Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby TommyTeaMorrow » Jun 6th, '13, 21:27

Got my package today going to keep them sealed until I can get a proper teapot to make the teas with, very excited to try them all.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 6th, '13, 22:00

Pablo wrote:One pleasant surprise in my mailbox today,my samples have already arrived,fast fast very fast shipping to Spain in 4 days!!!!
I will not hide my great satisfaction, I really very excited to start
Chip..Thank you so much for all.

That is crazy fast for First Class Parcel to Spain. Some USA participants have likely not received theirs yet.

Enjoy!

Remick wrote:Like many others, the package arrived yesterday. Only one packet was semi-sealed, which is probably a small victory. Other than that, it's now just a matter of deciding what to open first.

Sorry about the one pouch. Hundreds of pouches placed mostly in bubble envelopes ... I guess a failure or two are inevitable. These pouches are 10 times better however than the last batch.

As we were packing up I thought if we do an extensive OTTI like this again, I will require boxing which is also a bit more costly ... mostly in shipping.

I was also concerned when Mrs. C found my new green pen and decided to address the bubble envelopes with it. I thought this would reek havoc with USPS ... I guess not. So, Mrs. C will drink Shincha another day ..... :twisted:
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 6th, '13, 22:08

bambooforest wrote:
Chip wrote:[This will also be located on page 1 for easy reference.]

Brewing Guide for Shincha OTTI
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


I'd suggest Dasani. I'm pretty sure that aquafina is straight up reverse osmosis which means almost no minerals whatsoever which will lead to a flat tasting tea.

Dasani has a very small and ideal amount of minerals put back into the water after it's thoroughly filtered.

Made me look. I have been experimenting with a bunch of waters lately, some have minerals added, some not. I thought Aquafina was one that did ... you are right. It is just glorified, filtered, tap water "from various sources" ... bleh. Won't be buying again!!!

I had been using Pure Life (from Nestle I think) which has minerals added and also comes in gallons. It had been giving very good results, then all of a sudden, flat results. Thus my renewed search. I will pick up some Dasani which I had tried previously.

Interesting ... a local tea friend for whatever reason had flat Perrier from the night before, he poured it in his kettle with water, about 4 parts water to 1 part flat Perrier ... brewed Shincha with it and really liked it. Sounds like it could be worth trying at least once ... might be the newest, hottest thing in tea brewing!?! :idea:
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 6th, '13, 22:14

Poohblah wrote:Starting with the Sugimoto 88 Nights (Hachiju Hachiya). Would appreciate any brewing tips for this tea.

I tried "1:1" ratio - 5g of tea (half of the sample), 150mL of water @ about 150°F. Did not enjoy this :(. Thin body, bitter flavor, rough texture. Dry leaf aroma was not bad though. Subsequent steeps did not improve despite quick steeps and cooler water. Would recommend that others who are trying this tea try to brew in a reserved fashion - cooler temps, low ratio, short steeps, perhaps. Or maybe flash steeps at high temperatures. I simply haven't figured this one out yet. My usual sencha brewing technique was simply not cutting it for this tea. I will change things up when I return to this tea to see if it improves this tea.

edit: I think short, quick steeps at high temps may be the way to go with this one? still too early to tell. Will report back.

Cannot help you yet with this one, but you could be onto something with hotter water since it is a lower priced selection.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 6th, '13, 22:16

TommyTeaMorrow wrote:Got my package today going to keep them sealed until I can get a proper teapot to make the teas with, very excited to try them all.

Time is of the essence. What pot do you have to brew?
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby TommyTeaMorrow » Jun 6th, '13, 22:22

Chip wrote:
TommyTeaMorrow wrote:Got my package today going to keep them sealed until I can get a proper teapot to make the teas with, very excited to try them all.

Time is of the essence. What pot do you have to brew?


I'm sure I can figure something out have pretty much every other kind of teapot along with a gaiwan. Would be able to get a kyusu within a few days, so what would your opinion be? use what I have now or wait at least 2-3 days.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 6th, '13, 22:26

Well, if you can truly receive a Kyusu within a few days, go for it. A Kyusu is the best and easiest way to brew sencha, IMHO.

