Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 13:36

ShinCHAAAAA ShinCHAAAAA ShinCHAAAAA!

Welcome to Shincha OTTI 2013, aka OTTI 18. I sincerely hope you will join us at the Shincha TeaTable for this round! This year presents a first for OTTI, the opportunity to sample 12 (or more) outstanding Shincha selections.

Vendor participation and the number of selections are UP for 2013. 6 vendors and 12 selections ... 2 per particpating vendor. Many thanks go to these vendors!

While this is an exciting opportunity to sample/discuss vendors and a DOZEN different Shincha 2013, this has also forced me to do things a little differently this year as I recognize not everyone will want to sample 12 Shincha selections.

So, you can be all in. Or 2/3 in. Or 1/3 in!

I have had to change things up a bit. Each participant will have the choice of sampling 4 or 8 or all 12 primary selections. Please see the next post(s) for how this will work. But basically I have broken the 12 selections down into groups of 4 based upon category of tea, as best as I could.

Additionally, there are 3 are "bonus" selections of which I have very limited amounts. So, I will run promotions for members to receive a free bonus selection with their Shincha-OTTI order. Only one bonus selection per participant, thank you for understanding.

Keep an eye open for promotions. I already awarded bonus selections samples to 2 members. Of course, you have to participate to be awarded a bonus selection! :idea: :!: :arrow:
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 14:12

The participating vendors for Shincha-OTTI 2013 (in truly random order)

Zencha-Innovative offerings focusing on Kyushu Island. First to offer Yame selections to the West. http://www.zencha.net/index.php

Sugimoto USA-New to OTTI. I met this multi generation family at WTE 2012, truly a charming and seemingly "tradtional" tea family ... but they have "modern" TeaTricks up their sleeves! http://www.sugimotousa.com/

Den's-Always a pleasure to include Den's in OTTI. Den's invests much to bringing Japanese tea to the West. http://denstea.com/

O-Cha-A ... or "the" pioneer (and now anchor) in offering Japanese tea to the West via the internet. http://www.o-cha.com/home.php

Thes du Japon-A newer contender whose niche is in offering unique selections. http://www.thes-du-japon.com/index.php?main_page=index

Maiko-Traditional blender of traditional style Japanese teas. http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/

<APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE>


And now the selections. See the links above to see vendor specifics about the selections. Due to the high number of teas, I would exceed the TeaChat legal limit for links per post. :mrgreen:

Please note, there are a lot of higher end Shincha selections! A couple intermediate. And one budget friendly selection. Some are classics, some are newer, some are traditional, some are not so. But you will have to agree, all 12 are definitely worth sampling.

And as usual, you will receive 10 grams of each selection included in group(s) you have chosen!

Group 1, All Fukamushi
Sugimoto Hashiri-A so called first of the first selections from Shizuoka.
O-Cha Yutaka Midori-Perhaps O-Cha is best known for this Kagoshima classic, they offered it to the West first. Check it out as Shincha 2013!
Den’s Houryoku-This selection is usually nice and veggie with a full mouthfeel.
Sugimoto Hachiju-Hachiya-very traditional 88 nights selection in modern Fukamushi form
Group 1 cost: 12 USD***
Yes you can 2X (double)!

Group 2, This and That
Zencha Takumi-TeaChat code named "Gyokuro grown in the sun" due to the Gokoh varietal used from Yame. Mid steamed.
Thes du Japon TBD-I promise a very different and interesting selection to be announced. I will update this when I know.
Maiko Karigane-I never had Shincha Karigane made from Gyokuro and Sencha components, time to try!
Zencha Kagoshima Sencha Super Premium-Sounds like a dynamite blend of Yabukita, Yutaka Midori, and Asatsuyu cultivars in midsteamed!
Group 2 cost: 12 USD***
Yes you can 2X (double)!

Group 3, All Asamushi
Thes du Japon Kondo-wase-From Shizuoka, "complex floral bouquet enhanced with almonds and hazelnuts."
O-Cha Kirameki-Classic Tsuen premium selection from where else, Uji!
Maiko Kinari-An annual special edition fave of TCers! Let's do 2013 together! Also from Uji.
Den’s Kunpu-Shizuoka special edition offering from Den's. Excellent each year I have had it.
Group 3 cost 14 USD***
Yes you can 2X (double)!

