O-cha's expanded organic sencha range


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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Stentor » Jan 31st, '13, 08:33

I agree with you and I think it's great that you follow your ideals as much as possible but are willing to compromise where it would otherwise negatively affect you.

Preferring organic tea doesn't mean you won't have non-organic. I too prefer organic, organic anything really, not just tea. However, I also realise that the Japanese have refined growing and producing their kind of tea like hardly anybody else has. There are some teas that I like a lot that just aren't organically produced or there is no similar organic to replace them with. So if I absolutely want to have that tea, I will buy it and enjoy it. I will hope that pesticide residue is at a level that will not harm me and I simply do not worry about it as constantly worrying about it would harm me more than the pesticide residue ever could.

I have had really good organic teas and I don't really see it as a competition of organic vs. non-organic. Just look at the variety there is with tea in general. Even if you only looked at Japanese greens, you'd find huge variety. It is hard to say that tea A is different from tea B just because A was organically grown whereas B was not. I think there are too many factors that play important roles. Even teas made from the same cultivar with similar steaming levels can be vastly different from one another. I mean this organic Oku Yutaka I am enjoying now is nothing like another organic Oku Yutaka I had a few years ago. If the one I had previously had been non-organic I might have figured that that is the reason for the difference. However, that is not the case so there must be other reasons for the difference in taste.

If what you, Chip, mean is that an uninformed consumer will on average be more likely to find better non-organic than organic tea then that is probably true. Although again, that doesn't necessarily mean that organic or non-organic is the reason for that reality.

I didn't really get the impression that anybody was being organic fundamentalist here, however, and I do not want to turn it into that kind of a discussion. It seems to me a bit like the two of you are arguing. And it seems to me like it is just due to a misunderstanding.
So Chip and blairswhitaker, I hope you can clear it up with no harm done and then let's get back to talking about O-Cha.com's improved selection of organic teas! :wink:
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Chip » Jan 31st, '13, 10:53

Stentor wrote:If what you, Chip, mean is that an uninformed consumer will on average be more likely to find better non-organic than organic tea then that is probably true. Although again, that doesn't necessarily mean that organic or non-organic is the reason for that reality.

Not exactly. I simply do not want tasters (I mention this most in OTTI tastings) to come in expecting their organic to taste like the non organic versions that they have been drinking.

Regarding Blairswhitaker, I felt it was important to point out that this poster was not drinking all organic after also reading that he drinks for instance non organic Gyokuro and Pu-erh. I felt it was relevent based upon what I have been reading.

Actually Blair's post exudes organic fundamentalism. And that is fine and dandy by me. As I have stated, I am not pro conventional and con organic ... quite the contrary. I am pro Japanese tea. And I accept posters PoVs and beliefs as long as they are not judgemental of others. I have been around the forum long enough to know that organic versus non organic discussions take on attitudes and can be judgemental. I just do not want to see that here as well.

So Chip and blairswhitaker, I hope you can clear it up with no harm done and then let's get back to talking about O-Cha.com's improved selection of organic teas!


+1 This topic is a discussion on O-Cha's expanded organic selections.

Stentor, please tell us more about the Oku Yutaka and some points you made previously.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby blairswhitaker » Jan 31st, '13, 13:57

Stentor wrote:I agree with you and I think it's great that you follow your ideals as much as possible but are willing to compromise where it would otherwise negatively affect you.

Preferring organic tea doesn't mean you won't have non-organic. I too prefer organic, organic anything really, not just tea. However, I also realise that the Japanese have refined growing and producing their kind of tea like hardly anybody else has. There are some teas that I like a lot that just aren't organically produced or there is no similar organic to replace them with. So if I absolutely want to have that tea, I will buy it and enjoy it. I will hope that pesticide residue is at a level that will not harm me and I simply do not worry about it as constantly worrying about it would harm me more than the pesticide residue ever could.

I have had really good organic teas and I don't really see it as a competition of organic vs. non-organic. Just look at the variety there is with tea in general. Even if you only looked at Japanese greens, you'd find huge variety. It is hard to say that tea A is different from tea B just because A was organically grown whereas B was not. I think there are too many factors that play important roles. Even teas made from the same cultivar with similar steaming levels can be vastly different from one another. I mean this organic Oku Yutaka I am enjoying now is nothing like another organic Oku Yutaka I had a few years ago. If the one I had previously had been non-organic I might have figured that that is the reason for the difference. However, that is not the case so there must be other reasons for the difference in taste.

If what you, Chip, mean is that an uninformed consumer will on average be more likely to find better non-organic than organic tea then that is probably true. Although again, that doesn't necessarily mean that organic or non-organic is the reason for that reality.