Till then, you could brew a few Group 3 asamushi (and some Group 2 selections) in a gaiwan or possibly another brew vessel.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Devoted135 » Jun 6th, '13, 23:42

Gah! I'm at my parents' house until next Saturday! Can't wait to try these teas when I get back home! :P
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby victoria3 » Jun 7th, '13, 00:22

Chip's samples arrived today, all seals intact, and I just tried the first one, #21 Zencha Kagoshima Sencha Super Premium. I couldn't resist taking a picture to share the moment.
Zencha-Kagoshima-Sencha-Super-Premium_1st-Steep_.jpg
I chose to use my 150 ml silky smooth little black 'Shusen Keiryo' Tokoname kyusu by Gyokuryu that has a fine sasame filter.
Zencha-Kagoshima-Sencha-Super-Premium_1st-Steep_.jpg (77.04 KiB) Viewed 523 times

A very elegant brew indeed. It reminds me of a forest on a cliff by the seaside. Woodsy brew with really sweet umami. An explosion of green liquor comes out at 2nd steep. The aroma of the dry leaf is sweet and the leaf is very fine, so a fine filter works best.
Zencha-Kagoshima-Sencha-Super-Premium_Dry-Leaf.jpg
Zencha-Kagoshima-Sencha-Super-Premium_Dry-Leaf.jpg (61.88 KiB) Viewed 523 times

1st: 5gr/4oz/150F/1min (per Chip) The liquor is thin and light yellow with fine needles coming through my sasame filter. Very light and yet very satisfying.
2nd: 4/160/30sec, let it go to 1minute. Liquor an explosion of green, dark green, not thin & not clear. Richer flavor palate, a sweet, by the seaside, deep forest green flavor with slight astringency. Oh, yes very nice indeed.
3rd: 4/170/2min. Liquor deep green but clearer. Flavor thinner yet still holding seaside umami palate.
4th: 4/190/4min. Liquor still deep green thinner. Flavor is now like being down at the seashore or even in a fishing boat by the coast.
5th: Stove top for a 5 second roll and 4 minute steep. Still lots of flavor. Really enjoyable. A winner indeed.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby shinobicha » Jun 7th, '13, 02:52

Chip wrote:[EDIT June 5, 2013]
22 Thes du Japon Yamakai "Under construction" check back later!


TdJ has two "Yamakai" shinchas.
Which one is in the OTTI?

I assume this one:
http://www.thes-du-japon.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=185

But is it this one?
http://www.thes-du-japon.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=184http://www.thes-du-japon.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=184

I ask because the suggested brewing parameters are different for each.

Thanks!
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 7th, '13, 08:11

Yes, it is the first one. We wanted to do the one higher end Kondo-wase and a more everyday selection. Thus price was set based upon a selection to be determined later in that price range. When the more expensive Yamakai became available (before the one chosen), I was very tempted. But this would also not be fair to the other vendors ... to have two rather high end selections from TdJ.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby saxon75 » Jun 7th, '13, 11:15

This morning I tried the O-Cha Yutaka Midori. It was really something. The first sip actually made me say "Whoah" out loud. Deep, rich flavor, tasted like the ocean. I think I may have overdone the second steep, as from there out it developed a fair amount of bitterness, though I actually liked that. In the third steep I thought I noticed something almost fruity in the finish, like pineapple or something, which was nice but weird enough that I thought I must be imagining it.

I did 5g in 4 oz of water in four steeps:

40 sec @ 77C
30 sec @ 80C
90 sec @ 83C
3 min @ 86C

I was a little worried when I saw how fine the leaf was that the screen in my crappy, mass-produced kyusu wouldn't be good enough, but it did pretty well. It's not very nice to look at, my kyusu, but it gets the tea brewed, and for $12 I certainly can't complain.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby shinobicha » Jun 7th, '13, 12:03

Chip wrote:Yes, it is the first one. We wanted to do the one higher end Kondo-wase and a more everyday selection. Thus price was set based upon a selection to be determined later in that price range. When the more expensive Yamakai became available (before the one chosen), I was very tempted. But this would also not be fair to the other vendors ... to have two rather high end selections from TdJ.


Makes sense to me; the other Yamakai is quite pricey.

Thanks again for putting this together!
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby seollasido » Jun 7th, '13, 18:06

Arrived today, started brewing immediately. Started with the Kondo-wase. The Concord grapes in the scent and in the later infusions are really really pleasant, with some flowers too. Nutty after taste.

Cannot wait to try the rest :)
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Remick » Jun 7th, '13, 19:21

saxon75 wrote:This morning I tried the O-Cha Yutaka Midori. I thought I noticed something almost fruity in the finish, like pineapple or something, which was nice but weird enough that I thought I must be imagining it.


I picked that up in the dry leaf aroma. Wasn't finding it in the brew but I'll have another round with O-Cha's YM later today. Still, the aromatics wafting out of that little packet were REALLY nice.
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