, etc.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby teaisme » Jul 15th, '11, 14:27

I personally wouldn't sweat it too much.
Just try to enjoy the tea.
Then tell us about your experience.

Wouldn't busy yourself to the point of distracting your mind from appreciating the tea in front of you.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby puerhking » Jul 16th, '11, 15:42

Woo hoo! Got mine today...that was the fastest ever. Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Chip for another fine OTTI! And thanks to Adagio for the quality packaging.

Now do I want to know which is which? Hmmm.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 16th, '11, 15:45

Great, I will post the key shortly ... in about 45 minutes.

:mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby puerhking » Jul 16th, '11, 15:49

Thanks Chip!
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 16th, '11, 16:17

OK, this is a "blind key" which has been whited out.

In order to view it, click on quote for this post. The key will be visible in the post window! (you can also see this in my original post for this topic by again clicking on quote for that post, there will be a number in front of the selections)

1 Yame Fukamushi
2 Yutaka Midori Fukamushi
3 Tamaryokucha (guricha) Asamushi-ish
4 Aoi Asamushi

Click on "Quote" to view this key ... or conduct tastings blindly.
For those who requested exceptions due to already receiving 1 or 2 of the above. These are new introductions from O-Cha and are from my personal stash:
S Sakimidori Organic Fukamushi
K Kagoshima Organic Asamushi


BE SURE TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE REMOVED ALL TEAS FROM THE ENVELOPE. SOME PARTICIPANTS RECEIVED A SMALL GREEN POUCH OF BENIFUKI. if a participant previously expressed interest in Benifuki from Den's, this is in the green pouch, it is green tea powder. Blend with 4-6 ounces water.

I will post some brewing directions today within the next few hours.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby mlafranc » Jul 16th, '11, 20:30

Shincha in Vegas!

Benifuki, too. :D
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby woozl » Jul 16th, '11, 21:16

In house :!:
Had #1, fabulous balance of astringency/umami .
Knee buckler fer sher. And another session left :wink:
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 17th, '11, 00:16

Basic brewing guidelines that can of course be adjusted to personal taste and the tea.

I usually go with 1 gram leaf per ounce water (30 ml).
158* F (70* C) in a preheated kyusu, be sure to smell the warming leaf in the kyusu, warning: sit before sniffing as this might blow your freakin' mind! Alternately, increase temp by 15* F if NOT preheating the pot!!!
Fuka 40-75 seconds
Asa 90 or so seconds

Second steep 165* for less than 30 seconds
3rd, a bit hotter and 60 seconds
4th and beyond, continue to increase temp and time

Starting with cooler temps will yield a milder/sweeter cup usually ... hotter will increase bitterness and bring out stronger veggie notes.

For 1 and 2 and S (if you have an S), treat as fuka. 3 and 4 treat as asa, however I shorten the brew time for 3 to 60-75 seconds which is common for this type of tea.

Also for 1 and 2 I favor 160* F ... yeah, this is not much different than 158, but this is my preference. :lol:

PLEASE BE SURE TO SHARE HOW YOU BREW!!!
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 17th, '11, 00:26

Regarding reviews, just be yourself! Post reviews in your personal comfort zone. I am sure that everyone is interested in what everyone has to say regardless of experience level.

If new to reviewing teas, you have to start somewhere! This is a great place to start!!!

Since these tastings include a blind option, try to use numbers and not names for the next week or so. Eventually everyone will use names, but for now try and keep it blind for those conducting blind tastings.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby bob » Jul 17th, '11, 11:55

Thanks for the precise brewing instructions! I'll try to start with those settings. For temperature I mostly rely on my stainless steel kettle with temp control, but a dedicated thermometer is on its way.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hope the teas reach me before I leave for holidays. It would be a shame if the tea would have to sit in a mailbox for two weeks... :(
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby strickmr » Jul 17th, '11, 23:55

Well I just tried number 1. Wow. I'm fairly new to sencha and it sort of took me by surprise. It is absolutely delicious. Very mild with a hint of bitterness. I took a sip more than a few minutes ago and I can still taste it.

I used my new Gyokko black tokoname kyusu and a small white porcelain sencha cup. The white really accentuates the bright green of this tea. I'll upload a few pictures if I can soon. As well as review the other steeps.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby hopeofdawn » Jul 18th, '11, 12:13

Shincha has landed in Seattle! :D

I haven't had a chance to do a cross-comparison yet, but I did crack open #1 for an initial taste, because I just couldn't wait. The smell of the dry leaf is amazing--sweet and green, with almost a citrus note to it. The wet leaf was more of the same, with an umami scent added in ...

I don't have a scale that measures in grams, or a temp thermometer, so I had to fly by the seat of my pants--I used a half-tablespoon of leaf in a Chinese-style ceramic houhin (roughly large gaiwan-sized), and gongfu tasting cups to decant into. Used boiling water poured into a cooling bowl and let sit for about 10-15 sec--then brewed for about 20 secs on the first brew, and 30 on the second. First brew was just a little bit weak, because I was overeager--the extra 10 secs made all the difference on the second!

The taste had more of an astringent edge than I'd expected from the smell, but it offset the overall taste very well, it was very rich and smooth once I adjusted the brewing times! I got a good solid 3-4 brews with lots of flavor out of my initial try, with another 2 after that where the taste was weaker, but still present with longer steeps (about 2-5 min). I don't pretend to be an expert, but it was a very nice intro to shincha! Thanks, Chip!
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby JRS22 » Jul 18th, '11, 15:09

I've been having such success with my most recent O-Cha order that I thought I had learned how to brew Sencha w/o bitterness. I shuffled the bags about as if I was running a 3-card Monte game and reached in at random to select a tea. I was hoping for #4, which I've been reading about, but ended up with #2. I brewed it for 170*, w/0 preheating, for 40 seconds. Because of the bitterness I brewed the second round for only 25 seconds, at a lower temperature. That was even more bitter, so there was no third round.

Other participants should understand that the bitterness may be a quirk of my taste buds and not the tea.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Drax » Jul 18th, '11, 16:11

JRS22 -- How much leaf and water did you use...? That could be part of it. And brewing vessel...?
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