Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 9th, '13, 22:35

Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences with this round. I hope you are all enjoying this expanded Shincha round!

Keep the posts coming!!! My tastings will be revealed in time ... I endeavor to control my excitement and allow others to post early on.

Although this round included some shincha-s revisted, it is nice to also see some new selections and a new participant vendor.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Poohblah » Jun 9th, '13, 23:13

A HUGE thanks to Chip for putting on a shincha OTTI once again. I really like this expanded format. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Like Chip, I'll post my notes later on. But I did want to take the time to agree with saxon. The Maiko karigane was astounding; in fact I consider it to be significantly better than many of the "pure-blooded" senchas included in this flight. And for the record, I also will confirm saxon's brewing parameters work well. I found this tea to have a nice nuttiness mixed with the buttery, sweet flavors of asamushi. I thought it was medium-bodied with a bit of umami as well. However, the filter in my brita has started to give up recently, as my tea water has started to taste a bit like tap water, which usually kills the body of the tea and the high notes as well. I replaced the filter, so I will have to go back and try this tea again with better water.

And given the price of this tea... holy cow. This could easily become a daily drinker. Maiko is currently very high on my short list of favorite vendors.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Remick » Jun 10th, '13, 20:24

Kondo-wase -

I'm glad I had 20 grams to play around with. The first round was with Chip's parameters but I found it too astringent and unbalanced for my preferences. Second round went the complete opposite direction with really cool temps and long steeps. It was with this round that the almond and hazelnut notes actually stood out. Sadly nothing else did, so I knew that was a dead end. The long and short of it was that I wasn't impressed with this selection yesterday. That all changed this afternoon.

Inspired by:
hopeofdawn wrote:Received my shincha yesterday! I also started with the kondo-wase--completely random, #31 was just at the top of the pile. I have to echo what other people are saying--wow! I'm pretty cautious when it comes to sencha, because it's often too astringent for my palate, but this is an amazing tea.

Brewing parameters (I tend towards weaker brews): 3 grams to 100 ml water at 185 degrees in a preheated porcelain pot, 45 secs on 1st, 30 secs on 2nd, 45 secs-1 min on successive brews. Amazing fruity/citrusy scent, and lovely taste that spreads over the tongue.


3 grams to 150ml water at 185 degrees in an un-preheated kyusu for 45 seconds. Wow. Just, wow.

Infusion #2, 175* for 30 seconds. Good, but dryer than the first. Maybe should have done 20 seconds.

#3, 185* for 45 seconds. Somewhere between the first and second.

Floral as a green oolong but temperamental like a sencha. Interesting.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby victoria3 » Jun 10th, '13, 23:40

Today I tried Maiko's Shincha Karigane and I agree with Poohblah & Saxon that it is a very pleasant brew. Its young leaves, stems, and stalks have a sweet fruity light aroma, and the liquor is nutty, buttery, with a sweet lingering palate. A well priced tasty sincha that can handle many brewing parameters.

1st: 1:1/160F/60sec, went to 1.30 very nice palate with pleasant background astringency too.
2nd: 170/60, went to 1.3 nice rich flavor, no bitterness.
3rd: 185/2min, very nice, aroma gone from liquor, very subtle background astringency, taste difficult to describe but very nice.
4th: 195/4min, flavour very light, placing it directly on stove top would work better.

Next time I'm going to try 1.4:1/158-176F/90sec in a pre-heated pot per Maiko's web recommendation, 'How to prepare Karigane / Kukicha' http://www.maikoteashop.com/Karigane-/- ... -/-Kukicha
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby saxon75 » Jun 11th, '13, 12:10

Today the Kagoshima Sencha Super Premium from Zencha. This one had a dry grainy flavor to me, like lager beer or bread. It was interesting, but I'm not sure that it's really for me. I pushed the temperature a bit too much in the third steep and it got a little bitter, but not overpoweringly so.

5g in 4 oz water, in an 8-oz, preheated kyusu.
1st: 60 sec @ 60C
2nd: 20 sec @ 63C
3rd: 90 sec @ 70C
4th: 3 min @ 70C
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby hopeofdawn » Jun 11th, '13, 13:01

Just finished up my second sample, #11 Sugimoto Hishari. I did three different sessions with this (3 grams, 3 grams, and 4 grams respectively). Overall, my impression was that it was a nice tea, but nothing really spectacular jumped out at me I'm afraid. A lot of broken leaf--I'm not sure if it started out that way, or just fell victim to the not-so-tender mercies of the post office--which meant a more cloudy/intense brew. I really had to watch my steeping times on this one.

