OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby puerhking » Oct 26th, '11, 15:18

Chip wrote:Definitely try this one with more leaf, really changes its personality. At 1:1, I found it to be a mellow sencha, at 1.25:1, lots of umami and brothiness.

A good sencha will allow the brewer to add more and more leaf to a point of diminishing returns ... I do not know if I have found that point yet, but I generally do not seek out the outer limits, per se. I seek out my comfort zone and am ... happy!


I know you have substantially more knowledge about such things. I will push the leaf amount before I make a final judgement about a sencha. Thanks for the tip!

BTW...what kind of bike do you have there? I see the Ksyrium rims.... :D
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Oct 26th, '11, 15:46

puerhking wrote:I know you have substantially more knowledge about such things. I will push the leaf amount before I make a final judgement about a sencha. Thanks for the tip!

BTW...what kind of bike do you have there? I see the Ksyrium rims.... :D

Excellent! :mrgreen:

The bike, it is a TCR carbon fiber full Ultegra by Giant. Beautiful paint job which is unusual for Giant. Great bike. This is the bike that was involved in the road rage incident on July 29th. :(
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby puerhking » Oct 26th, '11, 19:08

Chip wrote:
puerhking wrote:I know you have substantially more knowledge about such things. I will push the leaf amount before I make a final judgement about a sencha. Thanks for the tip!

BTW...what kind of bike do you have there? I see the Ksyrium rims.... :D

Excellent! :mrgreen:

The bike, it is a TCR carbon fiber full Ultegra by Giant. Beautiful paint job which is unusual for Giant. Great bike. This is the bike that was involved in the road rage incident on July 29th. :(


I wasn't aware of that....brutal. I had to look it up. Glad you weren't hurt...right? A guy I know was hit on purpose and there were no witnesses so the person got away. He carries a gun now when he rides....lol. I've been cycling for 25 years and have never had anything bad happen. A few people yelling and that's about it. I hope it hasn't put a damper on your riding.
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby FlyedPiper » Oct 27th, '11, 00:17

So far I've opened up the Yame fuka from Xell- brewed at gyokuro parameters it was very interesting. Very unique flavor profiles, unlike other fukas I have tried. Almost a lavender finish to some of the later steeps. Brews very nice. I made it traditional style too- a little less impressive. I could have gone with a little more leaf and less water to get a creamier cup...

Also opened the kabusecha from O-Cha. I like this tea. It's an interesting change from the fukas I usually drink. It is light and refreshing, and a little grassy and almost floral like an asamushi (in a good way) with a nice mildly astringent finish. Very refreshing. I think this tea is a great casual afternoon tea, maybe after lunch. I'm debating on whether or not to try an "extreme" brew on it or not. This tea is a lot nicer than the other kabuse I tried from O-Cha, the 2010 organic, which had a very tart flavor profile I didn't care for.

Think I'm going to open the Guricha from den's this weekend.
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Oct 27th, '11, 06:22

Finally received the teas yesterday -- a mere 9 days after being shipped air mail from Chip's Tea Cave.

Will start the brewing / tasting / reviewing tomorrow, when I have the time to devote to it. :mrgreen:

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

Postby Chip » Oct 27th, '11, 11:40

Thanks for the review, FlyedPiper! :mrgreen:

Glad to hear one northern neighbor received OTTI! A few more to go!
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Nenugal » Oct 27th, '11, 14:39

Sample 3

First infusion: (a bit over-brewed)
Umami, asparagus and grass. A little astringency. Quite nice.

Second infusion - severely over-brewed.
Grassy, astringent because of the accidental over-brewing, but handles it surprisingly well.

Third infusion - a bit over-brewed.
similar to second.

Not a good day for attention to brewing parameters, but I think temperature and volume was approximately as recommended.
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby DarkenedSun » Oct 27th, '11, 17:10

Ok, I'm finally getting around to posting another tasting I had with my freind. :D
We had Sample #3.

1st infusion- sweet and light with a fruity and ever so grassy flavor that lingers on the tounge.
2nd- unfortunately, I got distracted and oversteeped this one a bit. Despite the bitterness from oversteeping, it had a very nice kind of muscat aftertaste.
3rd- sweet and almost getting floral in scent. still has a hint of muscat grapes.
4th- the sweetness is dropping just a little and letting a grassy flavor emerge.
5th- grassy and light. getting a leafy flavor.
6th-9th- sweet and pleasant leafy green tea flavor.
I did a total of 12 steeps. past nine, it loses something but I just couldn't stop myself. :D
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby vacuithe » Oct 28th, '11, 03:45

SAMPLE #1 : 5g/10cl

First brew of the first sencha from my first OTTI : 65°C (149°F) / 1min15"
> A gold, very sweet and round soup, no bitterness. Fresh sugared vegetable taste in the mouth, nice.

