OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 24th, '10, 22:11

Great postings! Well, except for the ones still waiting. Hopefully customs won't come knocking at your door asking what is up with all these "drug packets!"

Great reviews and photos, Geek, Seek, and Dreamer. Thank you most kindly for sharing! :mrgreen: Everyone, keep 'em coming. :idea:

Looks like everyone is having fun with the Shincha OTTI. :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby debunix » Jun 24th, '10, 22:16

Dreamer wrote:Unfortunately, I gulped it down before I could further describe it!


Happens to all of us! I get very involved in something and suddenly realize I'm on the 5th or 6th steep, and haven't taken notes since the first....
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby TubbyCow » Jun 25th, '10, 00:03

Chesslover wrote:No, together we stand :)


entropyembrace wrote:Canadian postal service is sloooooooooooooow....I just hope customs aren´t ripping the packages open on us. :?


These make me feel better. Also happy to know who a few of the other Canucks are on here.

Most things make me rather happy to be living in Canada (mmm, free healthcare), but I'm a bit ashamed that the tea got to Australia faster than us... It's an entirely different continent!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 25th, '10, 01:35

TubbyCow wrote:
Chesslover wrote:No, together we stand :)


entropyembrace wrote:Canadian postal service is sloooooooooooooow....I just hope customs aren´t ripping the packages open on us. :?


These make me feel better. Also happy to know who a few of the other Canucks are on here.

Most things make me rather happy to be living in Canada (mmm, free healthcare), but I'm a bit ashamed that the tea got to Australia faster than us... It's an entirely different continent!


having briefly worked for Canada Post I´m not suprised really.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Proinsias » Jun 25th, '10, 05:53

Yesterday Green Tea Lovers Kagoshima, after starting off with Den's Houryoku I feel I'm back on familiar ground. Nothing spectacular but a nice fuka. The sort of tea I could drink all day long and not feel bad about paying it little attention.

I'd like to say it is a great everyday tea but as I don't drink that much Japanese green I'll be aiming a little higher when I do.

Just having my first brew of Maiko shincha sencha as I type. It's the first to have the chalky taste that I missed in the others. A few years on and I'm still not sure what to make of it, it's like blue cheese - I eat it and it interests me but I'm never really sure if I enjoy it.

Brewing set up has remained identical throughout. The vase needs a new flower today, luckily the neighbours roses are still invading our garden, my own roses breathe a sigh of relief.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby brian » Jun 25th, '10, 09:16

Den's Houryoku this morning. Making tea for two today, so I put the entire 7.75 g. in my kyusu, steeped with just under 10 oz. (300 ml) water.

1st infusion 160F 45 sec. A slightly yellow green tea, more particles in the cup than the past few days of brewing asamushi. Pretty mild taste, very pleasant. My wife thought it was a little bitter but it didn't seem so to me, just balanced and easy drinking. Nothing too exciting, but that's not too unusual for me for 1st infusion.

2nd, 170F 20 sec. Now this looks like a cup of fuka. Murky, cloudy green. This time I'm getting the bitterness! Flavor is good, it's more leafy-green and a bit grassy, unlike the rich artichoke-like flavors I got from the Maiko Kinari. There is more bitterness than I like, the leaf has plenty of flavor to go with it but the whole experience definitely leans toward the bitter side. If I had this to do over, I'd probably do the second infusion a little cooler to try to soften the bitterness a bit.

3rd, 180F 50 sec. No idea what possessed me to push the temp up to 180 after thinking I went too hot with the previous one, I guess I got in a bit of a hurry and didn't wait for the water to cool. But it worked nicely! Aroma is very nice and mellow. Color is still a nice green, a careful pour resulted in a clearer cup this time but still some sediment. Flavor this time is very nice! The green flavors have faded a bit, the bitterness has dropped substantially, and there's a nice sweetness that I didn't get in the first two infusions. A very well balanced cup, this is my favorite infusion with this tea. It's holding up really well, let's see if I can get a good 4th infusion ...

4th, 195F 90 sec. Water boils at < 200F at my elevation, so I just boiled up some water and poured it into the kyusu. 90 seconds seemed like long enough. Not a bad cup, but the third infusion was easily the star of the show. Still getting good color, aroma is more grassy now, flavor is mild, slightly bitter, easy drinking. There's still some life in that leaf, could probably get another infusion but I've had enough.

This was a fun tea to brew, really different experience with each of the infusions. I this this is one that could benefit from some experience, it didn't brew up as easily for me as the Kinari.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Seeker » Jun 25th, '10, 14:23

GTL's Kago apres matcha today.

Session 1 - brewed at 160* for 40s, preheated Novak houhin, ~.9:1.

