OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Devoted135 » Apr 6th, '13, 13:05

Tried #1 today, my first gyokuro experience with a sweet little shib and yunomi from greenwood studios. Went with ~5g/2oz in pre-heated vessels. First steep was 110*/60s, second was 120*/20s and after that going up in increments of 10* and 30s per infusion.

This is incredibly nice, first steep had lots of vegetal flavors and no bitterness to speak of. Second steep was already slightly sweet and I was surprised that later steeps were sweet and floral. I went at least 8 infusions (sort of lost track) before I felt it was too far into sweet water territory.

debunix wrote:
puerhking wrote:
Thanks a lot Chip...... :lol:


Someone else in the same boat as me.....!!!


That makes three of us! :evil: :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby rhondabee » Apr 6th, '13, 19:18

I tried #1 today also & used Chip's brewing instructions, except I didn't exactly measure the water. I have a 4 oz banko, so I filled it about 1/2 with water. I did measure the temperature though. First two steeps were a little too intense for me. Third steep was the charm, and I think I added a tiny bit more water. I think I'm on my 5th or 6th steep now and am really enjoying it. Sweet and smooth and I'm in a very good mood.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Chip » Apr 7th, '13, 00:32

Devoted135 wrote:
debunix wrote:
puerhking wrote:
Thanks a lot Chip...... :lol:


Someone else in the same boat as me.....!!!


That makes three of us! :evil: :mrgreen:

Mission accomplished :!: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :mrgreen:
rhondabee wrote:I tried #1 today also & used Chip's brewing instructions, except I didn't exactly measure the water. I have a 4 oz banko, so I filled it about 1/2 with water. I did measure the temperature though. First two steeps were a little too intense for me. Third steep was the charm, and I think I added a tiny bit more water. I think I'm on my 5th or 6th steep now and am really enjoying it. Sweet and smooth and I'm in a very good mood.

You can try backing off a bit on the amount of leaf next try!
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What I Learned About Gyokuro with this OTTI

Postby JRS22 » Apr 7th, '13, 12:54

1. As of now I've never met a gyokuro that I didn't like. Previously I didn't enjoy Den's Sumei, but after brewing it Chip's way, at very low temps, I like that tea also.

2. While I've enjoyed all the gyokuros in this OTTI, I'm beginning to feel justified in concentrating on more expensive gyokuros. The flavors are richer and many of them require less tea, bringing down the cost to not that much more than some of these teas (although I haven't actually done the calculations.) Maybe the next gyokuro OTTI will consist of more upscale gyos!
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Re: What I Learned About Gyokuro with this OTTI

Postby Chip » Apr 7th, '13, 14:36

JRS22 wrote:Maybe the next gyokuro OTTI will consist of more upscale gyos!

... ohhhh yeah :!: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :mrgreen:
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Re: What I Learned About Gyokuro with this OTTI

Postby Kevangogh » Apr 7th, '13, 22:43

JRS22 wrote:1. As of now I've never met a gyokuro that I didn't like.


Try organic gyokuro, I've never tried one that I did like...
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Re: What I Learned About Gyokuro with this OTTI

Postby JRS22 » Apr 7th, '13, 23:00

Kevangogh wrote:
JRS22 wrote:1. As of now I've never met a gyokuro that I didn't like.


Try organic gyokuro, I've never tried one that I did like...


That explains my positive experience, as the only vendors I've bought gyo from to date have been O-Cha and Den's.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Hannah » Apr 8th, '13, 00:01

My manager just called, a box with "tea samples" writtten on it has arrived for me in the office!! (I'm at another towns office today) YAY!
Looks like I'll be enjoying some gyo for the first time in about 28 hours! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby debunix » Apr 8th, '13, 00:29

No photos this afternoon--the camera has been too much with me the past week. Trying #1 today, 2 grams to the 60mL pot, backing down to my own usual proportions from the start, and the 90 second first infusion with 110 degree water is too light. I think it needed more tea or more temp. I'll bump it up for the next infusion.

More peas, grassy, vegetal notes than with #3, in this 2nd infusion especially--30 seconds 125 degrees.

140 degrees, 1 minute....very similar to 2nd.

160 degrees, 1 minute, still peas all the way down.

180 degrees, 1 minute or so, same--peas, vegetal.

205 degrees, forgot for a long time, more than 10 minutes: bitterness present, but not dominant, just grassy and vegetal.
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Re: What I Learned About Gyokuro with this OTTI

Postby victoria3 » Apr 8th, '13, 00:58

Kevangogh wrote:
JRS22 wrote:1. As of now I've never met a gyokuro that I didn't like.

Try organic gyokuro, I've never tried one that I did like...

I'm onto #4, Den's Suimei. Previously, I had only tried Den's Organic Sencha and was left wanting more flavor. My first steep yesterday with Den’s Suimei had a little bitterness (5gr/2.5oz/120F/150sec) so today I cooled down the water from 120F to 112F (5gr/2.5oz/112F/145sec). It is still ‘very slightly’ brassy & astringent in background, but tasty, the liquid is a cloudy nice green-green & sweet. It is flavorful but didn't blow me away.
2nd: 120/90sec; very tasty, 'slight' astringency but sweet, 'slight' brassiness, warm, green vegetal (but not big vegetal) -- lingering full flavor & sweet flavors is the best part.
3rd: 130/3 minutes; lighter clear green liquid, slightly astringent in background. Lighter but still sweet & tasty. Slight seaweed in background.
4th: 150/4 minutes; liquid still very nice green, nice balance, slight sweet to astringent background, warm, not brassy.
Den's-Suimei_Asahina-Shizuoka.jpg
Den's-Suimei_Asahina-Shizuoka.jpg (47.75 KiB) Viewed 877 times

Bottom Line: A tasty gyokuro that has a pleasant lingering full flavor & sweet aftertaste. Vibrant green liquor. Slightly brassy/astringent background although not off-putting. Larger steeps of 10gr/5oz water might give a more complete tasting experience between taste and lingering palate.
Last edited by victoria3 on Apr 8th, '13, 14:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby victoria3 » Apr 8th, '13, 02:27

debunix wrote:.....Trying #1 today, 2 grams to the 60mL pot, backing down to my own usual proportions from the start, and the 90 second first infusion with 110 degree water is too light. I think it needed more tea or more temp. I'll bump it up for the next infusion.

