OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 13:58

(brief note, I may be posting this earlier than the 3 pm Eastern USA time planned due to handling of my MIL who had to be taken to the hospital, non lifethreatening but an emergency anyway. You may email me your desire to participate on or after 6 pm Eastern time at teachatmoderator@yahoo.com ... I will reply to your emails tonight some time, just please do not expect an immediate response ... my apologies in advance!)

OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Greetings TeaTasters of TeaChat (I think this means virtually all members?). In this topic I will introduce everyone to the selections of this very fine OTTI as well as how you can participate. This OTTI is open to all members of TeaChat, but as always, "seating" is limited. So if you are interested in receiving this OTTI round, please let me know asap!

This OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Round will include 5 rather divergent samples of premium 2011 First Flush Sencha (technically 1 selection is not a sencha ... see the list below). Each sample includes 10 grams of leaf, enough for at least 2 sessions each. 50 grams total.

I hope you can join us for this OTTI tasting that I feel will be ... outstanding!

The OTTI 11 selections in random order:

Takumi from Zencha http://www.zencha.net/products_yame.php From Yame, breed is Gokou (Gokoh and other spellings) a typical gyokuro varietal. Several years ago we nicked this selection "Gyokuro grown in the Sun!" :D

Kabuse-Cha from O-Cha http://www.o-cha.com/green-tea/kabusecha.html Shade grown Yabukita varietal sencha from Uji. Mildly astringent, Chumushi (mid steamed).

Yame Fukamushi Gokujo from Hakoniwado http://japantea.org/sencha/yame_sencha_gokujo Their top grade Yabukita Fukamushi (deep steamed) from Yame. We tried the lower level one in the last OTTI, Now try the premium selection.

Hachiju - Hachiya from Maiko http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/shopping/sencha.htm From Uji, Yabukita varietal. Commonly called "88 Nights." A premium Asamushi (light steamed) selection of this traditional offering.

Guricha from Den's http://www.denstea.com/bancha-guricha-and-mecha-guricha-900-c-102_118.html From Ureshino, Yabukita varietal. Also called Tamaryokucha, this is lighter steamed green tea that is processed a little differently, producing little comma shaped leaves. We had a shincha Guricha in the last OTTI, this is simply First Flush this time around and from another source.


For general info on how the OTTIs run, please see this topic: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=16242 The biggest change is if you are interested in participating in this OTTI round, I am asking that you email me at teachatmoderator@yahoo.com ... If you email me from your paypal email, that will simplify things, but it is not necessary!!!

Total Cost in USD (shipping is included) for this OTTI round:
USA $7
Canada/North America $8.50
Europe $10
Asia/Australia $11.50
Other please inquire

Email your interest to teachatmoderator@yahoo.com including your:
TeaChat User Name
Your name
Mailing address formatted exactly as it would appear on a package or letter addressed to you.
Country
If outside of USA, your phone number is recommended for customs forms!
Paypal email address

Thanks,
Chip
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 13:59

This post will be edited after the OTTI packages are shipped to include the "blind key" for the 5 sencha selections. Each foil-lined, zip-seal pouch will be labeled with a number only.

In order to view this blind key, you will have to click on the "quote" icon located above this post, to the right. This will display the blind key!

Again, this blind key will be added after the packages are shipped. You will have the option of whether to conduct the OTTI blind ... or not.

EDIT 10/18/11: BLIND KEY ADDED BELOW in random order!


1. Takumi from Zencha
2. Kabuse from O-Cha
3. Guricha from Den's
4. Yame Fukamushi Gokujo from Xell
5. Hachiju-hachiya from Maiko
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 13:59

This post will be edited after the packages are shipped to include brewing suggestions for each sencha! :mrgreen:

EDIT 10/18/11. Brewing suggestions added. You should get two or more sessions from each tea. There is 10 grams of tea in each pouch. (AND yes, they are all green teas, I ran out of green tea pouches, so most say black or oolong)

General. For all teas but #3, I preheat the kyusu! The temp suggested is based on a preheated kyusu!!! After pouring out the water and seconds before the water is the right temp, put the leaves into the preheated kyusu ... swirl the pot to spread the leaves (SIT DOWN!!!)and then stick your nose right in there and smell the dry warming leaves' aroma!!! WHOA! :mrgreen:

Tips, gently swirl the pot a couple times before pouring, then rock the pot several times when pouring. This will heighten the flavor ...

