OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby DBentz » Jul 19th, '11, 16:24

#1:
1st steep 160 degrees for little over a minute, 3 grams to
3 oz.'s (preheated):
(May be I'm used to the lower notes of my current stash but,) buttery, buttery, buttery. Maybe hint of asparagus. Very pleasing.

2nd steep a little over 160 degrees and a little under
30 seconds:
Not as buttery, still a vegetal taste but subtle. Wish I'd used less water.

3rd steep 170 for 2 minutes 2 oz.'s water:
Similar to 2nd, but a little less subtle which is impressive for a 3rd steep!

4th steep 180 for 3 minutes 2oz's. no preheat:
Strong flavor definitely gone. Still a bit of sweetness. Still pleasant.

Overall, loved the first steep: ethereal and light at the higher note register while still satisfying. Will try less water in the second steep. Not sure what temp I'll use. Great fun.

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Drax » Jul 20th, '11, 12:38

I got to enjoy sample #2 last night, and after having done so, took a stab at guessing the identity of #1 and #2.... and got it wrong! Ah well, better luck next time. :D

I found #2 to have a striking bitterness in the first infusion, nearly absent in the second, and then medium bitterness in the rest (I ran 3g in a 3oz shiboridashi, starting at 160F preheated, 40 seconds, then 165F 20 seconds, 175F 50s, 185F 90s and 212F 190s). I thought maybe my mouth and tongue got overwhelmed in the first steep!

But the smell of #2 in the preheated shibo was almost identical to buttered popcorn. Awesome!!

I'm looking forward to shifting to the asamushis tonight. It's been a long time since I've had an asa.

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Nenugal » Jul 21st, '11, 03:30

Just opened the bag of #3. A nice one! The leaf looks a bit chu-mushy, and smells good.
  • Preheated kyusu (but it got cold again before use)
  • 4.6 grams for ~120 ml water (in 150 ml kyusu)
  • Leaf in preheated kyusu: I can confirm that it smell good in preheated kyusu. :mrgreen:
  • Enjoying smell until kyusu is cold. Oops.
  • Kyusu is cold again so I use a bit warmer water; 78 degrees C
  • After 90 seconds, first infusion is nicely green.
  • Taste is full, deep, a bit astringent, also a bit fuka-like in taste?
  • Grassy!

Also, I tried the benifuki yesterday. It was... an unusual taste that is difficult to describe. Perhaps one could get used to it.

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Drax » Jul 21st, '11, 06:48

Nenugal wrote:
  • Taste is full, deep, a bit astringent, also a bit fuka-like in taste?
  • Grassy!


I got to try #3 last night as well, and it also seemed a subtle difference to me. Maybe more vegetal, less savory? Granted, I am not a sencha expert, and I haven't had an asamushi in ages.

It also didn't seem to 'peak' -- I got a nice first three infusions (165F, 90s; 165F, 20s; 175F, 40s), but it pretty much died after that. The non-bitter flavors were also mostly gone on the 4th infusion (185F, 120s) and barely present in the 5th (212F, 3m).

Looking forward to #4 tonight...!

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby hopeofdawn » Jul 21st, '11, 13:27

Had the chance to try #2 yesterday. Same setup--Chinese-style houhin, a cooling bowl, and half-tablespoon of dried leaf. (Still no thermometer, sorry!) Again the scent of the dried leaf was amazing--I'd have to do side by side sniff-tests with #1 to be able to tell the difference, but it was a very sweet, fresh smell. The first brew (boiling water in cooling bowl for 10 sec, then brewed for 30 secs) was very smooth, though it seemed a bit lighter than the #1 shincha--a little less buttery on the tongue, more of a clean green taste.

What really struck me about this shincha was how long it lasted--the #1 shincha really only had solid flavor for 3-4 brews, though I stretched it out longer just to see what it would do. #2, though, I must have brewed seven times or more, and it just kept going until the leaves were completely spent. I actually went through two full kettles of water on one half-tablespoon of leaf--which is something none of my other sencha have done yet. Amazing!

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby David R. » Jul 22nd, '11, 02:19

Received the enveloppe yesterday. Nice work ! Cheers.

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Nenugal » Jul 22nd, '11, 03:55

#1
Preheated kyusu.
5 g leaf for ~120 ml water.
Leaf smell GOOD in preh. ky.
60 sec first infusion.
Good fuka! I usually use a little bit more time for first infusions of fukamushi, and this could also benefit from a couple of more seconds I guess… still very nice, balanced taste with grass and umami.
Second inf. 35 sec: very nice too!
Third infusion: 10 minutes (oops): still drinkable!

