NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Peacock » Apr 5th, '12, 14:21

Sample #4 brewed at 140 degrees with 5 gm of leaf to 4 oz of water.

Judging my the appearance of dry leaf I'd say it is med-steamed.

Dry leaf smells good, although not nearly as wonderful as the aroma of #3. Sample 3's dry aroma was truely alluring. Although I really enjoyed the aroma of the leaves after the first brew. Compared to other sencha it seems to be very distinct and different.

As for the flavor, it was more on the subtle side and definetly lacked intensity and pow. #4 would ideally be a great introduction to those unfamiliar with sencha because it's flavor is very balanced.

Second brew: 150 degrees for 5 seconds. I should of probably brewed this a little longer according to my preference. A little weak.

Third brew: 157 degrees for 1 minute. My favorite brew.

Fourth brew: 170 degrees for 4 minutes. There is a little bit of sweetness and that is it. Three brews is probably the most you'll get with this one.

Fifth brew: Boiling water poured directly into the kyusu. Time: 10 minute ish

Overall rating: 3/5. Next time I will increase my temperatures.
Last edited by Peacock on Apr 5th, '12, 20:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby teaisme » Apr 5th, '12, 17:49

Ten today at work.
7-8 g 8 oz kyusu
150ish 1m , 170ish 20s , 3m 185ish ,preheated well

Taste did not live up to the inviting aroma and tasty looking darker colored leaf. Like a weak less sweet and interesting version of the ume (though aroma was much more pronounced then the ume). Maybe should have increased brew time just a little for brew one since I lowered the first infusion temp to try out the suggestions. Third brew was not too good, edging towards very straightforward bordering on watery.

I did switch to a slightly different spring water then used for the ume (though the two waters share very similar qualities) so this may have changed things for the worse, but I don't see it skewing the outcome by a lot.

I imagine this would be a good one to brew extra long first infusion with 160ish water to optimize the taste. Maybe just aiming for a hot hot second infusion with a little root from the first infusion poured in before hot water is added.
Overall, considering this and that...lets just say 3-3.5...

...I do feel guilty for placing numbers on these teas so hastily though

I hope people realize sometimes it takes time and more then a couple tries to tweak optimally for their tastes
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 5th, '12, 17:53

teaisme wrote:I hope people realize sometimes it takes time and more then a couple tries to tweak optimally for their tastes

I have to agree with this 100%. I had a few issues that took me a few attempts to resolve. Unfortunately for participants, they are limited to 2-3 tries.

These seem quite different compared to other Kagoshima sencha-s I have tried over the years.

After having issues with #3 for a few sessions, I came to an understanding and appreciation of this selection. Since then the results have been stellar.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby MIKE_B » Apr 5th, '12, 18:35

Chip wrote:
teaisme wrote:I hope people realize sometimes it takes time and more then a couple tries to tweak optimally for their tastes

I have to agree with this 100%. I had a few issues that took me a few attempts to resolve. Unfortunately for participants, they are limited to 2-3 tries.


Oh. I know.
My ratings are based on this sencha-noob's first try with these teas. My reviews are to be taken with a big mouthful of salt.
I'll be re-reading my notes, other's notes and suggestions, and adjusting for my second run with these. I'm betting the scores will go up.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby brlarson » Apr 5th, '12, 19:05

OTTI 12 #1 -- 4.5g of leaf in 100ml of water in a porcelain hobin

Dry leaf in the hot pot smells like cut hay, a little moist, with a round sweetness that makes me think of roasted root vegetables -- some savory scents with a sweetness like roasted carrots but deeper toned.

1st brew: tasted ``dumb'' (did not show any flavors) on the palate, very light and with good breadth, and tight concentrations of acidity. After a few seconds crisp, hay-flavors developed all along the edge of my tongue. First infusion showed no flesh.

2nd brew: mouth-filling flavors of hay due to astringency starting to open.

3rd brew: more relaxed still, but not quite flacid.

Rating 3.0 This is quality tea but it is a little boring. However, tasting it was instructive because it did a nice job of showcasing how the main varietal (I peeked after I tasted) can be used to advantage in blends.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby MIKE_B » Apr 5th, '12, 20:34

Two samples in one day.

