OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby GreenwoodStudio » Jun 27th, '12, 23:20

Yay, received these today Chip. Thank you. It's a bit late so I decided to give the houjicha a whirl so I can get to sleep tonight. I'm a fan of houjicha in general, but this one is very nice. It seems a lot less roasted then what I normally drink, which is a nice change. The stems also appear to have a hint of green in them still. Smells nice dry, roasty as expected but also has a fresh, green smell.

Didn't fuss around too much with brewing, boiling water from kettle to cup, cup to kyusu, 1st steep about a min. Really smooth, only a touch of the roasted bite I expect from the first steep of this tea type. This is nice and toasty without tasting burnt. Behind the roast it almost smells a little floral. I'm having a hard time finding the words to describe the taste, kind of like roasted pine nuts and has a lingering flavor that reminds me of the way spent wuyi leaves smell, if that makes any sense at all.

2nd steep, slightly cooler water, just right into the kyusu without reheating kettle, shorter steeping, probably 30 sec., really nice, smoother sweeter and balance out more, again I taste the that spent rock tea
smell. Is that umami?? My chest feels warm.

3rd steep, about a min., similar to the 2nd but the taste is less upfront and I feel like I process it more as aftertaste. Still smells yummy in my cup.

I really like this tea. It's my favorite houjicha I've tried, but keep in mind I've only had 3 others. Based on that limited experience I'm giving it a 5 for this type of tea. I'm not sure what else you could ask for, it's yummy :)
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby laura99 » Jun 28th, '12, 20:20

Shincha arrived today! Really looking forward to trying these. It's a bit too late for tea tonight, but of course I had to open them all and take a sniff. Very promising! I will have to pick two to bring with me to work tomorrow for sampling.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby iannon » Jun 28th, '12, 22:36

Mine came in the mail today as well..i will be trying it when I get home from work ;)
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby hopeofdawn » Jun 29th, '12, 10:47

Did my happy dance when I received a package full o' tea from Chip yesterday! After tearing it open, I randomly decided to try out the 'M' sample (I'd forgotten what the letters/numbers had stood for), and boy--I was certainly not disappointed.

I've had kukicha before, but never houjicha--I'm definitely thinking I need to change that though, if this is any indication of quality. Even dry, it had a wonderful toasty, nutty scent--I almost wanted to just sit there and sniff it instead of drink it!

I ended up putting 3 grams (yay, I have a new scale now!) in my preheated 150 ml Yi Yong Cheol teapot, and did a first brew with 170 degrees for 45 secs or so. The result was lovely--not green, of course, but very warm and round in the mouth, toasty and full without any of the bitterness of darker teas. It had almost a peanut-ey edge to it, and I could definitely see drinking this tea regularly on chilly days--which in the Pacific NW, is more often than not.

I didn't pay quite as much attention to exact numbers on subsequent brews--the second brew was still about 170 degrees, but for only 15-30 secs, and still strong and full of flavor. Third through fifth I brewed at boiling for a minute or more at a time, and it held up well; and then the tea gradually trailed off for the 2-3 brews after that.

Overall, I'm very impressed, and may definitely be ordering more in the future! :D
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby puerhking » Jun 29th, '12, 12:16

Received mine yesterday. Thanks to Chip and Xell for this OOTI!

Trying the Kabusecha first. Soft marine aroma coming from the dry leaf in the bag. Funny...I thought the K was for Kabusecha, but it's not. I thought...this tastes like a fuka sencha not Kabuse. Anyway.....2g in 100ml water @ 156* for 1min - 2nd @160* flash brew - 3rd @169* 15sec - 4th @176* for 45sec.

Marine flavors with veggie notes and a bit of sweetness. Nice bit of umami in the first three brews. By the fourth it was sweet veggie notes primarily. Did not feel compelled to push beyond that which is pretty common for a fuka. Overall I thought it was very good. I thought it deserved better than a 4, but not quite a 4.5 sooooo......4.25 would be my number.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby MIKE_B » Jun 29th, '12, 22:08

Yame fukamushi kabusecha Tsubaki
5g in 150ml. 170ºF. Preheated kyusu. 60s, 30s, 60s.
The first two steeps were nice. Mellow and slightly sweet. Tasted some salt, which I kind of liked. Very smooth and easy to drink, but nothing too exciting. Not much of an aftertaste. The third steep seemed pretty brewed out.
A decent value for an everyday sort of tea. But I am usually looking for something with a little more zing.
Rating...3.5
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby MIKE_B » Jun 30th, '12, 12:56

