Ok, here we go!
Disclaimer: I have limited experience with shincha, so forgive me if my reviews make no sense! Fortunately I've already been enjoying YM for the last few weeks, so I have a reference point to compare the other teas to.
I decided to start with 'K' tonight since I got an extra sample of it to replace YM. I figure if I'm going to screw up a tea it might as well be the one I have the most of!
First, some photos.
Leaves after the first brew. Don't have a photo of the cup because the light reflected from my white ceiling made the tea look like water with barely any green. Have to rethink my photo strategy for the next round...
This would be the second steep. Again, the liquid is actually a fair bit darker and greener than the photo would have you believe.
Leaves fully expanded during the 4th steep. Noticeably lighter in colour.
As for taste, I lack the vocabulary to describe it, but compared to YM I found this tea really smooth. In taste and in texture. It seemed almost...glossy?
I preheated my kyusu, so my first two steeps were around 70deg, with the 3rd and 4th a bit hotter. Went 60 seconds for the first, maybe 10 seconds max for the second, again 60 seconds for the 3rd, and I lost track of time on the 4th steep.(Hey, I'm new to this!)
Absolutely no bitterness in the first two steeps, with just a touch of bitter aftertaste on the 3rd steep. That could have been my brewing time though. Again, the word that comes to mind for this one is smooth.
Hopefully I'll have something more insightful to say after I've tried all the other teas.