OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby TubbyCow » Nov 25th, '10, 17:57

Finally got my teas last night up here in Canada...

Just on Den's Yame Fuka right now. Followed Chip's original post brewing parameters. I find the tea rather rich and thick with a somewhat gamey quality. Lots of spinach without much sweetness. Somewhat nutty. Very full-bodied and heavy-textured but mild flavours overall.

Love the stuff. Would definitely buy. One point for Fukamushi :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby rhondabee » Nov 26th, '10, 16:16

I have now finished trying all of the Fukamushi senchas. Rating in descending order: F4, F1, F2, F3, F5. I'm completely new to senchas so it was a fun experience to try these teas. I liked the F4, Miyabi the best. To me it was the sweetest tasting and the most strongly scented and it lasted 5 infusions for me. I think my next favorite was the F1, Yame Fukamushi from Den's. I loved the smell of the dry leaves - like a spicy cookie. The scent of the wet leaves smelled like sweet fish, with some spicy/herbal scents as well - very complex. The taste was fairly sweet and in later infusions tasted more savory/brothy. The leaves continued to smell very sweet/tart. The other 3 were good, but not as memorable to me. I've tried the first Asamushi, Shin-ryoku from Den's and liked it a lot. I'll try the rest to compare. I have a feeling that I will like the Asamushi better than the Fukamushi (with the exception of the Miyabi), but we will see.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby Stentor » Nov 27th, '10, 12:04

I've been busy this week, so I haven't had time for posting detailed review.
I did try a few teas however and will try to post a detailed review of each one when I taste them again.

For the sake of discussion, since some of you have posted rankings:

I have tasted all of the fukamushi and my ranking of them is:

1. F4: Miyabi, O-Cha
2. F2: Fuji Super Premium, Zencha
3. F3: Fuga Super Premium, Zencha
4. F1: Yame Fukamushi, Den's
5. F5: Hatsumi, O-Cha

I don't know what went wrong with Den's Yame Fukamushi for me as I haven't heard a single bad review from you. The first infusion was so very good but after that it wasn't, at least for the 2 tries I had. :(

The Hatsumi just was rather underwhelming to me and maybe seemed a little stale? It was lacking in aroma. It wasn't bad, I just thought it didn't have much to offer. It didn't have "character".
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby tortoise » Nov 27th, '10, 12:32

I'm ready to post decisions for fukamushi as well.

1. F4: Miyabi, O-Cha
I've made no secret of my preference for miyabi.
2. F2: Fuji Super Premium, Zencha
I really loved the Fuji Super Premium. I got a lot of great steepings out of it and look forward to ordering it sometime. Also, the spent leaves were interesting to look at. I believe you could separate by eye the leaves in the blend. Some were a pale, kelly green and then there were broader, more rubbery textured dark green leaves as well. I'd give this one a 4 or 5 out of 5.
3. F1: Yame Fukamushi, Den's
This one was pleasing. Not as terrific as other YM fuka's, but still an admirable tea that I would enjoy any time.
4. F5: Hatsumi, O-Cha
This tea helped me realize that I don't care much for an unblended yabukita as a Fukamushi-cha. It's quality was excellent though and steeped many times. I think it may be difficult to get the nuttyness I like in fukamushi out of the more grassy, vegetal yabukita variety. What to you all think?
5. F3: Fuga Super Premium, Zencha
I just didn't understand what this tea was going for. The flavors were too muddy; nothing really emerged to give the tea an identity. I used recommended parameters, so I'm fairly certain it wasn't a mistake. It did not taste nasty, far from it. Good quality. Just unremarkable to my palate.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby gargoylekitty » Nov 28th, '10, 06:08

Finished trying the asamushi, still have two more to go with the fuka(and I want to try the Yame Fukamushi again before judging). I'm not too good at describing things, I don't think, but, my initial thoughts for the asa(did 5 steeps on each), in order of preference and on little sleep...

