OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

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

Postby TubbyCow » Jul 2nd, '10, 13:39

Story time, TeaChat!

So as I mentioned elsewhere, I got a job mostly to pay for my tea habit, but it turns out to have been great timing because my husband got laid off, so now I'm the only one earning money. I take all the shifts I can get (as I'm sure a lot of people do), which meant that I worked the last nine days in a row. My job isn't too bad; I can't complain, but last night, I got stung by a bee on the hand then poured boiling water all over that hand then dropped a safe lid on my other hand's thumb. I work over a grill, and burnt hand + steaming grill = *pout* I'm sure we've all had workdays like that.

But here I am. Finally a day off to at last try my first-ever cup of shincha, thanks to TeaChat (and especially Mr + Mrs Chip!). I don't want to bother going into too much detail because I don't know enough to properly review it, and you all seem to be doing it justice. I used Chip's general directions on the first page and am sipping away at Den's Houryoku. In this moment, the world is wonderful. So smooth and sweet and, while I'm sure I brewed it far from perfectly, it just feels like the perfect cup right now. For lack of a better phrase, it's like a tea religious experience. I'm sure many of you know how that feels.

Basically, what I'm saying is, thanks TeaChat. You guys are wonderful people, and I love learning from you and even just watching you interact with each other. *sniff* I love you, man!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby laura99 » Jul 2nd, '10, 15:31

brian wrote: I checked the O-Cha this morning, it's out of stock, probably good thing as I have a pretty good stash of Japanese green now and really don't need to buy more.


Pretty sure they were in stock yesterday, and I just made my decision to buy it today :(. Oh well, i'll just pick another. Learned my lesson - cannot wait too long!

Well here is my brief ratings on the shincha's. I have no details, not even going to try that! In my order of preference

O-Cha YM Supreme - favorite one! The first cup really knocked my socks off.
O-Cha YM Classic - I had purchased this one previously. This is a very close second. I waited to try it again after trying all the OTTI's and it's still on top of my list
Green tea lovers Kagoshima - This one was quite different. I cannot explain the taste - but it was a different mouth feel and aftertaste than any other green tea I have had and I liked it!
O-Cha SM - cant remember specifics on this one (I drank a lot of these during the work week) but very nice
Maeda-en Gold - great green tea but nothing special.
Den's Kunpu - probably not doing this one justice. My only light steamed tea so I probably need more practice in the brewing. It was nice and sweet but a bit mild. My experience with the YM classic helped a lot with the others.

Happy tea - why have I not tried this one yet? Have to do that first thing in the morning :)

Thanks to Chip for this wonderful experience!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jul 2nd, '10, 16:12

Thank you TubbyCow and Laura for sharing your reviews and comments! And don't be too much of a stranger TubbyCow.

I did not check the O-C site, but I do recall the owner mentioning he was uncertain of how long he would be able to stock the YM Supreme. I will surely be one to ask!

Also, this is Shincha version, so maybe the next batch will be non shincha, which is OK by me!

Oh, and everyone is most welcome (where is the humbly bows emoticon when you need it!)! I am equally thrilled to share the experiences with everyone, and as I mentioned when we began, some of these are new experiences for me as well!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby nickE » Jul 2nd, '10, 16:22

TubbyCow wrote:In this moment, the world is wonderful. So smooth and sweet and, while I'm sure I brewed it far from perfectly, it just feels like the perfect cup right now. For lack of a better phrase, it's like a tea religious experience. I'm sure many of you know how that feels.

Basically, what I'm saying is, thanks TeaChat. You guys are wonderful people, and I love learning from you and even just watching you interact with each other. *sniff* I love you, man!

Awww, what a great post! :D Glad the Shincha could brighten your day.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby debunix » Jul 2nd, '10, 21:14

TubbyCow wrote:...am sipping away at Den's Houryoku. In this moment, the world is wonderful. So smooth and sweet and, while I'm sure I brewed it far from perfectly, it just feels like the perfect cup right now. For lack of a better phrase, it's like a tea religious experience. I'm sure many of you know how that feels.


