OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 14:23

Dresden wrote:Perhaps it's time to post some general brewing guidelines so we all get roughly the same taste?

Otherwise, how can we accurately compare?

Yep yep ... a series of 3 posts are coming ... now!
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Re: Phase II. Now that you have the Shincha!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 14:24

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!!!
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Re: Re: Phase II. Now that you have the Shincha!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 14:26

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.
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Re: Phase II. Now that you have the Shincha!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 16:20

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 Supreme

Problems: 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.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby debunix » Jun 19th, '10, 18:22

Shinchas are here!

(happy tappity-tapping feet)
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 19:10

debunix wrote:Shinchas are here!

(happy tappity-tapping feet)

You got them? Whoa, 2 days to get to cross country???
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby laura99 » Jun 19th, '10, 19:20

Got mine today as well! Not quite as far to go though. I can't imagine packing up all those samples - thanks for all the work Chip - we all appreciate it.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby debunix » Jun 19th, '10, 19:21

....already here, so neatly arrayed, together in a tin, awaiting some tasting fun tomorrow.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby nickE » Jun 19th, '10, 20:15

Mine arrived as well. :)

So excited, too much tea to try!

laura99 wrote:thanks for all the work Chip - we all appreciate it.

+1 :D
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby Dresden » Jun 19th, '10, 20:59

Hmmmm.... California gets there before Louisiana??? Figures!!!

That's OK.... It'll give me something to look forward to on Monday :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby Chip » Jun 20th, '10, 01:12

... thanks and you are most welcome! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby the_skua » Jun 20th, '10, 11:27

Is there going to be a dedicated thread for reviews of these group tasted teas?

Thanks for all your hard work Chip!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby Chip » Jun 20th, '10, 14:00

the_skua wrote:Is there going to be a dedicated thread for reviews of these group tasted teas?

Thanks for all your hard work Chip!

Yes. It is this topic, which I will ammend the title to ... thanks for asking. So please comment here. Some of these vendors also have a TeaVendor topic. You can also comment in the Official Shincha Review topic under Green teas ... so many options.

But I am hoping for comments here! :mrgreen: (there and everywhere ... )
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA!

Postby the_skua » Jun 20th, '10, 14:03

My thoughts on the Green Tea Lovers Kagoshima Shincha.

Initially, I was surprised by the overall lightness of the first steep. Maybe this tea could endure hotter water or a longer initial steep. But, in the second session, the first steep revealed this tea’s true complexity, loaded with cooked pumpkin flesh and skin, fresh cut carnation stem, and young maple tree shoots. The second steep opens up some of the more briny and oceanic characters with detectable fresh, firm littleneck clam meat and brown seaweeds. The third steep was rather flat.

This tea can be defined by a raw, buddy green stem character that’s complex and not harsh, but floral and perfumed, like rose buds. Most of the green kelpy and chlorophyll heavy notes were reserved for the wet leaves. I went searching for a bit more sweetness and came up with little. This is a dry tea. The theanine glow is moderate to low and soft. Enjoyable, but perhaps a little quiet, yet maybe one to seek for its complex savory and stemmy flavors that dominate the first steep of this tea.

Images and Full Blog Post at tea.theskua.com
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 20th, '10, 14:08

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this shincha ... and blog link as well! Keep 'em coming! :mrgreen:
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