I find flavors and aromas similar to what the_skua found in his review, only without any of the oceanic elements. I noticed on GTL's site the recommended temp is 178*! I might try that for session 2, but I'm imagining this will bring out bitterness? I detected a tendency toward bitterness at 160*, so we'll have to see.
Not very impressed with this tea.
Seems mid or perhaps even more toward light steamed? I don't know.
I give this tea a C so far.
leaf:
Image
1st infusion:
Image
2nd infusion:
Image
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 25th, '10, 14:52

I just brewed the yutaka midori magokoro from yuuki cha. I brewed two grams of leaf to 4 ounces of water at 160 degrees. Steep time was 60 seconds. I like it. I will decrease the water from 4 ounces to 2 ounces. The vendor didn't specify any brewing suggestions, but there was a customer who reviewed it so I followed his guidelines of less leaf cooler water. I will re steep at 60 seconds using only 2 ounces of water
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 25th, '10, 15:07

The second infusion was very strong. Really astringent. I think 4 ounces was to much, and 2 ounces was not enough. It is very overpowering. For the third infusion, I am going to use 3 ounces of water to 2 grams of leaf. Steep time at 60 seconds again. Still following the customer review. He brewed 3 infusions at 60 seconds, then he went to 30 seconds. I will have to brew this tea again at the ratio of to grams to 3 ounces for all the infusions. This tea is EXCELLENT so far.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Seeker » Jun 25th, '10, 15:28

Ok, returning with session 2 notes on the GTL kago.
Much better at higher temp, IMHO.
1st infusion; 178*, 40s, preheat. I detected vegetal notes along with notes of raw winter squash with grassy/green stem highlights, also a richer mouthfeel and overall body.
2nd infusion; 180*, and I intended to do a short steep, but forgot vendor rec's, ran to computer to check, firefox decided to update itself, so steep time ended up at about 85sec. :oops: Some less green and slightly more woody stemmy notes, vegetal notes, very slight hints of rosebud, and a nice balance of astringency and ever so slight almost undetectable bitterness.
3rd infusion; 180*, 40s. I was getting happy at this point and a bit whorish orally, so gave in to some nibbles of Vosges chocolate (Calindia & Mo's bacon - serious f-ing yumm-a-liciousness, trust me!), so my taste notes become tainted. But I did sniff radically before partaking of the cocoa goddesses delights detecting very similar qualities from the 2nd infusion.
4th; 185ish, 1m. Rinsed mouth briskly with remainder of prior infusion and then water to cleanse palate. Subtle aromas of sulfur that evolve quickly into oceanic/sea notes - sea water, sea flora, but soft. I don't typically care for these qualities, but when soft as in this case, well, I liked. Tannic mouthfeel emerging.
5th; boiling, 2m. Oceanic aromas/flavors become very, very soft and hint at a kind of sweetness that isn't sweet dissolving into a finish that is both minerally and tannic.
Nice.
I regrade this tea to somewhere between A & A-.
Cheers.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 25th, '10, 15:52

My second attempt at brewing the shaiwasecha from happy tea, was a success! I brewed it at 1 gram to 1 ounce of water. The temperature was 175 degrees. Steep time was 60 seconds. IMO, I don't think I could drink this tea everyday. It is a good tea, but I can't figure out what is what because I never had kukicha and this is a blend of uji maccha, kukicha, genmai, and hokkaido ridhiri kelp. It's not bad, but it's not a tea I couldn't live without. Anyone else get this tea? I am getting ready to brew the second infusion.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 25th, '10, 16:37

Just brewed O cha's Yutaka midori. My brewing method was .6 gram to one ounce of water as the vendor suggested. The water temp. was 170 degrees. Steep time was 45 seconds. I feel like it is a little weak. I will definitely go one gram to one ounce of water. I have had this tea before. It is an excellent tea. The second infusion will begin shortly.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 25th, '10, 19:48

Thank you Brian, Seeker and Plant Partaker for sharing your reviews.

Interesting Seeker ... unfortunately I cannot try this since I am out of this Shincha.

I do sometimes read about much hotter temps from some vendors ... then much cooler from others. Drives ya nuts.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby debunix » Jun 25th, '10, 22:12

GTL Kagoshima shincha this morning. 3.5 g leaf, 120mL water that started at 160 in the pot and ended up 156 in the gaiwan as I added the leaf, 40 seconds first infusion.

Lovely, light, sweet, vegetal, this is just my cup of tea!

Interesting that the 2nd infusion (20") smells strongly umami/toasty but still tastes light and sweet.

The very fine leaves are annoying when brewing in the gaiwan, however, but should be fine when the kyusu and I are reunited.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby chicagopotter » Jun 26th, '10, 07:53

Just had my first of the OTTI Shinchas -- Den's Kunpu. Didn't take notes or anything and can't remember what my detailed thoughts were at the time. However, I do recall thinking just how much I like this tea. Used the whole sample and brewed 30s, 30s, 1m. Coulda pushed further, but my day got away from me. Probably could have gone shorter on brew 2 as it got a tad bitter, but not in an unpleasant way.

As my scale is still packed away, Chip -- what is the average g weight of the samples for future reference?
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