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby strickmr » Jul 22nd, '11, 21:41

I had a chance to try the "k" for kewl.
It had a nice grassiness to it and was a really easy brewer. Both sessions turned out really well. Being the first organic (can I say that? :? ) I've tried, I was really impressed with it. I brewed roughly 5 oz. both times and weighed out a gram per ounce. I used Chip's brewing recommendations for the asamushi, but lowered the temp a bit on the second session. There wasn't much difference to me. It had a really subtle sweetness that I adored. I even got five good steeps out of it. The last two were mediocre, but still an easy drinker.

Thanks Chip!

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby David R. » Jul 23rd, '11, 13:00

#2 - 5g/ 10cl

70°C / 1' - 75°C / 15" - 80°C / 1'

There's something truly original about this shincha compared to what I had tasted before. The first brew was a little light but the second is great, very sweet with deep aftertaste and an excellent astringency. The third had also a long finish.

I am glad I got to taste this kind of tea.

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby twinofmunin » Jul 24th, '11, 20:25

#2 -- 3.2g in a 4oz shiboridashi (after the first steep fluffed up the leaves, this worked out to 3-3.5oz water per steep).

Smells amazing in the bag and while measuring -- smells like my very first sencha (a fuka). Looks fuka-y.

First infusion -- 40-60 seconds (slowwwww pour, whoops, should have chosen a better vessel), 150F water (it didn't seem to want to go higher; candy thermometer is suspect). Very pale at first; gets a little thicker as bits of leaf decide to join in. Almost bluish in its greenness! The dregs of steep 1 in the cup have little trails of particulate leaf matter swirling around. Taste is delicate, very lightly astringent (though I've been tasting sheng pu-erh lately, so my astringency meter may be off). Round and vegetal and filling, but still soft.

Second infusion -- 25-40 seconds (too long, I know), 155F water. Pours out aggressively green and cloudy. Tastes... very different from the first infusion, though my tastebuds are, I think, still reeling a bit. Bit harder edge, less "round"/buttery(?); slightly sweet in the hollowness. Almost cool-tasting.

Third infusion -- 45-90 seconds (started pouring early, having chosen exactly the wrong vessel for a fuka), 160F water. Pours out clearer than the last infusion, but still cloudy; slightly yellower, but still very much green. Taste a bit cleaner and astringent; "fresh" and slightly sweet. Starting to taste my tap water underneath the sencha flavours; this may be because I'm used to using a bit more leaf.

Ha! Now that I look, it's kind of cute to note that this is a shincha version of the very first sencha I ever got... explaining why I think it smells so similar. :D

Feeling a little dumb for having chosen a shiboridashi for fuka, much less one I knew to be finicky about pouring. The tea, however, was extremely forgiving; I don't appear to have been punished for my pours taking forever.

I also missed until too late Chip's advisory to treat #2 as a fuka... so I suppose I'm glad I can judge a fuka for myself? ;)

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby puerhking » Jul 24th, '11, 20:54

I brewed all of the samples the same way. Small amount of leaf in a small amount of water 1.8g to 70ml with temps at 155* 45-60 sec first brew just a few for second etc.

I liked #3 the best for overall flavor. Then #2 (which had remarkable durability) It also tastes quite a bit different from last year. Could be my fav after I tweak the parameters. Next would be #1 with some pretty in your face fuka flavors…but not as durable. Lastly would be #4. The flavors were quite nice but really petered out by the third brew.

Now it probably isn’t fair to brew these different styles the same, but gives me a basis on how to brew them for the second round. So they may change.

I will say they all have very unique personalities.

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby IPT » Jul 24th, '11, 21:32

:cry:

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 24th, '11, 23:35

IPT wrote: :cry:

This one better arrive!!!

I am enjoying reading everyone's comments! I try to not post too much while I give (mostly) everyone a chance to try them w/o me giving my 2 yen's worth. :mrgreen:

However comment I will verrrry soon! :twisted:

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby woozl » Jul 24th, '11, 23:59

My two lost cats returned today.
Anything is possible :!:

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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 25th, '11, 00:02

woozl wrote:My two lost cats returned today.
Anything is possible :!:

Hopefully that is a good thing, right? I am sure Mrs. Woozl will put them to work spinning her wheel or something.

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