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


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

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

Postby Seeker » Jun 24th, '10, 02:21

Tried the Kenyan.
4g to 8oz (based on the seller's rec of 1 1/2t to a cup).
Also based on seller rec, 180* for 3m.
Aroma and flavor of dirty socks with some faint undertones of typical SN flavors and aromas.
This left me feeling uneasy, and for some reason I found myself intuitively feeling like maybe I should avoid this tea. But I decided to persevere.
So for 2nd infusion, thought I'd reduce water amount to achieve a 1:1, and also increased temp to 190*.
At this point, i dont know what happened, but as i was trying to ignore my persisting intuitive caution about this tea, I somehow broke my glass Gaiwan lid. For the life of me I don't know how or why, just all of a sudden the lid tumbled (and I am an experienced gaiwan user).
After all this I surrendered to my intuition and tossed the tea -- all of it!

Sheesh!
:?
Last edited by Seeker on Jun 24th, '10, 02:26, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 24th, '10, 02:23

I as well just tried this tea and really wasn't at all enjoying it. I will brew again just to make sure I didn't screw it up :lol:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 24th, '10, 02:53

Just brewed Adams peak from GTL. I have to say, I wouldn't buy it for that price. The premium organic white tea from rishi tea was better tasting and is only 8 dollars an ounce as opposed to 29.99 for 30 grams. so far both Green tea lovers teas IMO are overpriced. I would love to hear what others think. I still have to give the kenya a second try. i think my ratio was off.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 24th, '10, 07:34

OK, looks like I will have to break these out today and try the GreenTeaLovers Kenyan and Adam's Peak.

Of all the SNs in this group, I was most curious about the Kenyan SN since I had never seen one before. And I was most anxious about the Adam's Peak since the one and only one Ceylon SN I had before was one of the best SNs I had ever had.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 24th, '10, 12:57

Can't wait to hear what you think about it Chip!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 24th, '10, 13:12

On my second brewing of GTL kenya silverback, I brewed vendor suggested which is 180 degrees 1 to 1 and a half teaspoons of tea. I used heaping teaspoons instead of leveled teaspoons. I brewed for 3 minutes and upon tasting It tasted vegetable like not sweet at all. I really couldn't figure it out. Then I realized, it tastes like green beans :shock:. Totally like green beans.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 24th, '10, 15:03

OK, had to do it rushed and only one steep so far, but I brewed up the Kenyan Silverback. A gram per ounce water method, brewed for about two minutes in a non preheated gaiwanesque with 170ish* water. I seem to prefer most SN on the cool side. This tends to make them more sweet perhaps.

My primary goal was to see if I got the smelly socks that Seeker reported. I did not fortunately. It was rather sublimely sweet, I did not have time to really ponder it though. Perhaps with my rather radically different brewing parameters than plat partaker, I did not get the green bean, but again I was rushing.

I was smelling it throughout the brew cycle, had a rather sweet aroma, a bit different than Chinese.

Looking at the site, I was also curious based on the description and the fact it was Kenyan SN. But it is high grown and without pesticides.

Anyway, seems OK on my end. I hoe others have interesting and enjoyable experience with this oddiTea.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 24th, '10, 22:05

... ok, returned to this same session for a second steep of the Kenyan Silverback after it sat for at least 4 hours. Again sweet, quite sweet. Pretty nice actually.

Sorry this one gave you troubles, Seeker. Hopefully it will work out for everyone else.

Plant Partaker, it is always interesting when you pick up a particular veggie in a tea. I am betting if you change up the brewing, it will be less veggie and sweeter. I like veggie ... most of the time, though not sure I would like it in a SN.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby plant partaker » Jun 25th, '10, 01:28

I am going to have to brew it how you did it. One gram per ounce of water as well as 170 water instead of 180 water. How long did you steep it for. What was the temp and time for your second infusion?
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby woozl » Jun 28th, '10, 17:55

Green T lover's silverback,
Not as sweet or honied as it could be.
Has a funky tobacco/skoal aromma.
A "muddied' palate. Not clean or deliniated.
I am not an expert, but I've had some nice ceylon tips
for comparison.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 28th, '10, 18:08

Woozl, the Silverback was Kenyan.

