NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '12, 15:13

solitude wrote:Japanese teas? again?

Yes, if you read the OTTI schedule topic you will see there was a Wuyi OTTI and a Chinese green OTTI scheduled (and virtually ready to roll). Both were postponed due to vendor situations beyond our control. The Chinese green is tentatively rescheduled and a whole new Wuyi is coming into focus. I would like to do another Chinese green OTTI as well

Also I am hopeful for a Taiwan oolong OTTI as soon as I can work out details.

And then there will be Shincha OTTI!

Please feel free to discuss future OTTIs in the OTTI schedule topic! Thanks.

And now back to our OTTI 12 discussion. :idea:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '12, 15:17

JRS, #3 is also in my opinion the most challenging to brew of this tasting ...

You might be better off with a 1:1 ratio? Bottom line, you will need to brew to your personal tastes.

As I mentioned in the brewing suggestion post and the Blind key post, I think this discussion should NOT be blind since these are all from one vendor. Therefore, I will ID this #3 as Fuku (not fuka).

Based on the warming dry leaf aroma (see next post), I know this sencha has a lot of potential. :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '12, 15:20

Oh, BTW, be sure to smell the dry, warming leaves in your preheated kyusu!!! Each of these are quite aromatic when dry. :idea: I try to put the leaves in the preheated kyusu only right before the water hits the right temp and is ready to pour into the kyusu.

If you never did this, sit down first. :mrgreen: It can be both mind blowing and intoxicating ... not to mention addicting!!!
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby nrstooge » Apr 3rd, '12, 17:09

Hoping for mine to arrive soon. I do not have a thermometer but do have a Utilitea tea kettle. Any recs for where in the "green" section I should place my dial? Towards the left? :?

Chip.. were these in boxes? If so, since Iive in an apartment and the postperson will not leave packages (due to theft :evil: ) I will have to go pick it up at the post office. If they are in padded envelopes.. and they are small enough.. there is a chance it will fit inside the small mailboxes. Ah.. the joys of apartment dwelling... :wink:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '12, 18:07

They are in padded envelopes. 7.25X12 inches. Good luck! :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby MIKE_B » Apr 3rd, '12, 18:15

Came home to find mine in my mailbox. My first OTTI.
Just ran my first test. This is going to be fun.

Chip, you mentioned a new rating system. Have you posted it yet? If so, where can I find it?
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '12, 18:23

MIKE_B wrote:Came home to find mine in my mailbox. My first OTTI.
Just ran my first test. This is going to be fun.

Chip, you mentioned a new rating system. Have you posted it yet? If so, where can I find it?

Thanks for the reminder! I will post it this evening! :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby AdamMY » Apr 3rd, '12, 18:37

Alright for my Blind Taste Testing I decided to break up my samples into primes and composite numbers ( I can do this as I did not receive sample #1). I am starting with composite going from greatest number of unique prime factors to least number of unique prime factors. Then I will do primes in descending order.

So first up is sample number 6.

Warming dry leaf aroma is reminiscent of some of the better Korean Green teas, I have had, lavender, pine trees, and a decent bit of herbs.

1st infusion, quite nice, almost has a hint of genmaicha flavor, although this definitely has no toasted rice in it. Very nice vegetable flavor, carrots, celery, cabbage, and just a slight hint of something floral.

Infusions 2 and three were equally as nice, with infusion two edging out infusion 1 and 3 so far.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby nrstooge » Apr 3rd, '12, 19:04

Guess what I got today? :mrgreen:
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OTTI Rating System, tasting helps

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '12, 22:00

OTTI Rating System!

Please follow this so we are all on the same page regarding ratings. Thanks. This is also located in the first several posts of this topic for convenience. If you feel a tea is more like a 4.5 or whatever, go for it! :mrgreen:

5 Outstanding, excellent
4.5 Very good
4 Good
3 Fair, mediocre
2 Not good
1 Poor


When tasting, remember to use all your senses! You can rate a tea by each sense and then cumulative experience. Or simply overall ... however involved you want to be!

Sight- how does the dry leaf look, color, the brew, the wet leaf?
Touch-how does the tea feel ... astringency
Hearing-hard to rate a tea based on hearing, but it is part of the experience nevertheless :mrgreen:
Smell-some feel this is as important as taste! I am one of these. The dry leaf aroma, the dry leaf as it warms in your kyusu, the brew aroma, the wet leaf aroma. eh hem, clear your nose before doing a tasting!!! You will be rewarded.
Taste-your sense of smell dictates much of your taste perception, try and differentiate. Basic tastes include sweet, bitter, sour, umami, salt.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Peacock » Apr 3rd, '12, 22:40

I decided to go ahead and try #3 since everyone one else started with this one too. I prepared it in my 5 ounce banko kyusu with the ratio of 5:4 and at 140 degrees for 90 seconds.