Yame fukamushi sencha Botan
5g in 150ml, 160ºF in preheated kyusu, 60s, 30s, 60s.
I will preface by saying I am a sencha noob. Maybe something is way off in my brewing. But I hate to say, I didn't like this tea at all. The dry leaf in my warm pot smelled very nice. But, all three brews were very cloudy and tasted flat to me. The second steep had a little butteriness to it. The thing that turned me off about this sencha was the aftertaste. Something there that I didn't care for. It tasted of soap, to me.
I'd like to hear more experienced sencha drinkers comment on this one. I have 5g left and am willing to try different parameter suggestions.
rating...2

Edit...three days later tried this tea again. Read comments on this tea below and my new review.
I re-rated this tea a 4
Last edited by MIKE_B on Jul 2nd, '12, 21:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jun 30th, '12, 16:32

The Botan is the one I mentioned came out differently each time I brewed it. However it never came out soapy. I brewed it several ways and it seemed to come out good to stellar each time. It can be enigmatic ...

I am betting the next time you brew it it will be different. The hard part for you may be to set aside the first impression/experience.

I rated this one very high. YMMV. :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Drax » Jun 30th, '12, 17:59

I tried the Botan this morning. Similar parameters, but maybe 10 seconds shorter on the first three brews. It came out fine for me, no soapiness. This one seemed to ride mostly on the vegetal side for me.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby puerhking » Jul 1st, '12, 12:56

Since the Botan was being discussed I pulled that one out to try. Tasty stuff indeed. To begin with the aroma of the dried leaf was much more prominent...I smelled them all right away when I received them.

I did get some floral notes in the first brew, but none thereafter. Nice deep veggie asparagus goodness on the second...with a mellow chaqi feeling coming on. Third became more sweet in a good way, with the veggie notes waning a bit. The fourth was very much like the third compelling me to try a fifth brew....which was worth having. Excellent. I give this one a 4.75.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby JohnnyChai » Jul 1st, '12, 14:43

puerhking wrote:Since the Botan was being discussed I pulled that one out to try. Tasty stuff indeed. To begin with the aroma of the dried leaf was much more prominent...I smelled them all right away when I received them.

I did get some floral notes in the first brew, but none thereafter. Nice deep veggie asparagus goodness on the second...with a mellow chaqi feeling coming on. Third became more sweet in a good way, with the veggie notes waning a bit. The fourth was very much like the third compelling me to try a fifth brew....which was worth having. Excellent. I give this one a 4.75.


Agreed, this made it to five. Reminscent of Miyabi...possibly with more to offer!
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Drax » Jul 1st, '12, 17:22

Just trying the Kikyou and have been really quite shocked by this one and am really enjoying it. I went with 4.3g in 100mL shibo, with water around 145F (90s, then 20s, 40s, 90s). So smooth... really quite a change from much of the previous sencha I've been having. The third and fourth brews were also *good*... and not "well, this is good for a 3rd or 4th brew sencha" but actually enjoyable. I pushed it on the 5th brew (165F, 5 min) and started getting hints of bitterness.... all around, quite nice for this one.
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby sriracha » Jul 2nd, '12, 11:49

My package arrived today, hand delivered at the door! \o/
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby sherubtse » Jul 2nd, '12, 17:37

Slightly off topic, but for those who would like to purchase some of the teas in this OTTI, here is an offer that may interest you:

http://steepster.com/discuss/2972-new-j ... t-purchase

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: OTTI 14 Shincha Hakoniwado

Postby Chip » Jul 2nd, '12, 17:56

sherubtse wrote:Slightly off topic, but for those who would like to purchase some of the teas in this OTTI, here is an offer that may interest you:

Best wishes,
sherubtse

Well, nothing saying in that posting that it is a steepster deal ... so ... :mrgreen: :arrow:

Xell wrote:New Japanese tea selection promo, -10% with coupon and another 10% in points for next purchase.

This year all teas were changed and more to come. This allowed to get even better quality/price ratio. To get discount enter this coupon code “2012_promo”. Coupon lasts until 31 July.

Hakoniwado – http://www.japantea.org
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