However this is again an interesting result nevertheless. This arrived in two bags. I wonder if there was a problem with the one bag? I found mine to be sweet and quite nice ... and actually pretty different from other SNs making it a worthy SN to try and experience.

But now there are two reviews that are sounding like a completely different tea than than what I sampled.

Or are brew methods causing such a disparity in results?
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby woozl » Jun 29th, '10, 08:52

I understand it is from Kenya.
Just comparing it to the Ceylon I've had. :wink:
When right, It can have notes of sauternes.
I used 1:1 170F for 2 mins.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby the_skua » Jul 4th, '10, 13:22

This may make some uncomfortable, but here are my thoughts on the Adagio Silver Needle:

The dry leaves had little to no aroma, which, for this style, I find unfortunate. Lifting the gaiwan to my nose after the first steep, a distinct rush of jasmine and cooked spinach come on strong. The jasmine is detectable to the point that, if I didn't know better, I would say that this tea either had jasmine added to it, or was stored in very close proximity to jasmine tea.

Unfortunately, I really, really dislike jasmine-scented anything. Looking back, neither the introductory forum post, nor the label on my sample, make any mention of a jasmine-scented version of this tea being provided. However, Adagio does make a Jasmine Silver Needle - confusion may have ensued. In the end, I feel two ways about the jasmine character: (a) if it is not an added character (highly unlikely), it has to be the strongest non-flavored character I've ever experienced in any tea, (b) the jasmine character is fleetingly light enough that if one were looking for a jasmine experience, they would likely be disappointed.

Pressing through the hazy cloud of jasmine occlusion, the green spinach character is noticeable again in steeps two and three. Hay-like grassiness picks up, but stays rather minimal. The sweetness is moderate to low and I find the overall complexity rather minimal. By the fourth and fifth steeps, the wet leaves smell of dry clay, a sign that they are exhausted, the soup singing a similar note of thinned out tiredness. Sadly, this may be the the least enjoyable silver needle experience I've ever had.

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

Postby putibungsu » Jul 5th, '10, 18:38

I finally tried Kenya Silverblack, my first of the OTTI Silver Needles.
I used 4 grams 4 ounces water and brewed at 170 for 2 minutes. I find flavors and aromas similar to what Chip found in his review and was pleased with the sweet aroma and flavor of the liquor. But I didn't like the smell of the dry leaves though. The second and third infusion still gave me sweet aroma and flavor, less sweet flavor from the fourth and fifth infusions. I noticed a strong caffeine attack after the first infusion. Overall I really like this tea and hope will like my other 4 OTTI too.

Thanks so much for doing this, Chip. This is such a great way to sample new teas. Really appreciate the efforts and time you put into...
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby the_skua » Jul 7th, '10, 10:28

The Rishi Silver Needle Premium Organic was quite delicious. I can't wait to see what the Fuding Grand Cru is like:

Nice fuzzy crisp needles opened up with a tropical rainforest, dewy, wet, and damp. Honestly, the wet leaves in the cup after the first steep smell as how I imagine dark subtropical forests to smell. Rich, earthy, and floral. The flavors expound on the aroma, with intense juiciness (a la stone-fruit), straw, and detectable fresh and raw zucchini flesh, very clean. Later steeps elicit a more restrained arboreal character, bringing back memories of humid, indoor botanical gardens, a collection of plant pheromones.

Finally, as the leaves begin to breathe out their last bit of energy, the soup fills with pea tendrils and pumpkin seed. Ah, delightfully enjoyable tea once again fills me with a bright new-day spirit. No wonder this tea has won multiple awards.

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