OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Oct 31st, '11, 19:33

Yame Fukamushi Gokujo from Hakoniwaddo

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

Initial impressions: Lovely shaped leaves, of a dark green hue.

First brew: Mildly yellow in appearance, with a taste comprised of the sweet and the vegetal. Enjoyable.

Second brew: Greener in appearance, some atringency, residual vegetal taste. Still pleasant, but less so.

Third brew: Don't bother.

Conclusions: A very enjoyable brew overall, but where (oh where?) is the intensity I have come to associate with high-end fuka-s?

Rating out of ten: 7.

Would I buy it again? As a chu, maybe. As a fuka, no way!

Best wishes,
sherubtse
User avatar
sherubtse
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Jan 9th, '1
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Drax » Oct 31st, '11, 20:33

Boy I hope Chip gets power back soon.....
User avatar
Drax
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Oct 16th, '
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Oct 31st, '11, 23:02

+1
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21940
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Nenugal » Nov 1st, '11, 12:56

sherubtse wrote: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


I had this one last year too, and like last year I think this year's version is very drinkable but in my taste not as interesting as either a good gyokuro or sencha... perhaps a bit lack of character compared to the best ones from O-cha. With parameters based on Chip's suggestion I also got two good infusions and a third one that was very weak.
User avatar
Nenugal
 
Posts: 492
Joined: Aug 6th, '1
Location: Norway

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Nov 1st, '11, 17:16

Thanks for your comments, Nenugal. Glad to see that someone is reading my comments, and that my impressions are not totally "out in left field". :)

Best wishes,
sherubtse
User avatar
sherubtse
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Jan 9th, '1
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Nov 1st, '11, 21:04

Hachiju-Lachiya from Maiko:

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

Initial impressions: Lovely-shaped leaves, which expand quite well when brewed.

First brew: Deliciously fruity and sweet. A delightfully light liquor, both in colour and taste.

Second brew: Faded and worn, a mere shadow if its first incarnation.

Third brew: Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip.

Conclusions: Only one satisfying brew, but it is a delicious one!

Rating out of ten: 6.

Would I buy this again? Probably not.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
Last edited by sherubtse on Nov 1st, '11, 21:12, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
sherubtse
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Jan 9th, '1
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Nov 1st, '11, 21:09

This was my first OTTI, and, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the teas. Perhaps this is due to my inexperience, unrealistically-high expectations, or simply weird taste buds. I don't know.

Although there were some delicious teas, none really lasted past one, or perhaps two, brews. In addition, none of the teas "blew me away".

What do others think of the teas as a whole?

Best wishes,
sherubtse
User avatar
sherubtse
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Jan 9th, '1
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby debunix » Nov 1st, '11, 21:29

I found something to enjoy in each of the teas--none left me entirely feeling "eh". I enjoyed the Kabuse more than I thought I would, and was definitely surprised by how much I liked the Fuka. I was more impressed than I would have anticipated by the Zencha. But I'm still pretty new to senchas and their cousins, feeling my way through, brew by brew.

When I next order senchas (not for a good long while, given current overstock....), I'll be more willing to try some different options, and less worried about ending up with unbrewable mistakes.
User avatar
debunix
 
Posts: 4770
Joined: Jan 10th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Nathaniel87 » Nov 1st, '11, 21:31

I will be posting complete notes this weekend, but I still can't help but echo the sentiment that it seems like you are brewing too light. I myself start at 1:1 and brew 1.25 or more to 1 for many teas. If you are careful with the first brew it is more flavorful without excessive bitterness and the rest of the infusions are significantly more flavorful than brewing at a lower ratio
Nathaniel87
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 11th, '
Location: Daejeon, South Korea

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Nov 1st, '11, 21:47

sherubtse wrote:This was my first OTTI, and, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the teas. Perhaps this is due to my inexperience, unrealistically-high expectations, or simply weird taste buds. I don't know.

Although there were some delicious teas, none really lasted past one, or perhaps two, brews. In addition, none of the teas "blew me away".

What do others think of the teas as a whole?

Best wishes,
sherubtse

I have "been away" due to the snow storm and utility outages. Though I have been reading the posts.

