I've been way behind on my OTTIs because of a combination of a travel, several summer colds in a row, and crazy time pressures, but this afternoon finally broke into the OTTI 14 with the 88 Nights:
3 grams 88 nights in Petr Novak Shiboridashi, preheated with water 160 degrees, and drinking the tea from the Eiichi commission 'Mojave' cup, which is so deep that it really holds the scent of the tea well.
Wonderful smell in preheated shibo; then 60 second first infusion, and first impression: oh my goodness this is GOOD! Sweet, rich, deep, green, mmm, mmmm, and I'm struggling here for a word to describe the deep sweetness further: not grassy, or briny, or peas or asparagus; but something very vegetal and green and yet super delicate and sweet without the nuttiness of asparagus or cooked peas. The sweetness is a little like a delicate young summer squash, roasted, but greener than that.
20 second infusion next, water about 165 degrees, and there was a hint of astringency, but not much, and it's already sipped so quickly I can hardly say more than that it was still that lovely sweet delicate green taste, maybe a bit like a sugar snap pea, barely dunked in boiling water. Loving this, such a delicate delight.
40 seconds at 170 degrees, lovely still, with that astringency barely apparent behind the sweet, very nice.
1 minutes at 180 degrees, can't believe how beautifully this one is holding up that deep, rich, delicate sweetness.
90 seconds, 200 degrees (kettle was a bit hotter than expected), the sweetness is a little less intense, flavor a little grassy, but remains delicious.
Now brewing 5 minutes, 190 degrees, a long infusion, which I'll dilute a bit with some cool water (hence the big jump in infusion times), because it's too hot to drink much more hot tea today. It wanted a longer infusion to carry the extra water, but was still delicately sweet and refreshing.
I've never experimented with the 'ice brew' technique for gyokuro, because the briny sweetness of the few gyokuros I've tried has just not been my thing, but this tea seems like it would be a brilliant candicate for very cold brewing--that sweetness might be deep enough to hold up to it--and since I have only used 3g of a 10g sample, I believe I will try brewing a little bit with some ice water, and report back later.
Editing to add rating, D'Oh!: 5 --excellent.