Sample #4

4g in 90ml shibo brewed at 150ºF.
Dry leaf in warm pot smelled nice. Not strong, but pleasant and fresh.

1st steep. 75s. Grassy. Astringent and drying in the mouth. Well rounded taste, but nothing exciting.

2nd steep. 40s. Much the same as 1st brew. A little harsher.

3rd steep. 60s. More balanced. Less dry and more refreshing. Some sweetness. My favorite cup of this session.

4th steep. 90s. Running out of steam. Only a bit of sweetness left.

Overall. I didn't like the way the first two brews dried out my mouth. There was nothing else offensive about this tea, but nothing that really excited me. The 3rd cup saved this session. I think it shows that I could have done better at brewing this.

Rating- 3. (These scores in no way should reflect the quality of this tea. It is a rating of a brew that I was able to produce with my limited knowledge)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby nrstooge » Apr 6th, '12, 18:39

Need to add a few more reviews:
#2:
1st: 140 60s, pale green, sweet, grassy smell, not bitter
2nd 150 70s sweet buttery flavor, slighlty grassy
3rd: 150 80s med green, sweet smell not grassy, very mellow
4th: 150 90s almost dry aftertaste

#3
1st: 140 60s pale green, no bitterness, mile
2nd: 150 60s med green, bitter, astringent aftertaste, lots of tiny particles, actually did not finish the cup and threw out
3rd: 140 70s med to light green, nutty? not bitter this time
4th: 140 90 s light green, mellow, slight dry sensation but not bitter
This one really needs the lower temperature I think for my tastes. I had to eat a shortbread cooking after that 2nd one to get the taste out of my mouth and almost gave up on it. But thought I'd give it one more try. Glad I did.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby MIKE_B » Apr 7th, '12, 00:59

sample #5

4.5g in a 90ml shibo.

The dry leaves looked great. Deep green. Smelled sweet and vegetal.

Steep #1. 70s. 145ºF. Vegetal. Not much aroma. Slightly astringent aftertaste that didn't last long. Balanced and pleasant cup.

Steep #2. 30s. 145ºF. Thick mouthfeel. Some good bitterness. Well rounded. Liquor was a beautiful bright green.

Steep #3. 60s. 150ºF. Stronger umami. Bitterness has faded. Some butteriness.

Steep #4. 80s. 150ºF. Umami still present. Sweeter. Aftertaste is still very slightly astringent.

Steep#5. 2m. 160ºF. Flavors fading some, but still very nice.

Steep #6. 3m. 160ºF. Tasted much the same as steep #5.

Steep #7. 4m. 170ºF. Surprised this still has some butteriness to it. Sweet.

Steep #8. 5m. 170ºF. Sweet water.

Overall. I was very impressed with this tea. Held up amazingly well. Seemed like a well rounded tea. The only real negatives I have about it was a lack of strong aroma and the aftertaste wasn't long lasting IMHO.
This was my overwhelming favorite of the first five samples.

Rating- 4-4.5
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Drax » Apr 7th, '12, 13:05

Glad you found at least one that appealed more to your tastes, Mike :D

I've run through all the teas at this point. I noticed something different with these teas -- perhaps it was from running cooler temperatures throughout -- but the latter brews (usually 4 and 5) often did not have a lot of flavor, but I was still able to get a nice 'flavor' from the aroma... and they rode well on the steeps that came before and the astringency that usually slowly built throughout.

I also noticed -- again perhaps because not going to boiling at the end -- that none of them hit that "hair" smell. I don't recall anybody ever describing it as such, but to me, sometimes a late-sencha starts to smell like hair. It's not too pleasant, if you know the aroma or quality I'm describing. Maybe I'm the only one who has that mental connection.

And... I was wondering, I noticed a few of the teas had not fully opened by the time I poured the first steep. Is that normal for sencha? I haven't really paid attention to that before, and I wasn't sure if I should wait to pour until it's all opened, maybe.

Looking back, I think I liked #2 the most so far. Nothing really stood out as outstanding on this first round; usually I have a "WOW!" comment somewhere, but not this time. But I did find most of them enjoyable and none of them were bad. I think for my second pass through the teas, I will try starting little hotter.