I have been more than a bit mystified by your overall disappointments. It could be inexperience as you say. Perhaps more practice is needed in brewing. Too little leaf can lead to disappointment, if you feel a tea seems "weak" but of good flavor, never be afraid to adjust, increase amount of tea for instance. I would not try to brew each sencha the same way if I was disappointed the first time.

Too little leaf will certainly give some explanation to disappointing later steeps ... IMHO.

I felt all the teas were pretty good, and as usual for most sencha I would get at least 5 hot brews and then iced tea (hot brewed) with 6th and 7th steeps ... but this is common for me.

TBH, I do not understand how you could get "Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip"" from 3rd steeps ... perhaps unrealistic expectations based upon other non Japanese green types of teas you generally drink? I am trying to help, not sound condescending ...

1st and 2nd steeps will always be the most potent, 3rd will generally be transitional, 4th and 5th can usually be interpreted as sweet tea water, but I like this and it beats drinking water IMHO. Most Guricha fades faster than most Sencha I have found.

Although I will post more later on these teas, I rate the teas based upon 1 - 5 with 5 being the highest:

Takumi 4.5
Kabuse 4.25 - 4.5
Yame Fukamushi 4.25 - 4.5
Hachiju - Hachiya 4.5 - 4.75
Guricha 4.25 - 4.5

I generally do try to bring different teas into the OTTIs. So, for instance I do not do Yutaka Midori for each sencha OTTI. But I do try to offer very good selections from better vendors,
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21940
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Nov 2nd, '11, 13:49

Thanks for the feedback, Chip & others. Much appreciated! :mrgreen:

Yes, I think a large part of my disappointment was too little leaf. Although I used Chip's suggestions for time & temp., I stupidly by-passed his suggestions for leaf-to-water ratio. I instead used 5g per 8 oz. of water, which is my default amount (though I am seriously considering revising this).

Normally, it takes me at least 3-4 days of brewing a sencha (i.e., 30-40g of tea) before I get the brewing "nailed" to suit my own peculiar tastes. Obviously this was impossible in the OTTI, and thus I was not completely happy with my results.

Part of my disappointment too is with what I like (and don't) in a tea. I like teas with good, solid taste profiles, regardless of the type of tea. So for sencha-s, I like a good strong sencha taste in the cup. When that fades, even if other milder flavours are present, I consider it bland.

I guess different folks have different preferences in teas, and put different values on the tastes of those teas.

However, I did praise the first brews of many of the teas offered. Those tended to be the ones with the strongest flavour profiles. And I did make an addendum to the Kabuse stating that I had good results with my own parameters. So the picture is not totally bleak.

I should say a big "thank you" to Chip for acquiring these teas for us. It has been a real learning experience for me, and has made me take another look at some of the vendors involved. :D

Best wishes,
sherubtse
User avatar
sherubtse
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Jan 9th, '1
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Firemoss » Nov 2nd, '11, 15:35

<sing-song voice>I received a leetle package in the may-il too-daaay...! </sing-song voice> :mrgreen:
I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can begin my first ever OTTI.
Thanks, Chip!
User avatar
Firemoss
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sep 24th, '
Location: The Forest, Yukon.

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby sherubtse » Nov 2nd, '11, 15:38

Firemoss wrote:<sing-song voice>I received a leetle package in the may-il too-daaay...! </sing-song voice> :mrgreen:
I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can begin my first ever OTTI.
Thanks, Chip!


Hope you will post reviews here. The more detailed, the better!

Best wishes,
sherubtse
User avatar
sherubtse
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Jan 9th, '1
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Chip » Nov 2nd, '11, 16:14

Great Firemoss!

OK, I am thinking that finally everyone has their OTTI??? Figures the Yukon would be last, sled dog delivery service can be painfully slow! :mrgreen:
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21940
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: OTTI 11 2011 Sencha Official Topic

Postby Firemoss » Nov 2nd, '11, 16:39

Chip wrote: Figures the Yukon would be last, sled dog delivery service can be painfully slow! :mrgreen:

Yeah, and they wouldn't give me my package until I de-iced their paws, massaged their legs, warmed them with a roaring fire, and served them a half-caribou...took a while, but the tea is now in my hands and the huskies are on the trek home.
User avatar
Firemoss
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sep 24th, '
Location: The Forest, Yukon.

PreviousNext

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation