OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby zemlemer » Jul 28th, '11, 03:31

Package in my kitchen:)))))))
Thanks
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 28th, '11, 10:46

zemlemer wrote:Package in my kitchen:)))))))
Thanks

Whew ... hopefully you are in your kitchen too. :mrgreen:

Amazingly, our neighbor to the North, Canada, is again last to receive in the OTTI derby. :roll:
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Nenugal » Jul 29th, '11, 05:00

I tasted S and K yesterday, both very nice :)
Sorry, no parameters this time, I just improvised...
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby rhondabee » Jul 29th, '11, 18:10

I have now tried #2 sample (1/2 package in about 3 oz water, 160 F temp, 45 sec, 20 sec, 60 sec). This is a really nice, very smooth fukamushi sencha. The scent of the wet leaves is that nice sencha scent, but I'm really impressed with how smooth the tea tastes with virtually no astringency and only a hint of bitterness in the 1st steep. I like how balanced this tea is. I made 4 steeps and probably could do more. I can see why this tea is popular. I am really liking all the samples, so far, just one more to go.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Cammie » Jul 29th, '11, 19:34

I tried #1. Before I describe any preparation details, I just wanted to give an overall impression…yum! :) I am actually at work and should probably have waited until I got home since I don’t have a thermometer or scale here.

The smell of the dry tea leaf was pleasant, buttery and savory.

I used a preheated Kyushu. The first infusion was approximately 40 seconds and resulted in a bright green/gold fluorescent broth. Upon tasting, the buttery flavor took the lead closely followed by the savory taste and aroma. There was also a light grassy taste and an ever so slight but not unwelcome bitterness. The only thing I felt that was lacking was a small plate of senbei to enjoy along with this tea.

There was a sharp drop-off in flavor for the second 40 second infusion and a slight astringency…still very good and enjoyable to drink. All the flavors still present but much more subtle with no bitterness.

Third infusion was sixty seconds. I’m going to try a 4th infusion but I’m going to guess this would be the stopping point for me. I can now only smell and taste a very light buttery flavor and aroma.

The fourth infusion of two minutes resulted in a mild, not unpleasant, lightly infused cup of hot water. I will say that the (back of my throat) astringency of the tea, while never strong, increased slightly with each infusion.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby nada » Jul 30th, '11, 05:37

My package arrived a few days ago (thanks Chip), but I hadn't had a chance to sit down with any of these teas until yesterday.

#1 - Great, I really enjoyed this. Full flavour in mouth, smooth and evolved well throughout the (4) infusions. This tea reminded me how much I enjoy Shincha from time to time & was just what my body needed. I had one session of this on my own, then had to brew it again to let my wife taste it. I'd buy this.

#2 - Not so fond of this. Thin in the mouth. Flavour concentrated towards the front of the mouth and had the tightening feeling in the throat that I associate with excessive pesticides. I was disappointed to look back at the key to find out which tea it was - it was the one I'd heard the most praise of previously & the one I was most looking forward to tasting. Having now looked back at other people's comments, I'll have to give this one a second go.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 30th, '11, 08:49

Regarding #2, Nada ... this varietal sencha has a unique flavor profile, bold yet smooth and very memorable. It is assertive, no doubt.

I hope you will take the time to smell the dry leaves warming in your preheated pot, for many it is a pivotal moment that causes one to sit down and take notice.

This is not a subtle tea!

I have tried likely around a dozen different selections of this varietal sencha. While I have noticed pesticides in teas on rare occasions in other teas, not this one, just the varietal uniqueness.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby nada » Jul 30th, '11, 09:22

Thanks for these details Chip. I felt perhaps I'd been too hard on this tea and brewed it again this morning.

I agree the aroma from the warming leaves in the preheated pot was wonderful and very complex. I had a slightly better session with the tea the second time around, paying closer attention to the brewing, but was still surprised at how the flavour concentrated towards the front of the mouth, with the back feeling empty and lacking flavour. The tea still felt a little thin in the mouth.

I'm not sure what my feelings are about this tea. I really wanted to like it, especially the second time around when I knew what it was, but couldn't bring out anything in the tea that excited me. I was just left feeling that the tea was lacking something. Both my sessions with this sample are gone, but if you think I'm missing something Chip, I might have to order some more to experiment a bit. Perhaps a selection of this varietal from different vendors.

I did brew #4 just after this & enjoyed it much much more.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Chip » Jul 30th, '11, 09:33

#2 might not be to your liking ... it happens. I think this tea does leave tasters with a love or leave it mentality.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby David R. » Jul 30th, '11, 11:38

nada wrote:I did brew #4 just after this & enjoyed it much much more.


Definitively my personal favorite among the 4 samples of this OTTI. I just love it.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby Drax » Jul 30th, '11, 11:54

The one session I have had with #2 so far did not exactly match my recollection of previous experience (I went through a whole 100g of it in the last month).

Although I had gotten in the habit of brewing this one much cooler, and also close to 0-second steeps for the 2nd and 3rd... I'll have to try that method as opposed to the 20s I did the first time.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby rhondabee » Jul 31st, '11, 15:24

In reviewing the brewing guidelines, I just realized I was using less water than recommended. Hmmm, second round I will try more water to see how it changes the taste, especially for sample 3, that I felt was too strong tasting for me. I thought sample 2 was perfect, so I won't change the way I brewed that.

I'm trying sample 4 now. This is the asamushi and I thought it would be my favorite, but it isn't. The first steep I used less water (3 to 3.5 oz) but it was about 160 F water temp and only brewed about 45 seconds. It was okay, but I guess it had a slightly bitter aftertaste that I didn't like. I used more water (about 4 oz) for the 2nd and third steeps. The water temp was 165 or below, but still an aftertaste I don't like. The smell of the wet leaves was a nice grassy scent, but it doesn't have the sweet scent of the fukas. It also didn't have too much astringency. I didn't detect a lot of astringency in any of the samples so either I have really gotten used to astringency or brewing at lower temperatures really reduces it.

I guess for this first round of tasting the samples, the fukamushi shinchas won :)
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby JRS22 » Jul 31st, '11, 17:37

I was doing tea steeping experiments today to practice using my new tea kettle, and start exploring the gyokuro that I've been "aging" in my tea cabinet. I was reading some old posts about brewing gyo and there was an interesting one from Kevangogh about steeping with the lid off and watching for the point at which the tea leaves begin to open. So I tried that with sample #4.

I heated the water to 165 degrees, then cooled it a bit while preheating my kyusu and tea cup. Then I put the last of the #4 in the kyusu, inhaled the aroma (Thanks Chip for the constant reminders to do that) and steeped the tea with the lid off. After 45 seconds the tea leaves were beginning to open, so I poured the tea into my cup and found that the tea had a sweet taste with no bitterness. The second steep, which I timed at 30 seconds, was bitter, so I tried a third steep, for 15 seconds, which was almost as good as the first steep.

Now I'm looking forward to the 2nd round with the other samples.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby gargoylekitty » Aug 1st, '11, 14:34

Been busy, but got around to trying #3 last night, definitely will be hard to pick out any one of these four as a favorite, they're all pretty good. Going to try to have them all again closer together this week to form some manner of opinion.
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Re: OTTI 10: SHINCHA 2011

Postby JRS22 » Aug 1st, '11, 20:53

Tried the same preheating/open-lid technique with the yame fukamushi shincha. Very pleasing mix of sweet and bitter. My first thought is that I've wasted so much tea brewing improperly, but fortunately there's so much tea left to drink.
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