The dry aroma to me smelled much like chocolate. The more whiffs I took the more I reassured myself that it smelled like chocolate. Hopefully I am not the only once that notices this. :?

Judging too, just by the appearance I am going to guess it is a fukamushi or maybe a chumushi. There was a little bit of lustiness to the leaves appearance too, and of course broken down leaf.

The aroma of the wet leaves has that typical sencha smell. Wish I had to vocabulary to describe it. Buttery? Veggie? :roll:

First brew: Wonderful. It has a little bit of bitterness, I expect due to the high leaf amount. So if you don't like it I suggest you either down the leaf or time. Overall a great balance of flavor and I would enjoy drinking it as a daily sencha. Note: if you let it cool down in the cup it seems to get even more bitter.

After the first brew I smelled the leaves and you can definitely tell that it is not organic. It's very easy to tell that this tea was either heavily fertilized or has pesticides. The smell is reminiscent of house hold cleaner. The majority of the sencha I drink is organic so when I drink something that is not it is often noticable. I encourage you all to smell your leaves after the first brew and you'll probably notice this too.

Second brew: 150 degrees for 5 seconds. Really enjoyed this brew. No bitterness whatsoever. Flavor is still holding strong.

Third Brew: 162 degrees for 45 seconds. Also enjoyed this too. Still retains a lot of its flavor and is also a bit sweeter.

What I really enjoy about this tea is it easily goes to 5 brews.
Overall 4/5. Good.
Last edited by Peacock on Apr 3rd, '12, 23:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Peacock » Apr 3rd, '12, 22:44

Oh, and thanks Chip for this OTTI. This is my first one, and I know you put your time and resources into this.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 4th, '12, 00:10

Very interesting reviews/comments so far! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I found #3 to be the most challenging and perhaps the most bitter of all these (which were generally not bitter). See if you agree!!!

OK, I am reserving comments til we are further along in this tasting, especially since I had a head-start. :wink:

Remember, you can say the name of the tea for this tasting since it is just one vendor. Just mention the name and not the number, this way blind tasters can also participate ... but they would have to mention the number since they do not yet know the name.

Is that clear as second steep of fukamushicha??? :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby nrstooge » Apr 4th, '12, 08:56

I did 5 rounds last night with tea #1.. used 1/2 of the tea.. so 5gm in my kyusu (which is 320 ml). I'll do 2nd tasting with each tea in my gaiwan to see if there is a difference... but for this go round for each gonna use the kyusu. I'm not a foodie and could not even tell you what spices are in foods.. just whether I like them or not. I also tend towards blacks and smoky oolongs. (Wuyi Shan Red Cape, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, English and scottish breakfast, black dragon pearls, lapsang soushong) I do have a few greens, like gunpowder and dragonwell. These greens are gonna be an adventure for me. I'd never head of a gaiwan or kyusu until a bit over a year ago when I joined teachat.. so I'm in learning phase still I think

1st brew: used full 320 ml.. made it a bit weak and low tea/water ratio so for future.. will only fill 1/2 full. water was close to 160 or so (no thermometer) but I use my Utilitea kettle and dial was close to coolest of the "green" settings. Brewed 60s. Was pale yellow green in appearance and very mild and weak. Not grassy like some greens.

2 brew: used 1/2 pot water at even lower temp.. 60s or so.. much more flavor and vegetal with to me.. slight bitterness which shows itself at back/sides of your tounge (astringency?)... ok cup... but not as good as 1st.. gonna lower temp again for next brew

3 brew: lighter green in appearance, much sweeter and no bitterness, but I used around 140 water temp (found a candy thermometer to use) - I now know about where the "dial" needs to be for this temp on my kettle. Gonna start with this in the future. about 80s. Much more enjoyable cup.

4 brew: 140, 90s sweet and mellow

5th brew: 90s or so 150 temp. Sweet, pale green in appearance. All bitterness was gone. Slightly vegetal still with no grassy flavors (to me)

Was gonna do a 6th.. but decided to stop there.. was very restless sleeping last night with very strange dreams.. maybe I should do these on Sat as I've found that too much caffiene in the evening does this to me. then, I can spread the enjoyment over the course of the day :) I've learned that some teas I can drink in the evening and some not..
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Re: OTTI Rating System, tasting helps

Postby JRS22 » Apr 4th, '12, 11:29

Chip wrote:OTTI Rating System!

Please follow this so we are all on the same page regarding ratings. Thanks. This is also located in the first several posts of this topic for convenience. If you feel a tea is more like a 4.5 or whatever, go for it! :mrgreen:

5 Outstanding, excellent
4.5 Very good
4 Good
3 Fair, mediocre
2 Not good
1 Poor




How about adding "0" for user error?
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