Special Group 1,2,and 3 combined cost $35 ($3 off)***
Yes you can 2X (double)!

If you want to participate in a group, but you have already ordered a selection, please let me know, and I will do my best to provide a good sub for that selection.

***see shipping cost/info in next post.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 14:43

For general info on how the OTTIs run, please see this topic: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=16242 The biggest change is if you are interested in participating in this OTTI round, I am asking that you email me on or after 6 pm Eastern USA time today (Friday May 3, 2013) with the information requested below. Email to teachatmoderator@yahoo.com ... SUBJECT: Shincha-OTTI 2013.

If you email me from your paypal email, that will simplify things, but it is not necessary!

Since this round has 12 different selections (not including the 3 “Bonus selections”) I am keeping the shipping separate versus included in the OTTI cost. See below for shipping costs.

Keep in mind, OTTI is a not for profit tasting program. I have personally purchased these selections and personally paid to have them shipped to me. OTTI is not bankrolled by Adagio nor any other vendor/sponsor.

Still, OTTI cost is less per gram for participants than if you purchased a bag from the vendor and had it shipped to you!

Shipping Cost in USD:

USA- $2.50. USA participants can upgrade shipping to Priority for $3.50 more.
Canada/other North America $3.50
Europe/South America- first group $4.50 plus $.50 for each additional group added
Asia/Australia/Africa- first group $6 plus .50 for each additional group added

Please remember, all OTTI related costs are simply that, costs. There is a cushion of around 1 USD per participant after estimated expenses to cover any "surprises" in shipping, etc. This is as always really tight, but OTTI is NOT a for profit program. It is to benefit those of us who want to sample great teas ... and it benefits vendors by promoting their offerings. And of course share the experience with other passionate tea drinkers.

Any surplus $$$ will roll over into the OTTI fund. Surplus at the end of the 2013 will go towards charity. For instance, The TC Japan Relief Fund has raised over $1300 for this effort
(Through OTTI and Teaware Special Offerings).

Email your interest to teachatmoderator@yahoo.com including your:

TeaChat User Name
Your name
Mailing address formatted exactly as it would appear on a package or letter addressed to you.
Country
If outside of USA, your phone number is recommended for customs forms/packages!
Paypal email address


After receiving your email, I will double check availability based upon order received. You will receive a reply asap! In the past I have endeavored to reply the same night. Ultimately you will receive directions for payment including amount owed … this may or may not be in the first email I send to you (depends on how crazy this gets :mrgreen: ).

Next post will cover "Blind Key"
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 14:43

[EDIT June 5, 2013]

I am not making this a blind key since with 12 samples and many of which have unique brewing parameters, it is not practical.

The first digit designates the group, 1, 2, or 3.

Group 1 Fukamushi
11 Sugimoto Hishari
12 O-Cha Yutaka Midori
13 Den's Houryoku
14 Sugimoto Hachichu Hachiya

Group 2 "this and that"
21 Zencha Kagoshima Sencha Super Premium
22 The du Japon Yamakai
23 Maiko Karigane
24 Zencha Takumi

Group 3 Asamushi
31 The du Japon Kodo-wase
32 Den's Kunpu
33 O-Cha Kirameki
34 Maiko Kinari
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 14:44

[EDIT June 5, 2013]

Brewing Guide for Shincha OTTI

Try not to be overwhelmed ... take a deep breath and focus on one tea at a time versus trying to "know" all the brewing parameters for all the teas instantly, you will stress out at the tea table. Remember to enjoy your tea tasting! :mrgreen:

I first suggest checking the vendor selections for their brewing suggestions. The links are on page 1 for easy reference.

And my suggestions ... these are not always "right." I noticed this year, that I leaned towards higher ratios and cooler brewing, generally speaking. I find this interesting.

Usually my sampling of around 20 + Shincha each year is spread out, a few at a time. This was quite a "head rush" endeavoring to offer my suggestions for 12 all at once. WHEW! Well a few are still "under construction" as I figure them out a bit more.