A3, Maruyama from Maiko- Kinda in love with this one. Pretty sure it's secure in its top spot for me. Very smooth, light/sweet in parts, vaguely TKY-like in the aftertaste, lots of umami for the first three steeps.
A2, Hachiju-hachiya from Maiko- Was good enough for me to feel it in second, but boring.
A1, Shin-ryoku from Den's- Not the greatest, not the worse. Feel like I need to try it again to get a better grip on it. Third steep was the best, the first two were too astringent for my taste.
A5, "Togei"- I like grassy/vegetal greens though this got to be a bit too much in the third steep, though did better than any other on the fourth and fifth, even did a sixth, since it dulled some of the overwhelming grassiness, though disliked the dryness in trade.
A4, Sencha Premier from Adagio- It's not actually that this was awful or anything, it just left no real impression on me. Nothing stood out even moreso than with the hachiju-hachiya. Might do better on second tasting.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby Marco » Nov 28th, '10, 16:21

Stentor wrote:Thanks, Marco and nice review.
How strong did you brew these? How many grams of leaf per ounce (or ml) of water?

Oh I simply forgot this. I take half the sample (so ~3,8g) with 90-100ml of water.

The second duel - did it last week but still owe my results.

F2 Fuji Super Premium from Zencha
very small bits of leaves
1st intense already - I wondered of the power it had.
2nd was very green and had a nice strong taste with sweet aftertaste.
3rd had strong umami.
4th getting lighter in colour, but still this intense smell. Very solid and rounded taste.
5th, 6th and 7th getting weak but still drinkable and nice.

A2 Hachiju-hachiya from Maiko
The leaves are beautiful; very big and dark green needles.
1st is pale and very light. Rounded with a hint of sweetness.
2nd is as the first one but getting intense.
3rd as the second one. Some umami.
4th getting lighter.
5th and 6th very weak and still sweet.

This Fuka had some taste - wow. Not as beautiful as the Asa, but strong and held its power. The Asamushi was nice too. I really liked both and would call it a draw. :)
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby Marco » Nov 28th, '10, 16:39

Continue with yesterdays duel :)

F3 Fuga Super Premium from Zencha
This one has a lot of stems. I couldn't even use the spent leaves in my meal.
1st had a very pale colour. It was mild.
2nd getting greener and getting some more taste.
3rd getting veggie and sweet.
4th some veggieness.
5th has been very weak although I steeped for 2'30".
6th had more umami than 5th and a nice finish. Steeped this one for 5' with nearly boiling water and wonder if I did something wrong with the 5th.
So I tried a 7th one. This just has been coloured water.

A3 Maruyama from Maiko
A really nice smell of the leaves. Some big and small leaves.
1st pale in colour, some veggieness.
2nd still light colour. Some veggieness and pleasant sweetness.
3rd Some umami with a grassy sweet taste.
4th very thin in taste. Just some sweetness left.
5th like coloured water.

This Asa was great but not long lasting. It just gives three nice infusions. But still unsure about the Fuka. Would give this point to the Asamushi.

ciao
Marco
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby entropyembrace » Nov 28th, '10, 17:01

F5 Hatsumi yesterday...very vegetal, no bitterness, very little astrigency....was getting impressions of sweet bell peppers and parsley. Refreshing with a touch of sweetness :)

Also 2nd infusion was a disaster....I accidentally let go the lid while finishing pouring...at about 90º and most of the leaves fell out into my cup :shock:

But even with about 5g of leaves in my cup it never got bitter...so 2nd infusion was very soupy but good! :lol:

then I spooned the leaves back into the pot to continue on through the 4th infusion :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby rhondabee » Nov 28th, '10, 18:51

I've tried all the Asamushi senchas now. I tried to follow the brewing guidelines, but probably did shorter steeps for the 3rd and 4th infusions than recommended. I'm very much a newbie at brewing senchas and trying to describe the taste, so bear with me.