Resteeping general ... 2nd steep, a bit warmer, 30 seconds or less. 3rd, warmer still, 60 seconds. 4th, hotter, longer. 5th, up to boiling for several minutes. The 4th and 5th are more like tea water ... some people enjoy this some do not.

I tend to brew stronger than most, but not as strong as many others. Most sencha type teas I brew at 1:1 ratio as a starting point and then adjust to personal taste for that tea. If you are new to sencha, .75:1 might be better for you, might not.

Happy TeaExperimenting. Be sure to post brewing tips and questions!!!

Sample 1: I prefer this at 1.25 grams leaf : 1 ounce (30 ml) water, stronger than most sencha! So, I will usually go 5 grams per 4 ounces.
158* F (70* C). 60 seconds.

Sample 2: Again, 1.25:1 ... 158*. 60-90 seconds. This will create a brothy cup!

Sample 3: I DO NOT PREHEAT THE KYUSU FOR THIS TEA, INSTEAD I "SHOCK" THE LEAVES WITH HOTTER WATER which then quickly cools.
1:1 ratio. 170-175* F (77-80* C), 60 seconds.

If you want this tea more mild (it is by nature a milder tea), DO preheat the pot and then brew at 160* or hotter (71* C).

Sample 4: 1:1, can be brewed stronger. 158*. 45-60 seconds.

Sample 5: 1.25:1 for a brothy brew, lower ratio for a lighter brew. 158* for 90 seconds.

OK, there you go, adjust to personal taste or live dangerously! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 14:00

... and lastly, I will ask for your opinions.

I think it is OK for members to post their reviews/discussions on teas indicating the tea names ... OR the "blind key number" that is on each sample pouch?

JUST NOT BOTH?

What do you think?

............................................................

OK, please feel free to post, ask questions ... and ultimately post comments on these 5 sencha selections.

I hope you can join us for this OTTI round!!!
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 14:37

... something pretty amazing, 4 of the selections are Yabukita varietal, but they are also so divergent!!!
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Sep 28th, '11, 15:00

Chip wrote:
OK, please feel free to post, ask questions ... and ultimately post comments on these 5 sencha selections.

I hope you can join us for this OTTI round!!!


OK. Here's a newbie query or two for you:

Have you had any reports of OTTI shipments being held up by customs? What about the imposition of customs duties?

Thanks.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 16:41

No and no ... declared value is so small, never a problem.

There was 1 where it was returned to sender for an unknown reason.
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby David R. » Sep 28th, '11, 18:00

As for real names or key number, I think people who don't want to know will not look at the specified topic before they are ok with it. That's what I usually do : I drink half of the samples, take notes, read the topic and then taste the other half taking into account others parameters/opinions.

But if I had to choose one, I'd say only refer to the real name of the tea, as people won't know which number it refers to.

It's mail time ! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby JRS22 » Sep 28th, '11, 18:05

I'm fated to participate in this OTTI. I forgot to set an alarm and wasn't watching the clock. I drank huge quantities of a shu puerh sample that was a gift from another Teachatters, and when the pot was empty I decided to retreat to my air conditioned bedroom, where the clock read 5:58 pm. Of course I sent Chip my email before posting.
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby FlyedPiper » Sep 28th, '11, 18:35

Email sent :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Sep 28th, '11, 19:43

I also fired off the appropriate missive to Chip. This is my first OTTI, so I am learning as I go. Help from others would be greatly appreciated. :D

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby demonyc » Sep 28th, '11, 19:51

Really excited to participate in one of these for the first time! And with such excellent tea choices too! XD
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Nathaniel87 » Sep 28th, '11, 20:56

I sent an email just now but since I just woke up here in Korea I can't be sure if I am too late or not.

I'm hoping that the lack of any "all spots taken" announcement means I still have a chance haha.
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Running for Tea » Sep 28th, '11, 22:08

I sent out my email at 6:05. Forgot to post :oops: This will be my first OTTI and I am really excited! Tips from veterans along the way will be much appreciated :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Sep 28th, '11, 22:18

Not home yet, just checking in. Looks like all are in so far ... if you already emailed me.

There are still "seats" available. But this is filling up!

I will send a confirmation email to everyone tonight, later. If you do not receive a confirmation within 4 hours of this post, email me again.
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