Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic


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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby puerhking » May 11th, '13, 11:06

2013 O-Cha Saemidori Shincha -

First brew is a clear neon green soup. Drinking it there is an edge of grassiness followed by some deep umami notes.

Second brew is an opaque fuka deeper neon green. A bright vegetal note hits the palate first segueing into umami seaweed soup.

Third and fourth...not as opaque....basically no grassiness....just rich umami goodness.

A stronger vegetal flavor peeks out in the fifth as the tea fades out.

It amazes me how the tea changes in just a few days. I always wait at least a day after I open tea, but this took about 4-5 days to relax and catch its stride. Even the color of the tea soup has gotten greener....as opposed to a hyper yellow-green the first time.

This one is a winner.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby victoria3 » May 11th, '13, 13:57

puerhking wrote:2013 O-Cha Saemidori Shincha -
First brew is a clear neon green soup. Drinking it there is an edge of grassiness followed by some deep umami notes.

This is also how the liquor of Maead-en's Shin-cha Oohashiri was, neon. Looking at the photo I posted, it looks altered but it was not, it really is neon. Wild!
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby puerhking » May 11th, '13, 16:29

victoria3 wrote:
puerhking wrote:2013 O-Cha Saemidori Shincha -
First brew is a clear neon green soup. Drinking it there is an edge of grassiness followed by some deep umami notes.

This is also how the liquor of Maead-en's Shin-cha Oohashiri was, neon. Looking at the photo I posted, it looks altered but it was not, it really is neon. Wild!


No doubt! The first time I brewed it, it looked like radiator fluid....almost glowing!
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Peacock » May 11th, '13, 17:51

2013 asa Saemidori from Thes-du-Japon. It has that really distinctive Saemidori aroma, one of my favorites. I brewed it at 145 degrees, 80 seconds 5g: 4oz. The second steep is my favorite and the tea comes off very sweet. Oh, and did I mention its hand-picked?
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby victoria3 » May 13th, '13, 23:06

Anyone else notice that the caffeine content of sincha is higher than sencha? I notice I need to back off a little bit.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Poohblah » May 14th, '13, 01:31

victoria3 wrote:Anyone else notice that the caffeine content of sincha is higher than sencha? I notice I need to back off a little bit.
Yes. I don't any evidence besides anecdotal, but I've always been under the impression that the greener and fresher the tea, the more caffeine content it has.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Lionel » May 14th, '13, 08:34

"2013 asa Saemidori from Thes-du-Japon"

It is a fukamushi isn't it ?
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby victoria3 » May 14th, '13, 12:03

Lionel wrote:"2013 asa Saemidori from Thes-du-Japon"

It is a fukamushi isn't it ?

Yes, it's a hand picked fukamushi from Kagoshima, Saemidori cultivar, with aspects of the Asatsuyu cultivar I seem to remember.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Peacock » May 14th, '13, 17:05

Lionel wrote:"2013 asa Saemidori from Thes-du-Japon"

It is a fukamushi isn't it ?


My apologies.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby victoria3 » May 15th, '13, 16:53

Poohblah wrote:
victoria3 wrote:Anyone else notice that the caffeine content of sincha is higher than sencha? I notice I need to back off a little bit.
Yes. I don't any evidence besides anecdotal, but I've always been under the impression that the greener and fresher the tea, the more caffeine content it has.

Has anyone else noticed that the caffeine buzz is stronger with Sincha than with Gyokuro?
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Peacock » May 15th, '13, 17:33

Yeah, not only with shincha but sencha as well. I remeber reading a little booklet that I received from Den's tea, and I believe, caffeine was best extracted at 170 degrees and theanine at 160. Often it is not until my second cup of that I start to feel a buzz. Then there have been other times when I wasn't in a particular "good" mood for tea and I felt no effect at all.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Suutej_Tsaj » May 17th, '13, 13:25

God knows I am by no means a tea expert, but I'll attempt a quick review anyway.

2013 Chiran Shincha from Kaoru (O-Cha)

Steeping parameters: roughly 1 tbs for 250 ml of water at 76°-82°C (170-180 F)
First infusion: 1.5 min. The liquor is a bit dusty, with a shade similar to cinnabar green (7th column, the sixth from the bottom). This infusion is quite bitter (probably steeped too long), with grassy notes trying to emerge.
Second infusion: 30 sec. Still dusty, same tone of colour. Less bitter, much more grassy and... fruity? It's barely noticeable, but there's something more in this one.
Third infusion: 45 sec. Much cleaner and lighter shade of green. The bitterness is almost gone, leaving the grassy notes and hints of citrus/lime/whatever.
Fourth infusion: 1 min. The tea is fading away and with it its green colour and those indecipherable hints. The grassy and vegetable notes are still strong, though, which makes me think I could have done a fifth infusion.

