OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 14:35

OTTI 14 is a D.O.VE. OTTI Round. "DEDICATED to ONE VENDOR"

This round will feature 5 YAME shincha from our member Xell's Hakoniwado! Pretty exciting!

http://www.japantea.org/

Each participant will receive 10 grams of each selection, 50 grams total. If you have already ordered one or more of these shincha, please let me know, and I will see what we can work out, such as subbing with another selection.

Last round I was able to allow members to double up (I refer to this as "2X") and receive 20 grams per selection. I should be able to do the same this time around. Please see the ordering information in the next post.

Expect a pretty speedy turnaround on this one as all the teas, pouches, packaging are already here. As of this writing, the tea is still sealed, but we will be weighing and placing the teas in pouches shortly.

The 5 Yame shincha selections are as follows:

Yame sencha Kikyou, a premium grade sencha. http://www.japantea.org/tea/sencha/yame_sencha_kikyou

Yame fukamushi sencha Botan http://www.japantea.org/tea/sencha/yame_fukamushi_sencha_botan

Yame fukamushi kabusecha Tsubaki, the name says it all, a shaded version of sencha. http://www.japantea.org/tea/kabusecha/yame_fukamushi_kabusecha

Yame 88nights, although sold out for 2012 harvest year, we will be able to sample this very traditional shincha selection.

Yame hojicha Mare, yes this is new harvest, 2012. If arguing semantics, some would say this is not technically shincha. But it sure looks like an interesting selection based on the photos. http://www.japantea.org/tea/hojicha/yame_hojicha_mare

I hope you can join us for this Shincha OTTI round and support Xell at the same time! Xell has taken a big step this year and is doing all the sourcing. It should be exciting and ... tasty!

FYI. These shincha were shipped to me via EMS, arriving around 3 business days after shipping. This will ensure speedy delivery and ultimately the freshest shincha delivered to you.

See the next post for info on how to participate.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 14:37

For general info on how the OTTIs run, please see this topic: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=16242 The biggest change is if you are interested in participating in this OTTI round, I am asking that you email me on or after 6 pm Eastern USA time today, Wednesday 6/13/12 at teachatmoderator@yahoo.com ... SUBJECT: OTTI 14.

If you email me from your paypal email, that will simplify things, but it is not necessary!

"Dedicated to one vendor" OTTI rounds will be a bit higher in cost, but I feel a great deal anyway. Where else are you going to try 5 (five) premium shincha selections from Xell for a couple bucks each? For single vendor OTTI rounds, I have to purchase all the teas in advance (out of my own pocket … at a discount albeit. this is not funded by Adagio nor any other vendor nor entity at this time), so therefore costs are higher this time as I will have to pay for the tea, packaging, and shipping.

Not complainin', just sayin'! :mrgreen:

In single vendor dedicated rounds, teas are purchased (at a discount albeit) versus standard OTTI rounds that are up to 5 vendors who have to this point donated teas for the tasting.

Of course, packaging and shipping costs are included in the costs below based on destination.

Total Cost in USD (shipping is included):

USA $11.50
Canada/North America $12.50
Europe/South America $13.75
Asia/Australia/Africa $15.50
Other please inquire (I guess that leaves penguins of Antartica and for any extraterrestrials out there wanting to participate)

If you want to 2X this OTTI round and receive 20 grams per tea, 100 grams total, please simply double the amount above and subract 1 USD. For instance, USA would be 23 - 1 = 22 USD.

These costs are just that, costs. There is a cushion of less than 1 USD per participant after estimated expenses to cover any "surprises" in shipping, etc. This is really tight, but OTTI is NOT a for profit program. It is to benefit those of us who want to sample great teas ... and it benefits vendors by promoting their offerings.

Any surplus will roll over into the OTTI fund. Surplus at the end of the 2012 will go towards charity, possibly the TC Japan Relief Fund which has raised over $1300 for this effort.


Email your interest to teachatmoderator@yahoo.com including your:

TeaChat User Name
Your name
Mailing address formatted exactly as it would appear on a package or letter addressed to you.
Country
If outside of USA, your phone number is recommended for customs forms!
Paypal email address
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 14:38

EDIT June 27

Blind Key below! SPECIAL NOTE. This is a "dedicated to one vendor" OTTI round, and therefore discussion in this topic will be open, names/numbers, etc. So, if you want to taste blind, please do so, but be aware and beware, there will be full disclosure in this topic.

The key is simple. It is the first letter of the tea. If you want to conduct this blind, though I do not see how this is possible given the disparity on brewing suggestions, simply flip over the pouch so the letter or number is not visible.

