OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle!

Postby Dresden » Jun 19th, '10, 14:33

Just to throw off Chip.... LOL!!!

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Re: Phase II. Now that you have the Silver Needle!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 14:34

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: Phase II. Now that you have the Silver Needle!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 16:59

OTTI Round 3 Silver Needle! Some of these I never tried before, some vendors I never tried before ... so we learn and experiment together!!!

There should be 5 samples. Each sample contains virtually 8 grams of leaf except for the Adam's Peak which contains 4 grams, 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 3 on the forum.

The 5 selections are:

GreenTeaLovers Adam's Peak from Ceylon
GTL Kenya Silverback
Rishi Silver Needle Premium Organic
Adagio Silver Needle
Rishi Fuding Grand Cru

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 18:05

Brewing. Remember to have fun! I never had 5 different Silver Needle selections at one time and plan on having a blast tasting and comparing. :mrgreen:

Brewing vessels. Silver Needle can be brewed in just about any brewing vessel, even just a glass.

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.

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
0.5:1 4: 8

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 subjective. I have tried 160-185* and seem most comfortable around 170ish*. Some will like it hotter than this.

Time, really subjective. I have heard 1-8 minutes. I generally go light on time, 1-2 minutes. If you are brewing semi Western style, you can brew with less leaf and more time. Regardless, Silver Needle typically produces more of a sublime cup.

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 … This will vary by taste and selection.
2nd 170*, 30-60 sec
3rd 175*, 60 sec
4th 185* 60-120 sec
5th near boiling, 2-3 min
More steeps please! :mrgreen:

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle!

Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '10, 18:09

Dresden wrote:Just to throw off Chip.... LOL!!!

:lol: Just caught this ... your Silver Needles have all been recalled! :mrgreen:

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle!

Postby Dresden » Jun 19th, '10, 20:58

Chip wrote:
Dresden wrote:Just to throw off Chip.... LOL!!!

:lol: Just caught this ... your Silver Needles have all been recalled! :mrgreen:

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle!

Postby thediminished5th » Jun 20th, '10, 13:39

Just tried the GTL Ceylon. Here are my thoughts on the first steep.

Preparation: I brewed at 165 for 5 minutes, with a tea to water ratio of about 1:2.

Color: The color is a deep gold, and reminds me more of White Peony than Silver Needle.

Taste: The taste is a little more upfront than the Chinese Silver Needles I have tried and to me has more in common with White Peony or even White Darjeeling (though it is not as fragrant as the latter).

Overall, I like it. I'm just not sure the experience justifies the cost in this case. However, if you prepared it differently and feel you got a better result than I did, I'm all ears!

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 20th, '10, 14:10

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! I have not tried this yet, and have only had one Ceylon SN which was very good. I will be anxious to see how this one stands up.

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby thediminished5th » Jun 20th, '10, 14:31

Having the second steep as we speak, and I am enjoying it more than the first. Steeped it for about 2 minutes at 170. There is a sweetness, with a hint of citrus. Very nice.

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby the_skua » Jun 21st, '10, 10:25

I will be on to this round after I finish the shincha round. Trying to do them as sets for overall cohesion and experience.

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Dresden » Jun 21st, '10, 12:32

There really is nothing like coming home to find tea in the mail... :mrgreen:

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 21st, '10, 22:08

Dresden wrote:There really is nothing like coming home to find tea in the mail... :mrgreen:

Of course. Get brewing! :mrgreen:

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Seeker » Jun 22nd, '10, 02:01

Tasted the Adam's Peak SN tonight.
Very typical SN taste/flavor profile IMHO.
Didn't dazzle me in any way.
Used 5g leaf to 5oz water; 180* for 3min.
Plan to increase temp to 185 and go to 4min for 2nd infusion.
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(that's a Petr Novak double walled yunomi).

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 23rd, '10, 04:49

the first one I tried in this round was the organic premium silver needle from rishi. I brewed it vendor suggested which was 185 degrees to 1 tbsp in 8 ounces. The taste is very clean. I have never had silver needle before, but I am really liking this first one. This has a very nice clean taste to it. I am not sure how to describe it. Kind of reminded me of white peony with a cleaner more refreshing crispness. Some what of a sweetness after the crisp clean. My first and I am digging it :D

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 23rd, '10, 13:17

Thank you Seeker and Plant Partaker!

I am going to be working on these shortly ... should be sublimely exciting!

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