I had my first eye-opening sencha experience less than a year ago, thanks to inspiration and hand-holding in another tea forum, and it was a truly ecstatic moment much like yours. Wishing you many more to come!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jul 3rd, '10, 00:29

BTW, the YM Supreme was restocked and will be available for as long as the O-C can get it ... or for the foreseeable future. :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby entropyembrace » Jul 3rd, '10, 01:04

Chip wrote:BTW, the YM Supreme was restocked and will be available for as long as the O-C can get it ... or for the foreseeable future. :mrgreen:


w00t! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby kymidwife » Jul 3rd, '10, 11:50

I've been away from home for over a week, just arrived back on Tuesday evening and had to hit the ground running, back to work. Today I finally get the chance to start catching up on life, email, sleep, and TeaChat. I was able to do some tastings before I left, and still have a couple left to try yet from the OTTI. I just wanted to post and say how much I am enjoying the postings, reviews, and the great forum interaction that has been generated by the OTTI. It has really breathed new life into our little tea world.

Thanks, Chip... for the idea, and for the effort and time to see it through. So kewl to see people experiencing shincha for the first time. :mrgreen:

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

Postby entropyembrace » Jul 4th, '10, 01:31

second tasting of Sae Midori I found I hadn´t used quite half the leaf (probably only 3g) in my first round....with more leaf I got quite a bit more sweetness from it :)
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby puerhking » Jul 4th, '10, 12:38

Green Tea Lovers Sencha Ichiban Oishi -

Nice deep savory flavor with some bright vegetal notes. Buttery mouthfeel and a lingering finish. I think I am detecting a little roast on the finish as well. Overall I like this one...though it is unique compared to the other five shinchas....that is what I enjoyed about it. I would buy this one for that reason.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby nickE » Jul 5th, '10, 02:22

My final review! Yutaka Midori Kaoru Supreme LE & Shincha Review Roundup.

The leaves smell very strong of veggies, slightly sweet. Mmmmm!

1st steep, 1:1, 160F, 45s. A vibrant dark green soup. Tastes sweet, deep, & vegetal. Very smooth cup of tea with a slight sourness on the tongue after the tea is swallowed.

2nd steep, 165F, 25s. The taste is now extremely vegetal, I taste lots of steamed asparagus. Some umami is present along with a decent amount of bitterness at the very end. Quite complex, a nice 2nd steep.

3rd steep, 175F, 60s. Still a nice lime-green color. Veggies are fading now along with the bitterness. The ever-present sweetness becomes more noticeable and remains with the long, mellow aftertaste.

4th steep, 180F, 120s. Sweet tea water! Not bad, but I find myself losing focus. This marks the end for a very enjoyable tea.


Shincha Ranks
The following is my OTTI selection ranked from most to least enjoyable.

Yutaka Midori Kaoru Supreme LE: Great both times I brewed it. Extremely complex and satisfying.
Maiko Kinari: Messed it up the first time, but the second attempt was heavenly. Sublime.
Den's Houryoku: I quite enjoyed the flavors of this one.
O-Cha YM: Still really nice, but the above teas outdid it I guess.
Adagio Shincha: Found this one very bland, never figured it out.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby debunix » Jul 5th, '10, 14:54

Another shincha comparison this morning, with the remaining shinchas (I used up one other already), in order of my preference--and my preferences are for the sweeter floral notes over the deeper vegetal umami:
Maiko shincha sencha--sweet, delicious, hints of floral
Maeda En Gold--very nice with good balance, really almost no difference from the previous
Den's Kunpu--just made a lesser impression than the top two, but still should be a nice daily sencha
Green Tea Lovers Kagoshima Shincha--more umami than I prefer, but mellows with later infusions
Oishi Ichibancha--this one has a toasty note that I just don't care for in a sencha
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 2 Silver Needle ... and Reviews!

Postby entropyembrace » Jul 7th, '10, 14:20

I´m tasting the Oishi Ichibancha again...I´m liking it a lot more this time I´m getting toasted grain notes instead of the grassiness...not sure what I did differently.

It´s a bit strange of a flavour for a green tea but I´m enjoying it :)
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby debunix » Jul 11th, '10, 12:10

Just finished the last of my OTTI ShinCHAAAs, the medley version (mixed ends of the various samples), and it was wonderful. Might have been the best brewing yet!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 1 ShinCHAAA ... and Reviews!

Postby Geekgirl » Jul 11th, '10, 12:34

Oh! I had the GTL Kagoshima yesterday. It was so good! Sorry I can't be very detailed, I'm afraid I'm just not that knowledgeable about senchas/shinchas. But it was not bitter at all, and not too much umami, (which can be overpowering to me.) The second steep brewed up really soupy, the tea liquid was approaching opaque with particulate, it was kind of awesome. :)

Image
(sorry for the photo doublepost. :) )
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