Additional notes: I can confirm there's more caffeine than in common sencha and certainly more than in gyokuro. Nothing unbearable, but I felt a little buzzed for a while.
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby kelpfrond » May 18th, '13, 03:47

Hi all, Teachat (and tea) newbie here! I've fond memories of teas I had while staying in China, Japan, and other places in E/SE Asia. Amazing smoked bancha in that dirty crowded Go salon in Kyoto; exquisitely served oolong in that posh Beijing restaurant; life-saving green iced tea in the jungles of Thailand... Yet, until recently, I wasn't much into preparing tea at home. My cluelessness and the complete lack of quality leaves in shops around here (Bulgaria) had me resigned to enjoying tea only when far away from home.

Last month I finally decided to do some serious tea exploration and just get the stuff shipped from wherever it's grown (duh). First stop: Japanese greens! I ordered a variety of gyokuro & sencha and my first-ever kyusu & yuzamashi from O-cha.com. I had four teas opened for a while: Kamejirushi gyokuro, sakura-flavoured sencha, and the Yutaka Midori & Miyabi sencha from their gift set. And while I really like the gyokuro and sakura, I found the sencha a bit underwhelming. Certainly enjoyable and with pleasant aromas but, to me, there was a bit of lifelessness to both the muskat-citrussy YM and chestnutty-mushroomy Miyabi.

As my consumption speed and curiosity picked up, I decided to open another package today, the Kago Sae Midori shincha. And boy, am I glad I did! This was my eye-opening shincha moment. I'm at a loss for words to describe this magical tea! Mild in every possible good sense of the word: no superfluous astringency or distracting bitterness. Strong in every desirable way: flavorful, sweet, and exciting! Intense, extremely fresh grassy aromas and superb dark green color win you over before even trying a sip... but just wait till you do. Sweet, young nuts add to the mix to round up an inspiring, full-bodied taste I never expected from sencha. It also has the most fantastic smell ever in the teapot. This tea redefined my perception of sencha & greens in general.

I'm still a bit puzzled as to why, after several brewing experiments, the SM seems a world apart from the other sencha, especially since O-cha's YM gets such high praise around here. Could it be the shincha difference? (I guess the gift set items weren't shincha: the smell they leave in the teapot isn't even close to the freshness of SM); or perhaps it's a matter of brewing technique (the vendor's site does list Sae Midori as an "easy brewer" while the others are apparently harder to get right). Or maybe the SM just fits my taste perfectly. Whatever it is, I'll keep exploring... and having gotten the last spot in this year's shincha OTTI, I'll get a chance to compare this with other shincha, incl. YM... can't wait!

leaf ratio: 2 full teaspoons for 210ml water (~1g per 30ml = 1 oz.)
infusion times: 1st 1 minute, 2nd 30 seconds, 3rd 1 minute
infusion temps: 1st 76C-78C = 169-172F (prewarmed teapot), 2nd ~80C = ~176F or a bit hotter if teapot/leaves cool, 3rd 85C = 185F
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Poohblah » May 18th, '13, 12:15

Hi kelpfrond,

Welcome to teachat. I tasted last year's Sae Midori; it was the strongest, richest fukamushi sencha I've tried so far. You'll notice that the tea liquor is thick, brothy, and very green. So it is not surprising that you find it to be different from the others. Personally however I am a bigger fan of the sweeter, lighter "Kyoto-style" asamushi sencha that Kyoto-based vendors like Maiko and Ippodo sell. Everybody has different preferences. I suggest that you do not think too hard about the teas you already have and do not be too critical or judgmental. Instead just try as many different teas as you can while keeping an open mind. You will learn a lot about tea that way and eventually I think you will discover where other people get their opinions from too.

By the way... you might want to try using cooler water... it can make a huge difference with sencha. Also, if you brew less at a time (210mL is lot by my standards, anyway), you can get your pouch of tea to last longer ;)
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Re: Official Shincha 2013 Review Topic

Postby Chip » May 18th, '13, 12:19

... I would also suggest upping the ratio for Yutaka Midori and see what you think.
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