Second brew : 70°C (158°F) / 30"
> Colour turns to deep and bright green for this second cloudy brew. Great little astringency which fits well with the smoothness of this tea. I like :mrgreen:

Third & last brew : 85°C (185°F) / 2min
> Very "fresh", but a little bit too much bitter (maybe too hot water ?).
This third brew remains nice to drink.

I'm very happy with this first sample of my first OTTI. Many thanks to the "staff" :wink:

(and sorry for my english, I hope you understood my text) :oops:
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Oct 29th, '11, 08:24

Sencha Takumi from Zencha:

Parameters - 5g of leaf per 8 oz of water, allowing me 2 separate brewing sessions; Chip's suggestions re temperatures & times

Initial impressions: Gorgeous colour to the leaf & very nice aroma.

First brew: Attractive golden colour in the cup, with a mild & delicate sencha flavour.

Second brew: An alluring and pleasing swampwater green in the cup, enticing aroma to the nose, and a very pleasant flavour to the tongue. Rather more intense than the first go-round.

Third brew: Appealing golden-green in the cup, but "Oh flavour, wherefore art thou?" Not here, apparently!

Conclusions: A quite enjoyable chu sencha, that unfortunately promises more than it delivers.

Rating out of 10: 7.

Would I buy it again? Maybe.

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

Postby Drax » Oct 29th, '11, 09:16

Thanks for posting reviews, everybody! I will be doing round 2 next week and comparing notes with everybody else's notes.

Sherubtse -- I highly recommend trying much less water (i.e., 5g in 5 oz, not 8 oz) for your next session with the Takumi sencha, and I believe you'll have a very different (better!) experience.

One of the joys of the OTTI is to be able to tweak the dials. My first time around with the Takumi, I did 4g in 3oz of water, which was nice and strong. Next time, I think I will do 3g in 3oz of water to see what it is like a little lighter...

Fun times! :D
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Oct 29th, '11, 13:24

Drax wrote:Sherubtse -- I highly recommend trying much less water (i.e., 5g in 5 oz, not 8 oz) for your next session with the Takumi sencha, and I believe you'll have a very different (better!) experience.


Thanks for the feedback, Drax. I am sure that you are right re less water (or more leaf?). But I have set my leaf-to-water ratio at 5g to 8 oz. for all Japanerse teas. This makes for a better, standard ("apples-to-apples") basis for comparison of different teas.

However, I was impressed enough with the Takumi that I am taking a closer look at teas from Zencha (though the price for the Takumi seems a tad on the high side for a chu). Pity they don't carry a non-Shizuoka fuka, though. :(

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

Postby sherubtse » Oct 30th, '11, 07:44

Kabuse-cha from O-Cha:

Parameters - 5g of leaf per 8 oz of water, allowing me 2 separate brewing sessions; Chip's suggestions re temperatures & times

Initial impressions: Gorgeous colour to the leaf but lacking in aroma.

First brew: A pale, anemic green liquor lacking in aroma. But very pleasantly sweet and vegetal (in equal proportions) on the tongue.

Second brew: More intense green in colour. However, the previously-enjoyed sweet & veggie tastes are considerably muted, especially the former.

Third brew: Hot water, with a bit of colour thrown in as an afterthought.

Conclusions: Disappointing overall.

Rating out of ten: 5.

Would I buy this again? Nope.

(N.B. In fairness to O-Cha, I should say that I have brewed this in the past. And, using my own admittedly-idiosyncratic parameters re temp & time, have gotten better results.)

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

Postby debunix » Oct 30th, '11, 13:49

Enjoying the Maiko Hachiju - Hachiya more this morning, because I pushed it quite a bit--a little hotter, longer infusions, getting them richer and deeper. Much better.

(Edited to correct the tea referred to--got my key mixed up!)
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Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Oct 30th, '11, 21:43

Guricha from Den's:

Parameters - 5g of leaf per 8 oz of water, allowing me 2 separate brewing sessions; Chip's suggestions re temperatures & times

Initial impressions: Curiously curly leaves, dark green hue.

First brew: Golden colour in the cup, with a nicely proportioned mix of the sweet and the veggie - the latter reminiscent of a fuka.

Second brew: Green liquor. Pleasantly palate-purifyingly astringent. Quite green, with the sweet & veggie tastes quite muted.

Third brew: Slightly astringent, slightly bitter, slightly green. Not much of anything, really.

Conclusions: An interestingly "Jekyll & Hyde" tea.

Rating out of ten: 7.

Would I buy this again? Possibly.
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