Welcome to ... OTTI 2010 Round 1, ShinCHAAA!!!
Supplies will be limited as I mentioned previously. If you want to participate, PM me asap! See my reply post below for the nuts and bolts on how to participate.
Please list all
shincha in order of your preference ... or you can let me choose for you. You will receive 5 based on your list, and I will endeavor to include your top picks.
If you received any of these already, please let me know this. I will make certain NOT to send a tea you already received.
Since I have many more Shincha in limited quantities, I may also fill in with some of these as needed.
I will also be including at least one bonus Japanese green, a sixth tea. This will likely NOT be from this list
OK, here goes ... all listed teas are Japanese Shincha, 2010. Half of these are new to me as well. Den's: http://www.denstea.com/index-main_page-index-cPath-492.htmlKunpu
HouryokuGreenTeaLovers: http://greentealovers.com/greenteaproductspremium-slct.cfm?itemcode="SHINCHA"Kagoshima ShinchaMaeda-en: http://maeda-en.com/store/productlist.php?teatype_id=90Shincha Gold
- this one is no longer on their site/sold out, but it is also FukamushiShin-cha Hachijyuhachiya (88th Night) Maiko: http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/shopping/2010sencha.htmShincha Sencha
KinariO-Cha: http://www.o-cha.com/shincha-green-tea/Sae Midori
Yutaka Midori Kaoru Supreme LE
Cost for Round 1 for current members of TeaChat:
USA members: $7.00
Canadian Members: 8.50 UDS
European Members: 10.00 USD
__________________________________________________________________EDIT : Greetings OTTI participants!
Hopefully you will be receiving your teas very soon! All packages went out Thursday and Friday with one exception. This was quite an undertaking, 3 OTTI-s at the same time. Note to self, don’t do that again!
This was also exasperated by several unanticipated delays, most notably a vendor who was most uncooperative and who I will be posting about shortly. Also there was a problem with the packaging! So, I did have to majorly improvise this time around! My apologies! Hopefully the packaging will be fully resolved in time for the next OTTI.
So when you receive your OTTI, I would suggest opening it up and placing the samples into more packaging. You can place the samples in their current wrapping directly into a canister or a vendor foil bag.
The packing is a bit of a balancing act. I would not want to over extend thus significantly increasing the participants cost for the OTTI-s, but the packaging was NOT as planned and will improve!!!
So, look for improvements there. This being the first rounds, there will be a learning curve. I am open to constructive comments, suggestions!
OK, now on to the TEA!
Remember to post in the OTTI topics!!!
__________________________________________________________________EDIT 2: OTTI Round 1 ShinCHAAA!
Some of these I never tried before, some vendors I never tried before ... so we learn and experiment together!!! And of course with each new harvest, it is a whole new ball game!
There should be 6 samples, at least 5 are Shincha plus a bonus selection that in most cases is not shincha. Each sample contains virtually 8 grams of leaf, so if you use half for each session, that is 4 grams. I am offering the leaf ratio I used for each, however you can adjust according to your tastes. Links for each tea are located under OTTI Round 1 on the forum. I believe everyone got just about everything they had requested, AMAZINGLY!!!Bonus teas.
If you received the bonus “Happy Tea,” that is called Shiawase-cha and is from Maiko. Oishi Ichibancha is another selection from GreenTeaLovers. And a few received Adagio Masters Shincha and O-Cha’s regular “classic” Shincha Yutaka Midori.
__________________________________________________________________EDIT 3: Brewing. Brewing vessels.
If you have a kyusu, great! Remember for Fukamushi, more careful pouring is required in order to prevent too much particle from passing through or clogging the screen altogether.
If you do not have a kyusu. If you use an infuser basket, for the fukamushi I recommend doing things a bit backwards. Put the leaf in the infuser, water in the pot, then set the infuser into the water. Otherwise too much particle will pass through the infuser or it may get really clogged up. How much.
If you have been on TC long enough, you have likely heard the term ratio used in determining how much leaf to use. A ratio is simply general or preferred strength that allows increasing and decreasing of either leaf weight or volume water while keeping the strength steady.
Generally, the longer you have been drinking sencha, the higher leaf ratio you will use. Newer to sencha, you will generally use lower ratios as your tastes have not fully adjusted to sencha.
Your leaf ratio is calculated X grams leaf : Y ounces water. If you fill in the grams at 4, you can adjust the amount of water to find your ratio. Or you can fill in a value for the water and adjust the amount of leaf. I am suggesting using 4 grams leaf for each session and adjusting the amount of water. And I offer corresponding amounts of water below based on using 4 grams, rounded off. This will also give you 2 full sessions, just use half each time.
1:1 4 grams : 4ounces water
0.9:1 4 : 4.5
0.8:1 4 : 5
0.7:1 4 : 5.5
0.6:1 4 : 6.5
Just about any Shincha, I will first try at a ratio I somehow intuitively come up with … then adjust with future sessions. Below are my somewhat adjust ratios for each tea. Again if you are newer to sencha, you might want to adjust down a bit, but that is up to you! Based on the ratio, you can plug in the values listed above, or create your own. Temperatures!
This is so subjective. I thought I heard everything, then the owner of O-Cha posted even lower temps on TC. Well, I have not tried those yet.
There are differing temps based upon whether one preheats the kyusu (teapot) or not. Basically if you do not preheat your pot, the temp you use should be approx 15* F hotter due to rapid drop in temps. Lately I have been preheating the pot, but I go back and forth periodically.
If you preheat, smell the warming leaf in the pot, mind blowing! I will list in order from the OTTI topic.
Den’s Kunpu 1:1, 158* in a preheated kyusu, 1.5 min
Houryoku .9:1, 158* in a preheated kyusu, 30-40 seconds
GTL Kagoshima Shincha .9:1, 160* in a preheated kyusu, 40 sec
Maeda-en Gold .9:1, 175-180 in a room temp kyusu, 40 sec
88th Night 1:1, 175-180* in a room temp kyusu, 40 sec
Maiko Shincha Sencha 1:1, 160* in a preheated kyusu, 90 sec
Kinari 1:1, 158* in a preheated kyusu, 90 sec
O-Cha Sae Midori 1:1 158* in a preheated kyusu, 40 sec
Yutaka Midori Supreme .9:1, 158* in a preheated kyusu, 40 sec
Bonus, Happy Tea 1:1, 175 in a room temp kyusu, 60 sec
Bonus, Oishi Same as Kagoshima Shincha
Bonus, Adagio Shincha .8:1, 160* in a preheated kyusu, 40-60 sec (still playing with this one)
Bonus, Yutaka Midori (not the Supreme!) Same as YM SupremeProblems:
Too intense, decrease leaf. Too bitter, decrease temp and/or time. Cooler water makes for a less aromatic but sweeter cup. Multiple steeps.
Absolutely! A good rule of thumb for me …
2nd 165*, 20-30 sec
3rd 175*, 60 sec
4th 185* 60-120 sec
5th boiling, 1-infinity … there is nothing left to make your brew bitter. Just mellow, sweet tea water.