I didn't really get the impression that anybody was being organic fundamentalist here, however, and I do not want to turn it into that kind of a discussion. It seems to me a bit like the two of you are arguing. And it seems to me like it is just due to a misunderstanding.
So Chip and blairswhitaker, I hope you can clear it up with no harm done and then let's get back to talking about O-Cha.com's improved selection of organic teas! :wink:


+1 sounds like we are in a basic agreement on most things in this arena

Chip wrote:
Actually Blair's post exudes organic fundamentalism.


I think we have different ways of defining fundamentalism. I have stated my beliefs, thoughts, and opinions as clear as I am capable, how anyone interprets what I post is out of my hands.

again I look forward to O-chas expanded line up of organic tea.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Chip » Jan 31st, '13, 18:06

Organic Oku Midori from the topic vendor to continue the TeaDay.

How anyone could not like this is beyond me ... definitely worth putting an order together.

Wish I had a few of the other offerings as well.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby NOESIS » Jan 31st, '13, 20:23

Chip wrote:Organic Oku Midori from the topic vendor to continue the TeaDay.

How anyone could not like this is beyond me ... definitely worth putting an order together.

Wish I had a few of the other offerings as well.


Have you tried the OM from Thes du Japon (I really enjoyed that one)? If so, how do they compare/contrast?
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Chip » Jan 31st, '13, 20:29

NOESIS wrote:
Chip wrote:Organic Oku Midori from the topic vendor to continue the TeaDay.

How anyone could not like this is beyond me ... definitely worth putting an order together.

Wish I had a few of the other offerings as well.


Have you tried the OM from Thes du Japon (I really enjoyed that one)? If so, how do they compare/contrast?

Yes, it was part of OTTI 16 "French Sencha." Definitely liked it ... pick of the OTTI IMHO. I guess I like Oku Midori. :mrgreen:

The O-Cha organic has the organic (lighter) taste and aroma, less deep, less umami but still lots of flavor. TdJ was conventional tasting with deeper umami. Botyh good in their own way.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby NOESIS » Jan 31st, '13, 20:53

Chip wrote:
NOESIS wrote:
Chip wrote:Organic Oku Midori from the topic vendor to continue the TeaDay.

How anyone could not like this is beyond me ... definitely worth putting an order together.

Wish I had a few of the other offerings as well.


Have you tried the OM from Thes du Japon (I really enjoyed that one)? If so, how do they compare/contrast?

Yes, it was part of OTTI 16 "French Sencha." Definitely liked it ... pick of the OTTI IMHO. I guess I like Oku Midori. :mrgreen:

The O-Cha organic has the organic (lighter) taste and aroma, less deep, less umami but still lots of flavor. TdJ was conventional tasting with deeper umami. Botyh good in their own way.


Thanks for the breakdown, Chip. Sounds like the OC version is one I should try. I was planning on placing a TdJ order, and the OM will be re-ordered for sure. Since OC offers standard shipping, I'll probably also order a solo bag of the organic from Kevin. Gotta do a side-by-side! :D
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Stentor » Feb 1st, '13, 11:03

You guys make it very difficult for me not to open the Oku Midori right now :). I'm trying to wait a little longer though (which probably means tomorrow, haha).


For now, I'm really enjoying the Oku Yutaka. It's exceptionally fruity and sweet in my opinion, with a lasting sweet aftertaste and a pleasant level of astringency. I'm brewing hotter and longer than I usually do, about 75-80° C for about 1:15. I'm not strictly following this formula but it's something I've been experimenting with. I'm waiting for the leaves to open more (and have brewed with the lid off to see this).
I'm also using quite a bit of leaf. More than 1 g per oz for sure, like 1.2 or so.
For reference: My starting point for all Sencha is 1 g / oz, 70° C for 1 minute.

I think this is good tea, especially at this price. I've had much more expensive tea that wasn't this good.


Has anybody had the Miyazaki Organic Asamushi Sencha? It seems to be the only light steamed organic tea at O-Cha right now. It could be a huge bargain but its low price also makes me wonder if it is really what I am looking for. I think they had a light steamed one from Miyazaki last year (or two years ago?) at a similar price which was good for the price but not higher end Asamushi. I wonder if it is similar with this one?

