OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby victoria3 » Mar 29th, '13, 21:58

I rounded out the day with #2. It is an interesting gyokuro with a lingering sweetness & aroma, like a gentle friend that hangs around. I pretty much followed Chips parameters again- next time I'll try more leaf to water ratio, 8gr/2oz at 125F for 2minutes. I understand Kyoto gyokuros tend to be more subtle though.

1st: 5g/2oz water/140F for 90s: cloudy yellow green liquor, a sweet lingering aroma & flavor palate, slightly astringent but not bitter​
2nd: 45s/150F interesting lingering sweet palate, no seaweed flavor, soft long lasting complex sweetness
3rd: 90s/160F nice again a bit lighter but still complex
4th: 3min/ 170F still interesting
5th: 3.5min/180F light reaching its end in the kyusu
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby JRS22 » Apr 1st, '13, 14:22

I began my tea day with Den's Sumei. This time I tried it using Chip's brewing instructions. I liked it better this way than following Den's instructions, nut still find it lacking. It has a tendency to a sort of harsh flavor that I don't associate with Gyokuro. Maybe not harsh but more Sencha like than gyo like.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby victoria3 » Apr 1st, '13, 19:15

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Today I tried #3 and found it to be even more delicate and lighter than #2. Both are from outside Kyoto and seem to be following Kyoto tradition. Am I correct to conclude that Gyokuros from Kyoto are lighter in character and less intense than their brothers from the south. Is light and airy a traditional aspiration in this region? That has been my experience so far.

1st Steep: 2.5gr/ 2oz/ 130F/ 90s per Chip; Liquid light clear green. Flavor light vegetal, sweet flavor. Clean and smooth, no lingering palate.
2nd Steep: 140F/ 90s; Clean, slightly vegetal. No bitterness or astringency. Flavor a bit light, with little compexity.
3rd Steep: 155F/ 3min; super light & clear flavor, nice but very light. No bitterness or astringency.
4 th Steep; 165F/ 4min; very clear & light sweat flavors. Slight seaweed background notes.

Bottom line : Very clear, refined, light flavors that left me wanting more intensity. Next time I'll try adding more leaf to water.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Chip » Apr 1st, '13, 22:07

Actually, I meant to say 2.5 grams Gyoku-Hou per ONE ounce water. So for 2 ounces you would need 5 grams if following my suggestions. :mrgreen:

Sooooooo sorry about that!

I have edited the brewing post accordingly.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby JRS22 » Apr 1st, '13, 23:41

I suppose you're referring to Dens gyo. My gyo set has a 3.5 ounce shib so that's the last of that sample if I try it tomorrow. I'm not enjoying it enough to stretch out the experience so I may do just that :!:
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Chip » Apr 2nd, '13, 00:00

JRS22 wrote:I suppose you're referring to Dens gyo. My gyo set has a 3.5 ounce shib so that's the last of that sample if I try it tomorrow. I'm not enjoying it enough to stretch out the experience so I may do just that :!:

Sorry again. I meant for the Gyoku-Hou from O-Cha ... 2.5 grams per ounce water.

The Suimei from Den's, I settled on 2 grams per ounce and cooler than the Den's recommendation.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Hannah » Apr 2nd, '13, 00:05

*eagerly awaits package in the mail* :grin:
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby victoria3 » Apr 2nd, '13, 00:50

Chip wrote:Actually, I meant to say 2.5 grams Gyoku-Hou per ONE ounce water. So for 2 ounces you would need 5 grams if following my suggestions. :mrgreen:

Excellent re-calibration. I was feeling like a Sicilian in a Kyoto Zen tearoom. On topic, any opinions regarding Kyoto taste parameters and traditions versus other parts of Japan? Am I correct in inferring Kyoto traditions lean towards lighter more subtle zen tasting experience? or .....
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby JRS22 » Apr 2nd, '13, 11:25

Good thing I checked Teachat before my AM gyo session. I'm going to experiment with using my Seong-Il Kyusu, which at 75 ml is half the size of my shib. Then I can try two gyos today since this pot will use half the tea :D
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Chip » Apr 2nd, '13, 12:29

victoria3 wrote:
Chip wrote:Actually, I meant to say 2.5 grams Gyoku-Hou per ONE ounce water. So for 2 ounces you would need 5 grams if following my suggestions. :mrgreen:

Excellent re-calibration. I was feeling like a Sicilian in a Kyoto Zen tearoom. On topic, any opinions regarding Kyoto taste parameters and traditions versus other parts of Japan? Am I correct in inferring Kyoto traditions lean towards lighter more subtle zen tasting experience? or .....

I don't think we can generalize based upon region in this regard.

I find each Uji/Kyoto vendor seems to have their own parameters. Some can be very intense such as up to 10 grams tea per a few ounces water. Some will literally have the brew pour out in drops ... really intense I am sure.

Others suggest much softer parameters, such as 1:1. I think some of this also depends on such things as who they are directing their suggestions towards. Or their particular Gyokuro Philosophy 101.

I find my parameters fall somewhere between the two extremes. I would be bored by 1:1 ratios but am not going so far as 3,4, or 5:1 ... unless it is an uber good Gyokuro (which will hopefully come with future GY-OTTIs). This round features very good selections based upon a retail price point at the time of around 50 USD per 100 grams (now some of these have actually dropped into the low 40 USD range due to the more favorable exchange rate :mrgreen: ). When I go much lower than this price point, I would not go as high as 2:1. When I go to higher price points, the ceiling is raised on how high a ratio I may use.

