OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

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

Postby nickE » Jun 28th, '10, 20:43

Here's my review of Maiko's Kinari

The dry leaves are long, dark green needles. Not much dust as this is an asamushi. The leaves warming in the pot smell sweet & grassy.

1st steep, 160F, 90s, 1:1. The soup is a light yellow-green. Tastes sweet & earthy, very mellow. Some umami & fresh melon in the finish. The taste is very subtle.

2nd steep, 170F, 40s. The soup is slightly greener now, lots of fresh flavors, not much umami this time, instead there is a slight bitterness. The flavors are somewhat muddled and it is hard to discern the flavors.

3rd steep, 175F, 60s. Lime-green color, the flavors are fading fast. I am left with some sweet & toasted notes with some light grassy-ness.

This tea was decent, but I found it to be slightly boring. Maybe I need to mess with the brewing parameters a bit.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby TubbyCow » Jun 28th, '10, 21:10

Mine toooo! No more wallowing in envy for this Canuck. Very stoked.

entropyembrace wrote:Sincha arrived safe :D Will be trying some after brunch :)
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 28th, '10, 21:13

TubbyCow wrote:Mine toooo! No more wallowing in envy for this Canuck. Very stoked.

entropyembrace wrote:Sincha arrived safe :D Will be trying some after brunch :)

Wow, must have gone by pony express, no wait ... that would have been much faster! :mrgreen:

Glad your teas have landed finally!

And thank you nickE for sharing your review of the Kinari!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby JRS22 » Jun 29th, '10, 11:31

Drank my bonus Happy Tea this morning. It tasted delightful, very similar to my beloved Den's Genmaicha Extra Green. That salty, toasty flavor lasted through 5 steepings - I emptied my Utilitea on this tasting. I'm going to save the rest for Thursday morning when I can do a comparison taste testing with the Genmaicha.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Marco » Jun 29th, '10, 12:49

entropyembrace wrote:my brewing method wasn´t very precise...I brewed in a 250ml glass pot with no filter using about half the sample...water was simmering not boiling and I didn´t time the infusion...was basically the length of time it took me to move from kitchen to my bedroom where the computer is.


I really like that, entropyembrace :)
I wondered that people here have their scales and thermometer. And I felt that some even seem to say "brew this tea with 73.4°C" - whow.
I really began fearing that it makes such a difference and I'm doing it all wrong.
Cause my method is like yours. Tea measuring by rule of thumb, water temperature - just boil it and wait some time till it feels right. And steeping time - okay sometimes I watch my watch :) - But most of time just wait till it looks right.

Sorry Chip for misusing your thread - but I am really glad that I am not the only one who does it casual :)

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

Postby woozl » Jun 29th, '10, 12:59

My first tatsting of Maiko sincha was disapointing.
Perhaps I misbrewed?
I found it like weak spinach water, tannic
and dry.
I will report back on another try.....
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 29th, '10, 13:18

Thank you for posting JRS22, Marco, and Woozl.

Hope to hear how the Happy tea compares to the Den's Genmaicha, JRS22, and whether the kelp adds a different dimension. They say it becomes more noticable in the second steep.

Marco, I say brew how you like and like how you brew. If you are getting the results you want, power to you! However if you are not, more quantitative brewing methods are helpful to find the groove with individual teas.

Also in tastings, more quantitative methods are often ... but not always ... used.

Woozl, the Maiko Shincha Sencha is entry level, but I found it to be more of a mild and sweet brew compared to its more expensive sibbling, Kinari that is more full throttle. So, by my methods, sweet and mild with veggie more in the background. I did not notice anything offensive or out of whack.

I went a gram per ounce, 160* in a preheated kyusu for about 90 seconds.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 29th, '10, 13:40

I was certainly happy with how the YM Kaoru Supreme came out even I wasn´t precise with the brewing parameters. 2nd and 3rd infusions were very similar to the 1st and the 4th infusion was also similar but a bit muted. Very enjoyable first sincha experience! :D
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby nickE » Jun 29th, '10, 17:12

nickE wrote:This tea was decent, but I found it to be slightly boring. Maybe I need to mess with the brewing parameters a bit.

Alright, quick update on the Kinari. I messed with the parameters and got much better results this time. I upped the ratio to about 1.1:1 (using the rest of my sample) and I also increased the 1st steep water temp. to 180F.

This time the flavors were outstanding and very complex. This tea ended up being very subtle and, I daresay, sublime. :D

In other news, I'm falling behind in my shincha tasting! So far I have sampled:
    Adagio MS Shincha
    Yutaka Midori Classic
    Maiko Kinari

Still to come:
    Den's Houryoku
    YM Supreme LE (saving this for last :lol: )
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chesslover » Jun 29th, '10, 17:45

Our customs are probably enjoying my tea samples :(

So hard to read all those reviews...
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 29th, '10, 17:50

We shall tip our cups (hopefully with an OTTI sample) to those who have not received their OTTI(s)! :mrgreen:

I am still waiting for someone to get a visit from local DEA or equivilent! 8)

post 12K :oops:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Proinsias » Jun 29th, '10, 17:54

My brewing is also devoid of scales and thermometers. I'm trying to be a little more consistent for these tastings, helped by knowing the samples are around 8g. I'm also using the same pot for all of the teas. Now I know I normally use far more than 4g in my 4oz pot, I make up for this with faster infusions.

Kinari this evening, for the first time. Uninspiring and rather dull are my thoughts after three infusions. My least favourite so far. In light of Nick's post I will push it a little harder next time.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 29th, '10, 22:35

I gave the Sae Midori a try today...aroma was similar to the YM Kaoru Supreme but not as sweet I also detected a hint of pine in the dry leaves but that never showed up anywhere else. Flavour was only slightly sweet it tasted more herbal and savoury umami. I didn´t detect any of the bitterness others mentioned even my first brew was longer than intended. It lasted 4 infusions like YM 4th was kind of muted even I used boiling water.
Feeling was energizing but cooling...unlike the YM which I thought was very warming.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 30th, '10, 01:01

I admit I was kind of turned off sencha for a long time...very broken leaves and the idea that brewing would have to be very precise...

well...I´m finding I can guestimate pretty well and...seriously...how is a tea that is broken into such tiny particles so goooooood? : )::::.... *slurps more sencha* =^_^=

I´m glad you did the OTTI I´m not sure I would have gotten around to trying sincha for a long time otherwise. :D

going to edit so I don´t get the third post in a row xD

Just finished the 3rd infusion of Den´s Houryoku...
aroma is sweet and briney both dry and wet leaf
in the cup I´m getting a lot like the aroma...some sweetness and kelpy briney flavours...I always thought these seaweed flavours would be a bit strange in tea reading about it in sencha reviews...but it´s very addictive!

have tried half the samples so far and I´m really enjoying them :)
my fav is still the YM Supreme...so much buttery sweetness! : ):::...

also I haven´t tasted any bitter in any of the 3 I´ve tried I´m thinking I´m just not sensitive to it because I don´t feel like I´m really nailing the brewing since I´ve gotten distracted with twitter while the tea was sitting in the pot a few times :oops:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jun 30th, '10, 01:17

Thanks Proinsias and Entropyembrace for sharing your reviews/comments! :mrgreen:

Proinsias, Kinari was really very good when I nailed it, but I did not nail it each time. Better luck with your next attempt.

Glad you really liked the YM Supreme Entropy and that we could share this long overdue shincha experience! Be careful, sencha really can give you cravings! But it is so good, sounds like you are a natural at brewing it!!!
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