All these teas were pleasant, but if I had to rank them, it would be in this order:
A3 Maruyama from Maiko : I like the strong sweet, nutty scent of the wet leaves and nice savory scent of the tea broth. It had a strong aftertaste on the 2nd infusion, but overall had a nice mellow taste.
A5 - Togei: I think I must prefer a really grassy taste/scent. I loved that this tea had no bitterness and was very smooth and mellow tasting on every infusion. Very pleasant tea.
A1 - Shin-ryoku from Den's: Loved the sweet aroma of the wet leaves and the tea broth was nutty, sweet with slightly bitter aftertaste.
A4: Sencha Premier from Adagio - I actually tried this twice as the first time it was a bit too bitter and I think I was sloppy with my water temperatures. The second time around was much better with no bitterness. It reminded me of a green oolong in the scent of the wet leaves and color of the broth on first infusion. Overall light, vegetal and pleasant to drink.
A2: Hachiju-Hachiya from Maiko - This was very mild, vegetal and a little too bland tasting for me, but also very well could be due to my brewing skills.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby debunix » Nov 28th, '10, 18:54

Today drinking the A2 regular infusion in my kyusu....first infusion was lovely: about 5 grams of sencha in my 5 oz kyusu, tap water 160 degrees, 30 seconds. 2nd and 3rd--15 seconds, then 45 seconds--were a bit stronger than I like, a little astringent, but still tasty. I backed off a bit on the infusion time with the 4th--raised the temp as I usually do at that point, this time to 170 degrees, but dropped the time to 30 seconds, and it was a bit too light. 5th, I increased the infusion time back to a minute, and got again a very nice tea.

Still two more to go for the full infusion apiece before I can rate them all.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby TubbyCow » Nov 28th, '10, 20:25

So far of the Asas, I've only had A1+A2 (the Shin-ryoku from Den's and the Hachiju-hachiya from Maiko), but as it stands, I would rate both of them below the fuka when it comes to personal preference.

Both I brewed as per Chip's first post instructions.

Den's I found beautifully sweet and overall delightful. Nice vegetal character.

Maiko I found a little lacking. Good, but it didn't really have the depth of character and personality that I want from my sencha. I don't want to call it bland, but it was quite simple. Good, but so far the tea I'm least likely to buy.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby Stentor » Nov 29th, '10, 06:03

Hey guys, could you help me pinpoint which taste umami is? I must already know what it tastes like as I have had many sencha and some gyokuro. However I couldn't take a sip of sencha and say "Ah, that's umami right there" yet.
I know it's supposed to be a "savory" taste or something but it would probably help me a lot more if you could describe it a little more or tell me "try tea X, it's the taste you get when..." or something :)

Marco, you said you got a lot of umami from the third infusion of Fuji Super Premium. I will try the Fuji Super Premium again to see if I can find out what umami is in the third infusion. So thanks for the hint ;)
What I got a lot from the Fuji Super Premium in my first tasting was sort of a spinach and salmon taste (in a good way). It really made me think of a rice with spinach and salmon dish that I make every once in a while. Is that it?
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby entropyembrace » Nov 29th, '10, 14:44

That salmon taste is probably the umami...since umami is a savoury protein taste.


Anyway I tried the A2 Hachiju-hachiya from Maiko yesterday....and like others I found it a bit lacking...nothing really stood out to me. Was warm, and green and didn´t have anything offensive to it...it was nice to drink. But at the price point I expect something more memorable...I much preferred the cheaper Maruyama.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby tortoise » Nov 29th, '10, 18:21

entropyembrace wrote:Anyway I tried the A2 Hachiju-hachiya from Maiko yesterday....and like others I found it a bit lacking...nothing really stood out to me. Was warm, and green and didn´t have anything offensive to it...it was nice to drink. But at the price point I expect something more memorable...I much preferred the cheaper Maruyama.


Ditto. Maruyama was probably my favorite of all of the light steamed samples.
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Re: OTTI 7 & 8, Asa/Fuka Mushi Duel

Postby Chip » Nov 29th, '10, 19:18

I hope everyone else is enjoying reading the reviews and comments here as much as I am. It seems this OTTI was ... quite thought provoking.

Thanks to everyone for posting so far!!!
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