So interesting that you enjoy and savor light steeps. I'm just the opposite and go for deep full flavors. Could it a matter of personality, eating habits, cultural influences...or? With #1 you went for 1:1 rather than Chips 2.5:1, or Zencha's recommended 5:1 at +-110F. At any rate, since 1:1 was too light, I'd say keep the temperature the same and up the leaf ratio instead.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby debunix » Apr 8th, '13, 14:59

victoria3 wrote:So interesting that you enjoy and savor light steeps. I'm just the opposite and go for deep full flavors. Could it a matter of personality, eating habits, cultural influences...or?


I think that I prefer some flavor elements in tea that often are overshadowed when the steeps are concentrated--the bitter notes become more prominent and the sweetness does not concentrate enough to compensate for that. So, more dilute tea lets me enjoy those delicate sweeter flavors better. But still, I am finding over time that my preferences have evolved and I brew many of my teas more concentrated than I used to, and I can handle more bitter elements.

I was particularly interested in this gyo tasting because I've had the impression, based on my preference for asamushi over fukamushi sencha, that my lack of enthusiasm on previous (limited) exposure to gyo was from general bias against the type of umami flavors that were being promoted by the special growing conditions of gyokuro. I wondered if that was true, and even if so, would my tastes have evolved to the point where I'd enjoy it more this go round?
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby debunix » Apr 8th, '13, 23:13

Starting with #2 this evening, a tiny bit more concentrated than previous attempts: with a 3 oz unglazed shibo, will use 4 grams of tea--1.3g/oz, about half the recommended amount, to account for my tea wimpitude.

The deep green needles of dried leaf have a very tempting chocolate/berry/grass scent.

Probably brewing this one too delicately--90 seconds at 130 degrees, and it's just light. I'll try the next infusion with less water, to get closer to that 2.5g/oz recommendation. It's got a lot of umami, but not much else besides a certain brininess stands out in this first dilute infusion.

30 second infusion, 130 degrees water, and less water--closer to 2 than 3 oz--and now the umami is whammo, between the eyes. Still getting briny umami, little of the berry or chocolate or grassy notes I smelled in the dry leaf.

Next infusion, temp to 140 degrees, and brewing time to 1 minute, water closer to 3 than 2 oz again: briny umami and a hint of peas.

Up to 150 degrees, 75 seconds, about 75-80mL water, and this one I'm liking better--there is a little sharpness to offset the umami, still not a lot of what I would characterize as sweet, but hints of chocolate and less brine.

170 degrees, about a minute, and the briny is receding and the other grassy flavors are revealed--better. I think it's all of a piece: I just don't enjoy the briny umami when it's too dense, and the usual brewing parameters are designed to bring out those flavors strongly.

I'm glad I got double shots of these gyos--I'm going to need to work a lot on getting the brewing right, to see if any besides #3 have that sweet spot for the tea wimp, between 'whammo!' and 'sweetwater'.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby JRS22 » Apr 9th, '13, 09:42

Today was my last session with the first gyo OTTI - anticipated for so long, finished so quickly :(

I usually steep gyo in a shib set from O-Cha but in order to stretch out the tea over more sessions I used this smaller Seong-il Kyusu. Next time there's a gyo OTTI I'm going to save my tea until teachatters with better verbal skills, like Debunix, post their observations.

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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby victoria3 » Apr 10th, '13, 20:34

debunix wrote:
victoria3 wrote:So interesting that you enjoy and savor light steeps. I'm just the opposite and go for deep full flavors. Could it a matter of personality, eating habits, cultural influences...or?

I think that I prefer some flavor elements in tea that often are overshadowed when the steeps are concentrated--the bitter notes become more prominent and the sweetness does not concentrate enough to compensate for that. So, more dilute tea lets me enjoy those delicate sweeter flavors better. But still, I am finding over time that my preferences have evolved and I brew many of my teas more concentrated than I used to, and I can handle more bitter elements.

I was particularly interested in this gyo tasting because I've had the impression, based on my preference for asamushi over fukamushi sencha, that my lack of enthusiasm on previous (limited) exposure to gyo was from general bias against the type of umami flavors that were being promoted by the special growing conditions of gyokuro. I wondered if that was true, and even if so, would my tastes have evolved to the point where I'd enjoy it more this go round?

Like you (but on the opposite spectrum) I am also exploring evolving tastes. I continue to discover more refined flavor palates and brewing parameters. Some teas, which on first impression did not blow me away into states of ecstasy, later with some tweeking turned out to be quite interesting. For instance this morning I had O-Cha’s Uji Sencha Otsuusan; I find it has a lyrical lightness to it, I keep upping the ratios to get a little more intensity, to then realize this sweet Karigane Gyokuro/Sencha just has a character that treads lightly and can be enjoyed on its own terms.

Sometimes I feel I’m in search of the holy grail; trying to recapture that first sensory expansion, with that first new tea.
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