NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

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

Chip wrote: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!


Many thanks for the summary of your impressions, Chip. They will be quite helpful for my next order from Zencha.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » May 21st, '12, 12:05

sherubtse wrote:
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,
sherubtse

BTW, the next rounds I will be experimenting with offering the option for 20 grams per tea depending upon availability. So participants would choose between 10 or 20 grams per tea. Of course the 20 gram sample option would cost more.

When I asked previously in this topic http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=13701 about how many and how much, members pretty much liked the 10 gram option with more different teas versus more of fewer teas (I hope that makes sense).
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » May 21st, '12, 12:22

Drax wrote: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?

First the organic question. Rarely does an organic have as much flavor or may be "thinner" compared to a conventionally grown counterpart. I often feel it is almost a completely different tea. I would not be fair to expect an organic to have as much flavor as conventional.

Side by side blind tastings would likely confirm this.

I just think it is not a fair direct comparison. And if I exected an organic to be judged on the same playing field as conventional counterparts, I may never drink organics. Understanding the differences and accommodating for these allows better enjoyment of organics ... for me anyway.

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...?

I very rarely go session after session after session. I am too frugal and want to get the very most from each and every session, even when not ideal. I try to solve the riddle even within a less than stellar session. Sip, ponder, sip, ponder, sip, ponder ...

I make some notes as to what I did and what I feel I can do to improve upon the results which can be a tough call. Sometimes I will ponder this more over time ... and will have a hypothesis/conclusion/plan of action by the next session of the same tea.

And yeah, sometimes I think about tea too much ... if that is possible! :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby sherubtse » May 21st, '12, 13:11

Chip wrote:When I asked peviously in this topic http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=13701 about how many and how much, members pretty much liked the 10 gram option with more different teas versus more of fewer teas (I hope that makes sense).


I guess most people would do well with 10g. But as I am still very new to the world of senchas (and other teas), I need more than 10g. before I get the brewing right for me.

Best wishes,
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Drax » May 21st, '12, 13:28

Much appreciated for the insight! I will keep these things in mind when I make my next pass through this OTTI... :)
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » May 21st, '12, 13:37

sherubtse wrote:
Chip wrote:When I asked peviously in this topic http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=13701 about how many and how much, members pretty much liked the 10 gram option with more different teas versus more of fewer teas (I hope that makes sense).


I guess most people would do well with 10g. But as I am still very new to the world of senchas (and other teas), I need more than 10g. before I get the brewing right for me.

Best wishes,
sherubtse

Hopefully the 20 gram option will work for you! :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby sherubtse » May 21st, '12, 19:06

Chip wrote:Hopefully the 20 gram option will work for you! :mrgreen:


It might, especially since it is an O-Cha OTTI. :mrgreen:

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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Drax » May 26th, '12, 18:59

Finally taking a break from Diablo III to have some tea... :lol:

And have been revisiting this OTTI (want to finish them off before the next round comes... ack!). Started with Ten, but went hotter this time and much preferred it that way.

First time I tried it, my first and second steeps were 145F 90s, and 145F 20s. This time, 156F 95s, and 161F 20s. Got a much, much nicer flavor and feeling in the first cup. Second cup was good, too, on the buzz side, but already felt like the deeper part of the flavor had bottomed out.
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby SilentChaos » Jun 15th, '12, 18:59

Third and final try with Matsu Organic

1st infusion: 10g/210ml/65C/80sec. Everything preheated with tea in cup at just below 60C. Same pale yellow liquor and smooth medium consistency as before. Sweetness at head of the sip. Fades quickly into a balanced and light astringency+bitterness, and a taste that I can only describe as creamy-ish nutty, not very grassy or vegetal. The tail end of the aftertaste ...sour?

2nd infusion: 70C/35sec. Longer than my previous second infusions. Deeper yellow/slightly green liquor with slightly lighter consistency but still smooth. Less sweetness, distinct bitterness dragging long into aftertaste, other wise less of everything from 1st infusion. More vegetal less grassy.

Liked the first infusions best out of my 3 attempts. Seems very different to other yabukita's I've tried. The bitterness is not bad but not of the pleasant sort to me.

IMHO, 3.5/5 and taking price into account 3/5
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Re: NEW: OTTI 12 Zencha Kagoshima Introduction

Postby Chip » Jun 25th, '12, 13:15

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 :)

Guess what arrived back here today. Mailed out on March 31, almost 3 months to return. I took some photos for Stentor to translate ... if it turns up anything ... interesting ... we will report it here.

Germany has likely the toughest import restrictions on the planet.

It is interesting that they never contacted Stentor about the held package. If I receive a phone number from international participants, I now place this directly on the package as well.
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