Time to "reveal the numbers" for myself and see what's what!
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby JohnnyChai » Apr 7th, '12, 23:43

Drax wrote:Glad you found at least one that appealed more to your tastes, Mike :D

I've run through all the teas at this point. I noticed something different with these teas -- perhaps it was from running cooler temperatures throughout -- but the latter brews (usually 4 and 5) often did not have a lot of flavor, but I was still able to get a nice 'flavor' from the aroma... and they rode well on the steeps that came before and the astringency that usually slowly built throughout.

I also noticed -- again perhaps because not going to boiling at the end -- that none of them hit that "hair" smell. I don't recall anybody ever describing it as such, but to me, sometimes a late-sencha starts to smell like hair. It's not too pleasant, if you know the aroma or quality I'm describing. Maybe I'm the only one who has that mental connection.

And... I was wondering, I noticed a few of the teas had not fully opened by the time I poured the first steep. Is that normal for sencha? I haven't really paid attention to that before, and I wasn't sure if I should wait to pour until it's all opened, maybe.

Looking back, I think I liked #2 the most so far. Nothing really stood out as outstanding on this first round; usually I have a "WOW!" comment somewhere, but not this time. But I did find most of them enjoyable and none of them were bad. I think for my second pass through the teas, I will try starting little hotter.

Time to "reveal the numbers" for myself and see what's what!


Felt that #2 was the most distinct tea as well...decided to go through another tasting of it and the third brew had the "burnt hair" smell. Never experienced this before or possibly overlooked this in the past. Will have to brew this again a third time to see as this time the brews we're more in the 170+ range to see if the tea could handle it...
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Peacock » Apr 9th, '12, 13:07

I don't have much to say about #5. Mike does a great job of describing it. What I do want to mention though is the tea hardly had a aroma both when the leaves were wet and dry.

Overall: 4/5 Enjoyed this one a lot too. I would of given it a 5 if its aroma was stronger.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby AdamMY » Apr 9th, '12, 15:57

Sample number 5.


Strong stewed vegetable aroma coming from the warming leaf in my kyusu.

First infusion was nice, refreshing, perhaps slightly weak, with my normal first steep time of 45 seconds.

Second infusion is toxic green color, and a lot more potent. Might have went slightly too long on this infusion, but it still offers a lot of promise. Think steamed broccoli, and peas.

Third is where I think I started to hit the stride with this tea. Its good but not to my tastes, far to many raw and steamed vegetables for my tastes. Very little sweetness, or grains.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby MIKE_B » Apr 9th, '12, 17:47

Sample #3

I won't go into detailed notes with this one. I brewed this exactly like I brewed #5. The results were very similar.
This one wasn't as buttery and showed a little more bitterness. It's aftertaste was longer lasting.
It had a very similar vegetal taste and I aslo felt it lacked a strong aroma.
It didn't last through as many steeps as #5. I felt it conked out on the 4th brew.

Rating-4, I liked it, but not as much as I like #5.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby nrstooge » Apr 10th, '12, 14:05

ok, I've gone through all of the teas brewed in kyusu, but now want to use the rest to try in a gaiwain. I have 2 gaiwan.. one is 100ml and one is about 130-140. I have half the leaf or around 5 gm for each. Recommendations as to how much leaf (no gram scale) and which gaiwain to use? When I brewed in my kyusu, half of what ever I was provided and about half full with water (it is 320 ml). I'm thinking of the smaller 100 ml gaiwan with again.. half of the leaf (or 1/4 of what was provided). I did have caffiene issues with a few of these so smaller sessions would be good I think. Is my thinking totally off? :?:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby teaisme » Apr 11th, '12, 17:10

Had the matsu yesterday

almost whole pack in 8oz kyusu
1m 160ish, 15s 170-175, 1m 180-185, 2-3 min boiling water (after letting the leaf sit a couple hours, so had good time to cool down).

Solid tea, seems to play well with hotter water, good control on astringency. Interesting changing character in later infusions, though nothing like the delicious infusion one. Infusion 4 had a good sweetness and hints of flower,grass,veggie not just "plain done sencha water". Almost didn't go for four, because three tasted almost done (hindsight, shoulda not brewed so long), but one of those rarer cases where I am glad to have gone one more.

errrr...3.9-4.2
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