I would really like to have some more high quality organic Asamushi Sencha options.
The best one I have found so far is Maiko's (only) organic sencha. Tastes like Uji but is actually from Kagoshima as far as I know. It is somewhat pricey, though.
"Classic" Uji Asamushi Sencha (think O-Cha Kirameki, Maiko Maruyama) is really what I mostly still buy non-organic since it seems to be really hard to find something similar that is organic.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby NOESIS » Feb 1st, '13, 13:30

Stentor wrote:You guys make it very difficult for me not to open the Oku Midori right now :). I'm trying to wait a little longer though (which probably means tomorrow, haha).


For now, I'm really enjoying the Oku Yutaka. It's exceptionally fruity and sweet in my opinion, with a lasting sweet aftertaste and a pleasant level of astringency. I'm brewing hotter and longer than I usually do, about 75-80° C for about 1:15. I'm not strictly following this formula but it's something I've been experimenting with. I'm waiting for the leaves to open more (and have brewed with the lid off to see this).
I'm also using quite a bit of leaf. More than 1 g per oz for sure, like 1.2 or so.
For reference: My starting point for all Sencha is 1 g / oz, 70° C for 1 minute.

I think this is good tea, especially at this price. I've had much more expensive tea that wasn't this good.


Has anybody had the Miyazaki Organic Asamushi Sencha? It seems to be the only light steamed organic tea at O-Cha right now. It could be a huge bargain but its low price also makes me wonder if it is really what I am looking for. I think they had a light steamed one from Miyazaki last year (or two years ago?) at a similar price which was good for the price but not higher end Asamushi. I wonder if it is similar with this one?

I would really like to have some more high quality organic Asamushi Sencha options.
The best one I have found so far is Maiko's (only) organic sencha. Tastes like Uji but is actually from Kagoshima as far as I know. It is somewhat pricey, though.
"Classic" Uji Asamushi Sencha (think O-Cha Kirameki, Maiko Maruyama) is really what I mostly still buy non-organic since it seems to be really hard to find something similar that is organic.


I too was wondering about the Miyazaka organic asa from OC. I'm tempted to pick up a bag with my next order.

BTY, the Kirishima no Kaori (Kagoshima) from YC was a very solid asa. Just finished off my last bag. A grassy/floral profile with just enough umami to give it depth. I really miss the Shizuoka teas they previously carried, especially the Tenryu and the Sayamakaori. Those were brilliant.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby blairswhitaker » Feb 1st, '13, 20:12

[\quote]BTY, the Kirishima no Kaori (Kagoshima) from YC was a very solid asa. Just finished off my last bag. A grassy/floral profile with just enough umami to give it depth. I really miss the Shizuoka teas they previously carried, especially the Tenryu and the Sayamakaori. Those were brilliant.[/quote]

Kirashima no kaori is my go to asamushi, but I thought I was alone in yearning for more tenryu, that was some brilliant tea indeed.
Last edited by blairswhitaker on Feb 3rd, '13, 20:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby NOESIS » Feb 1st, '13, 21:43

blairswhitaker wrote:BTY, the Kirishima no Kaori (Kagoshima) from YC was a very solid asa. Just finished off my last bag. A grassy/floral profile with just enough umami to give it depth. I really miss the Shizuoka teas they previously carried, especially the Tenryu and the Sayamakaori. Those were brilliant.


Kirashima no kaori is my go to asamushi, but I thought I was alone in yearning for more tenryu, that was some brilliant tea indeed.[/quote]

Fingers crossed - maybe they'll offer the Tenryu again this season. It was the definition of mountain tea.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby blairswhitaker » Feb 3rd, '13, 20:52

just ordered the oku midori and oku hikari. Looking quite forward to experiencing these two!
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Alex » Feb 4th, '13, 09:00

Sweet look forward to your thoughts on the two!
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby blairswhitaker » Feb 13th, '13, 14:10

Back on topic once again, I just got my Organic sencha selections from O-cha to try today. I opened the Oku midori first. Everything about this is classic Oku midori flavor, it is actually VERY similar to an offering by Taste of Kyoto, which is also an organic chumushi Oku-midori. the main difference is that the O-cha version is much more mild and light in upfront flavor and finish. this is actually about the most mild and light of any organic offering I have ever tried, perhaps this is what chip is referring to when he talks about organic not having as much omph, so to speak as conventionally grown? It's a very nice tea clean and well balanced great flavor and decent body just a tad on the light side. I would certainly recommend this offering.
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Re: O-cha's expanded organic sencha range

Postby Chip » Feb 13th, '13, 15:58

Blair, I found I could kick it up a notch with more leaf ... higher ratio.

If you just opened it today, you may also find it more ... intense tomorrow. I seem to find that Nitro flushed teas like a chance to breath the free air once again. :mrgreen:

I noticed this tea evolved with seemingly each session, very interesting! It also aged very well for me.
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