K is Kikyou
B is Botan
T is Tsubaki
8 is 88 Night
M is Houjicha Mare
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 14:38

Edit June 27th.

Brewing Suggestions.
Xell does include brewing suggestions if you follow the links for the individual selections.

Below are my personal observations for brewing.

Kikyou is the most distict and crucial brewer. This can be brewed pretty similar to a gyokuro, high ratio and cool! I have been approaching 2grams per 1 ounce (30 ml) water. 140* F (60* C0) in a PREHEATED pot (and preheat cups!). Think SMALL steeps like a finer gyokuro. If you use 5 grams per 3 ounces (90 ml) it comes out pretty right on. 60-120 seconds, 90 worked for me)

88 Night and Botan can be brewed like most non asamushi shincha. If preheating your pot, around 158-160* (70* C). If not preheating, then adjust temp upwards. .75 - 1.25 grams per 1 ounce (30 ml) water depending on personal taste. 40-60 seconds ... but can go longer.

Tsubaki, I only got to brew this once. So I am suggesting following Xell's site recommendation.

Houjicha Mare. Technically this is a kuki-houjicha so it will differ from many houjicha you may have tried. Brew hot, approach a 1:1 ratio. Some say you can pour boining water over houjicha, I personally do not like those results and prefer cooler, perhaps longer. 180-190* in a non preheated pot.

All these selections resteep very nicely. 2nd steep is short, 15-30 seconds, slightly hotter. Increase time and temp with successive steeps.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 14:39

OTTI Rating System!

Please follow this so we are all on the same page regarding ratings. Thanks. This is also located in the first several posts of this topic for convenience. If you feel a tea is more like a 4.5 or whatever, go for it! :mrgreen:

5 Outstanding, excellent
4.5 Very good
4 Good
3 Fair, mediocre
2 Not good
1 Poor


When tasting, remember to use all your senses! You can rate a tea by each sense and then cumulative experience. Or simply overall ... however involved you want to be!

Sight- how does the dry leaf look, color, the brew, the wet leaf?
Touch-how does the tea feel ... astringency
Hearing-hard to rate a tea based on hearing, but it is part of the experience nevertheless :mrgreen:
Smell-some feel this is as important as taste! I am one of these. The dry leaf aroma, the dry leaf as it warms in your kyusu, the brew aroma, the wet leaf aroma. eh hem, clear your nose before doing a tasting!!! You will be rewarded.
Taste-your sense of smell dictates much of your taste perception, try and differentiate. Basic tastes include sweet, bitter, sour, umami, salt.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 14:40

This topic is open for previewing only until 6 pm Eastern USA time. I will unlock this at 6 pm Eastern USA time today! At that time, please feel free to post, ask questions ... and ultimately post comments on these your Kagoshima selections!

I hope you can join us for this OTTI 14 and will ultimately enjoy this OTTI round!!!
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 17:56

TEA minus 4 minutes! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 18:01

... and we are LIVE!

Please feel free to post ...

... and email your participation to me at teachatmoderator@yahoo.com
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Remick » Jun 13th, '12, 18:03

First post and first OTTI. Couldn't be more exited!
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 13th, '12, 18:13

Welcome to TeaChat and OTTI. Thank you for participating! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Remick » Jun 13th, '12, 19:14

Payment sent; awaiting package :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby debunix » Jun 14th, '12, 00:49

Just waiting for confirmation of entry before paypal-ing....
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 14th, '12, 01:08

Still plenty of seats at the Hakoniwado Shincha virtual TeaTable! Please join us by emailing me with the requested information. THANKS.

To everyone who has emailed me, thank you! I have sent a confirmation along with the usual yadda yadda yadda ... and the obligatory blah blah blah. So, if you have not received it as of this time stamp, I would resend.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 14th, '12, 13:22

Began prelim tasting of these today. Started out with 88 Night which seemed like a logical starting point due to its traditional naming and ShinchaRomaticism surrounding it.

Without saying much of substance as is my policy at this point, I will say this ... it is reallllly good. Has distinct Yame deep flavor/character! Nice umami going on. 'nough said!

If you did not order Hakoniwado's 88 Night, this is your only chance to try this shincha this year.

Soooo, email me. There are seats at the virtual TeaTable and we hope you will join us! :mrgreen:

teachatmoderator@yahoo.com
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby SilentChaos » Jun 14th, '12, 15:22

:mrgreen: Without saying much too, I was really surprised by the 88 nights, especially given its breed. :mrgreen:
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