NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby aeflo » Apr 24th, '12, 06:28

I had a very nice session with sample #1 yesterday
I used a quite high leaf-water-ratio (higher than in my first session with this sample) and really liked it this way.

i brewed 4g with 80 ml of water in a shibo.
got about 4 all really nice infusions.

with consideration of this tea's price i would rate it 4.5 :)

also had my last session with sample #3 yesterday.
but i dont feel able to rate it think i did something wrong on all the three sessions with this sample.
liked some of the taste of the tea, but all in all the tea seemed really light to me (had a leaf-water-ratio of about 1:1)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Stentor » Apr 25th, '12, 06:50

I've pretty much given up hope of receiving my samples :(
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 25th, '12, 08:04

Stentor wrote:I've pretty much given up hope of receiving my samples :(

Oh no!!! Sorry to hear this.

Hm, I wonder if German customs corralled it since it stated country of origin "Japan?"

Hopefully it will still show up!!!
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Stentor » Apr 25th, '12, 08:31

Chip wrote:Hm, I wonder if German customs corralled it since it stated country of origin "Japan?"


If they were holding it, they should have contacted me by now.
I'm thinking somebody must be taking way to long or must have messed up altogether :/
It's certainly unusual not to have heard anything by now. But well, mail gets lost sometimes... Nothing we can do.
Maybe it'll still turn up and if it does, hopefully it's not crushed to powder.
Would have loved to participate. I guess I'll just have to trust what you guys said about the teas :)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Apr 25th, '12, 11:53

Stentor wrote:
Chip wrote:Hm, I wonder if German customs corralled it since it stated country of origin "Japan?"


If they were holding it, they should have contacted me by now.
I'm thinking somebody must be taking way to long or must have messed up altogether :/
It's certainly unusual not to have heard anything by now. But well, mail gets lost sometimes... Nothing we can do.
Maybe it'll still turn up and if it does, hopefully it's not crushed to powder.
Would have loved to participate. I guess I'll just have to trust what you guys said about the teas :)

Well, I have some samples leftover ... but not all the teas. I could put together another package for you?
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby SilentChaos » Apr 25th, '12, 16:29

Chip wrote:
Stentor wrote:
Chip wrote:Hm, I wonder if German customs corralled it since it stated country of origin "Japan?"


If they were holding it, they should have contacted me by now.
I'm thinking somebody must be taking way to long or must have messed up altogether :/
It's certainly unusual not to have heard anything by now. But well, mail gets lost sometimes... Nothing we can do.
Maybe it'll still turn up and if it does, hopefully it's not crushed to powder.
Would have loved to participate. I guess I'll just have to trust what you guys said about the teas :)

Well, I have some samples leftover ... but not all the teas. I could put together another package for you?


*raises hand, wouldn't happen to have additional leftover of 1, 5, 6?
Last edited by SilentChaos on Apr 28th, '12, 11:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby JRS22 » Apr 26th, '12, 11:30

So I'm back from my tealess trip and testing OTTIs once again. I decided to begin with #1 and Chip's parameters so I prewarmed my kyusu and cup with 150° water. I used 5 grams of tea in my 150 ml Tokoname kyusu and used the following times - 60s, 45s, 60s. There were minimal vegetal or sweetness notes, but not too much bitterness. I was happy to drink the tea but I wouldn't buy it again. I'm happy that I've finally taken Chip's advice to preheat the pot and cup because I think that's helping my outcome.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chesslover » Apr 27th, '12, 08:21

#4
5 gr. in 150 ml. (5 oz.)

Steepings:
1. 65 deg. C for 75 sec.
2. 68 deg. C for 15 sec.
3. 73 deg. C for 40 sec.
4. 77 deg. C for 80 sec.

I really didn't like the taste of that tea...I can't describe it precisely, but it was kind of bitter-sour...it persisted through all steepings and lower temperature/shorter times didn't help...so I think this is due to tea leaves and not my brewing parameters...moreover, the intensity of taste was disappearing quicker than normally...second brew was thinner, third was so-so and fourth was not drinkable for me. It's hard to say, that tea is bad because you don't like the taste of it (it's subjective), but let's say that some "objective" rating will be the result of all ours subjective rates...

Overall - 2,5 (not good for me, maybe others will like it)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Stentor » Apr 27th, '12, 10:16

Chip wrote:Well, I have some samples leftover ... but not all the teas. I could put together another package for you?