Further confusion was caused by wild swings in ambient room temperature over the last week. I am coming to believe that this may effect results as much as water quality, however changes in ambient temp can be overcome by adjusting brewing temps.

Speaking of water quality, I suddenly noticed sub par results with Aquafina which had been giving me very good results for a while ... now just no discernable highs. So, I switched to Deer Park spring water. Why has water suddenly become so confusing to me when it never was before .......

More water, temps below are based upon not preheating. If you do preheat your pot, I would advise cooler temps.

So, here goes ... in numerical order. Ratios are "grams to ounces" (1 ounce = 30 ml) For successive steeps, I simply do the following
2nd slightly hotter for 30 seconds or less
3rd, hotter longer
4th, hotter longer
etc.

11 Sugimoto Hashiri. "Under construction" check back later! This has been pretty mellow even when I tried to amp it up. Let me know how you make out!

12 O-Cha YM. OK, here was an exception to my trend this year in that I went hotter with this selection. 1.25:1, 172* (77* C) for 40+ seconds. I did not preheat, so if you do you may want to decrease temp a bit.

13 Den's Houryoku. Cooler ... 1.25:1, 160* (71* C) or less, 40 seconds. As you lower temp, you can increase time.

14 Sugimoto Hachiju Hachiya "Under construction" check back later!

------------------------------------------------------------------

21 Sencha Kagoshima Sencha Super Premium. Although Zencha recommends 140*, I found this can be brewed somewhat hotter for a bit more boldness. I went as high as 160* (71* C) without ill effect, but liked it under 155 (68* C). 1.25 (or higher):1, 40-60 seconds ... as you decrease temp, increase time or the cup may not convey the richness intended.

22 The du Japon Yamakai "Under construction" check back later!

23 Maiko Karigani. "Under construction" check back later!

24 Zencha Takumi. 1.25:1 This one definitely prefers cooler! 140-150* (60-65* C). Not as easy for me to brew as their SSP (#21), so pay attention. 40-60 seconds.

----------------------------------------------------

31 Kondo-wase. Pay attention! HOT! I concur with their suggestions of 185* (85* C) Cooler and it seems lost. Hot and it sings. 1.25:1. 70 seconds.

32 Den's Kunpu. 1.25:1, 160* (71* C) or even cooler, 90 seconds. Hotter gives intensity, cooler gives more depth and sweetness.

33 O-Cha Kirameki. 1.25:1. 158* (70* C) for 90 seconds. Can be brewed cooler or hotter depending upon desired results. This one is a bit tricky and requires attention in brewing.

34 Maiko Kinari 1.25:1, 158* (70* C) 90 seconds. I preferred it brewed cooler.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 14:44

OK, whew ... that is it. I think I have just about said it all, except of course, "I hope you can join us at this Shincha-OTTI 2013 'TeaTable.'"

Remember, this topic goes live at 6 pm Eastern USA time.

At 6 pm, I will unlock this topic for comments, discussion.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 16:59

Ya know ... you may be thinking, 12 samples sounds like a lot, but in realiTea it is only 120 grams ... a little over a single 100 gram bag.

So, go for it. :mrgreen:

T-minus 60 minutes ...
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby victoria3 » May 3rd, '13, 17:25

:) great line up Chip. Group 2 has sinchas I have not ordered or tried yet, so I'm really looking forward to this event. Thank You :D
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 17:50

victoria3 wrote::) great line up Chip. Group 2 has sinchas I have not ordered or tried yet, so I'm really looking forward to this event. Thank You :D

Oops, I forgot to lock this topic til 6 pm. Oh well, 10 minutes to go. I will just leave it open.

Yes, I agree, a great line-up all the way through! :mrgreen:
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Remick » May 3rd, '13, 17:52

This is going to be epic... awesome... FanFREAKINGtastic!

Ready to fire off an e-mail in 10...9....8...
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '13, 17:53

... 7 ...
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Devoted135 » May 3rd, '13, 17:58

6543...2...
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Poohblah » May 3rd, '13, 18:01

e-mail sent... :mrgreen:
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby piratesdrinktea » May 3rd, '13, 18:01

1, 0! In case nobody else posts this first...
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby seollasido » May 3rd, '13, 18:01

:) Sent an email. Whoooooo.
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