So, this is a round about way of saying it is hard to simplify this ... 8)
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Chip » Apr 2nd, '13, 12:37

JRS22 wrote:Good thing I checked Teachat before my AM gyo session. I'm going to experiment with using my Seong-Il Kyusu, which at 75 ml is half the size of my shib. Then I can try two gyos today since this pot will use half the tea :D

That should be very nice!!! :mrgreen: Maybe some photos!?!?

Hannah wrote:*eagerly awaits package in the mail* :grin:

Maybe today!!! Australian destination packages seem to move pretty fast.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby edkrueger » Apr 2nd, '13, 17:33

7-10g per 80-100ml are very standard for Kyoto tea companies. See Ippodo, Maiko, Koyamaen and Tokichi.

Weak tea is not zen.
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Chip » Apr 2nd, '13, 18:21

edkrueger wrote:7-10g per 80-100ml are very standard for Kyoto tea companies. See Ippodo, Maiko, Koyamaen and Tokichi.

Weak tea is not zen.

I believe this rabbit trail is regarding regions enjoyment of Gyokuro. There are more regions, but the 3 that come to mind are Uji, Yame, and I think Asahina in Shizuoka (I have to look this one up as I do not usually talk of this region).

You are talking about ~2-3:1 ... not really that strong compared to say 4-5:1 or higher ... I have seen this recommended for Yame Gyokuro ... so does Uji traditionally make their Gyokuro stronger than other regions ... I do not really see this as a rule of thumb.

Often when I read Uji/Kyoto vendor directions, I will often see the grams of leaf, but often not the actual volume of water ...

However I agree, very good gyokuro should be brewed strong! :mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby Running for Tea » Apr 2nd, '13, 20:11

I brought these teas on a trip to visit my cousin (who introduced me to tea a few years ago). Due to time constraints, we had only one day to brew tea together. Naturally, we decided that a tea marathon was in order.

You read correct, we brewed all 4 samples in one day (not all at once of course :) ). I only took general notes of the teas, but I still have ~2/3 of my samples left to get detailed descriptions.

First was #2. Brewed according to Chip's recommendations. This one had a very rich, full mouthfeel. This gyokuro was my second favorite.

Second we brewed #3. This one's mouthfeel was much lighter, but it was quite a bit sweeter. After seeing Chip's updated leaf:water, I'm really excited to give this one another shot :mrgreen: With the corrected brew, this tea may jump up to be a potential favorite of mine.

Later in the day we brewed up #4. The first steep was very buttery. This was my cousin's favorite of the 4 gyokuros. Unfortunately, I botched the rest of the steeps. Next time I will be more attentive to and conservative with my temps. With such a promising first steep, I'm excited to get this tea right on the rest of them!

Lastly, after a break, was #1. This tea had a mind blowing aroma :shock: . A wonder first brew (very cool water). The steeps got more astringent as the steeps proceeded, but not in an overwhelming way. It was a welcome astringency. This was my favorite of the 4 gyokuros!

I am looking forward to brewing the #3 and #4 properly! I would not be surprised if my favorites change. With the mention of "favorites", I would like to clarify that I enjoyed all 4 teas (possibly not to their full extent yet) and only slightly preferred some over the other.

(I'll post pics once I upload them from my iPhone :D )
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Re: OTTI 17, AKA GY-OTTI 1

Postby debunix » Apr 3rd, '13, 03:03

First try with #3--first gyokuro in a long time, period. Doing per Chip's recommendation--5g for 60 mL in a small glazed-interior pot by Petr Novak, from a delicate Greenwood studio cup. Infused 90 seconds, 130 degrees, everything preheated. Intense and amazing--strengthening of the umami more than I usually prefer, but it is also bringing out something else that is quite nice--an almost floral note among the ocean and sweet spring peas, but still, I'll try the next one shorter, for a less intense brew, and see how that works for me.

Ok, even at 10 seconds (OK, 10 seconds before starting to pour, and it's taking a little while to pour) and 140 degrees, wow, intense!

Going to back it down more....and still overpowering with pour water in, then pour out, probably some steeping/seeping happening even in the damp leaves between infusions.

Ok, diluted it too far, and yet, the magic is still there. The sweet floral notes on top of the deep umami. I could really get used to this, maybe. Mmmm.

Now starting to get a little sloppy with the infusions--this last one was 150 degrees, brewed a little too long, and managed to have a bit of a sharp, bitter edge--quite surprising--but not enough to outweigh the sweet, vegetal notes.

A shorter, but still relatively cool infusion, about a minute, and now it resembles the first infusion in the sweet/vegetal/umami balance but I have hit a sweet spot re: density of flavor and balance of flavors, but just that hint of bitter aftertaste that adds a nice balance. Mmm. Mmmm. Trying to sip slowly, want to gulp, it is so good.

Later--playing with infusions, getting something amazing just after having a nibble of very dark chocolate: berries--the vegetal somehow just became fruit! It happened a couple of infusions in a row, so it wasn't a one-off wonder. Neat-o.

I did not see the rating suggestions in the first series of posts in this topic, so won't try to give this a number--I'll wait until I do a comparative tasting for the 2nd round of infusions. Still have to ponder the overall experience here: the first infusion was too strong for my preferences, but it was still quite wonderful in some ways, and when I relaxed and diluted to taste, I really liked this one a LOT.
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