That's very nice of you to offer, Chip, but I already feel like I've missed this OTTI. I mean, we're 128 posts into this OTTI and I haven't even so much as smelled a leaf :)
I'll use this thread to make and educated decision when I'm purchasing some Kagoshima tea from Zencha.

And who knows, maybe it'll surface one day :)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chesslover » Apr 30th, '12, 17:58

#5...finally yutaka midori
5 gr. in 150 ml. (5 oz.)

Steepings:
1. 65 deg. C for 75 sec.
2. 68 deg. C for 15 sec.
3. 72 deg. C for 40 sec.
4. 76 deg. C for 80 sec.

This is my personal favourite of the bunch...probably that's because I'm a yutaka midori fan...first steeping was buttery, veggie, sweet, with chestnut taste, nice astringency and great aftertaste...second one turned to be fukamushi-like thick green soup with grassy taste comming in, quite a lot of umami...third and fourth were grassier and thinner, but a sweet nice drink...

What is missing (for this tea to be excellent)? It gets bitter with higher temperatures (it's hard to get more umami) + third (and later) steeping could be a little more "punchier".

Overall - 4,5 (great tea, would order it more)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby AdamMY » May 8th, '12, 13:37

I've rather enjoyed the Zencha tea's in this offering. I think Kago might be up there with Uji on my Favorite tea provinces in Japan. Though I still need to try a lot more.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » May 21st, '12, 00:33

Life has been stressful and busy here dealing with an ailing, aging mother. My apologies for not posting much. But I have been also quite diligent in tasting these new selections!

This was a most interesting OTTI round. It is not what I expected. Usually trying new teas is pretty much a slam dunk for me, I really do not have to think too much as experience kicks in.

But these were very different selections. And very different brewing directions ... which I initially rebelled against. My first attempts were not as stellar as I would expect from Zencha. But persistance pays off and I began to find the sweet spots. Yes, cooler temps, but longer steeps to compensate for the temps. 90-120 seconds for the first steeping.

Unfortunately, I feel participants were handicapped this round as they were limited to 10 grams for each tea, 2 to 3 attempts per tea. With the "steeper" learning curve this round, I feel participants would have greatly benefited had they had more attempts.

Taste-wise, there was a steeper learning curve as well as these were quite different than anticipated in flavor profiles. My tastebuds really required a getting aquainted period. I am guessing this is due to the chumushi factor and the low brewing temps.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » May 21st, '12, 00:36

After more attempts than everyone else, I am generally pleased with the end results.

"Ten" was a surprise for this price point. I would say it is a pretty good value. I give it a 3.5 rating, but adjusted for price point I give it a 4.25 value rating.

Ume was a tough one, but given the price point and the organic manufacture, it is a decent sencha. 3.0 raw rating and an adjusted for low price point rating of 3.75.

Matsu, Ume's more expensive organic brother. I always take into account the manufacture process when it is organic. My expectations are quite different compared to conventionally grown sencha. And this fit right into this expectation. And taking into account that this is organic, I give a 4.0.

Fuku was the first one of this group I tried ... and tried ... and tried. And finally after figuring this one out, I liked it. 4.0 rating

Yutaka Midori Super Premium was pretty good. This may be the first chumush YM I have had ... I think it is better as a fukamushi ... IMHO. Still quite good and I gave it a rating of 4.5.

Sencha Super Premium. I was not crazy about this the first time I brewed it, but after a few attempts, it began to sing for me. 4.5 rating.

My conclusion, these were not so easy to brew and enjoy, but persistance and practice pays off. In the end, they defied convention but were pretty good. I hope Zencha continues to develope this Kagoshima line-up!
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Drax » May 21st, '12, 06:31

Thanks for the insight, Chip! I made it through each one of these teas, but then I got distracted with a bevy of pu'erh samples. I need to get back to trying them again...!

I think we've talked about this one before, but do you write down what you did, so that you can tweak it next time? Or do you try the tea multiple times in a row, tweaking each time...?

Also, I'm curious, you mentioned that you adjust your expectations of organic versus conventional -- I'm sure this one has been discussed plenty of times, but how exactly do your expectations change?
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby sherubtse » May 21st, '12, 07:05

Chip wrote:Unfortunately, I feel participants were handicapped this round as they were limited to 10 grams for each tea, 2 to 3 attempts per tea. With the "steeper" learning curve this round, I feel participants would have greatly benefited had they had more attempts.


This is the main reason that I did not partake of this OTTI. I have learned from experience that I need *at least* 20 g. before I get the brewing down right (for me), and usually it is 30g. Even so, I may tweak the parameters long after I think have them nailed.

Best wishes,
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