Brewing parameters: averaging across all three sessions, 3 grams in 100 ml preheated porcelain pot (the 4 gram session was in 150 ml), 30 secs at 175 degrees on 1st steep, 20 secs at 170 on 2nd, 30 secs at 175 on 3rd, gradually increasing up to 45 secs and 185 degrees on successive steeps. (Again, I'm a sencha weenie. :) )

I found the 170-175 degree range seemed to work the best for me--still a very cloudy brew, but only a bit of astringency, and a nice smooth taste that coated the tongue. Still, unlike the kondo-wase, I probably would not go out of my way to drink this particular shincha again.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby saxon75 » Jun 11th, '13, 13:31

hopeofdawn wrote:A lot of broken leaf--I'm not sure if it started out that way, or just fell victim to the not-so-tender mercies of the post office


I believe fukamushi is typically very broken.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby hopeofdawn » Jun 11th, '13, 13:32

I suspected as much, but I wasn't sure if that also applied to shincha or not. Thanks for the confirmation! :)
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby TommyTeaMorrow » Jun 11th, '13, 19:14

I'm in group 1 with the fukamushi have tasting notes for 2 of them. But for my first steep on one of them my tea strainer got completely clogged after pouring it from my kyusu(which also has a strainer). Had to switch to a less fine strainer. Should hopefully taste the other 2 teas today.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 11th, '13, 19:43

TommyTeaMorrow wrote:I'm in group 1 with the fukamushi have tasting notes for 2 of them. But for my first steep on one of them my tea strainer got completely clogged after pouring it from my kyusu(which also has a strainer). Had to switch to a less fine strainer. Should hopefully taste the other 2 teas today.

Obviously some screens resist clogging better than others ... however ...

Fukamushi can easily clog screens. One way I avoid this is to cock the handle downward somewhat so the leaves do not rush to cover the screen immediately ... instead some are deposited more on the sides of the Kyusu. This is hard to describe, but it does work quite effectively.

Also slower pouring helps. The faster one attempts to pour fukamushi, the more likely the screen could clog.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby TommyTeaMorrow » Jun 11th, '13, 20:15

Chip wrote:
TommyTeaMorrow wrote:I'm in group 1 with the fukamushi have tasting notes for 2 of them. But for my first steep on one of them my tea strainer got completely clogged after pouring it from my kyusu(which also has a strainer). Had to switch to a less fine strainer. Should hopefully taste the other 2 teas today.

Obviously some screens resist clogging better than others ... however ...

Fukamushi can easily clog screens. One way I avoid this is to cock the handle downward somewhat so the leaves do not rush to cover the screen immediately ... instead some are deposited more on the sides of the Kyusu. This is hard to describe, but it does work quite effectively.

Also slower pouring helps. The faster one attempts to pour fukamushi, the more likely the screen could clog.




I guess i'll just have to mess around with it for a bit, have little to none experience with kyusu's. I'm pretty sure the pouring speed is a main problem, i'll just start pouring sooner in order to not affect the steep time. Other than that I am really enjoying this OTTI experience hopefully will get to try the rest today.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 11th, '13, 21:19

It does take a little practice with most screens for Fukamushi.

TommyTeaMorrow wrote:
Chip wrote:
TommyTeaMorrow wrote:I'm in group 1 with the fukamushi have tasting notes for 2 of them. But for my first steep on one of them my tea strainer got completely clogged after pouring it from my kyusu(which also has a strainer). Had to switch to a less fine strainer. Should hopefully taste the other 2 teas today.

Obviously some screens resist clogging better than others ... however ...

Fukamushi can easily clog screens. One way I avoid this is to cock the handle downward somewhat so the leaves do not rush to cover the screen immediately ... instead some are deposited more on the sides of the Kyusu. This is hard to describe, but it does work quite effectively.

Also slower pouring helps. The faster one attempts to pour fukamushi, the more likely the screen could clog.




I guess i'll just have to mess around with it for a bit, have little to none experience with kyusu's. I'm pretty sure the pouring speed is a main problem, i'll just start pouring sooner in order to not affect the steep time. Other than that I am really enjoying this OTTI experience hopefully will get to try the rest today.

One other thing, between steeps, make sure to tap the back side of the Kyusu against your palm a few times until 90% or more of the leaves break away from the screen.

Make sure you are holding the Kyusu by the front (spout) part of the body, not the handle.

Then pour the next batch of water across the screen dislodging the rest of the leaves. This way you get a "fresh screen" ... otherwise you will likely clog up on a successive steep.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Poohblah » Jun 11th, '13, 21:49

I can confirm that Chip's techniques work well for preventing a clogged filter.

However, I will say that I found the Sugimoto offerings to be quite broken and powdery, even for fuka, and they did present a challenge in terms of preventing a blocked/clogged filter. But for Japanese greens, broken leaves are not necessarily an indicator of poor quality, like they would be for almost any other kind of tea, so hopefully it is not too off-putting.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby MIKE_B » Jun 11th, '13, 22:14

I also had challenges brewing Sugimoto's 88 nights.
My first session was in a Sado kyusu that has a direct 11 hole filter. A slow pour of the first brew worked out ok. Second and third brews were difficult. Lots of debris in my cup (which doesn't really bother me) and painfully slow pours. My tea was as dark and as cloudy as could be. I expected the brew to be much too strong. I was surprised that despite my awkward brewing, the tea was still excellent. Full of flavor but not too bitter or astringent.
My second session with the remainder of the sample was done in a larger pot with a sasame filter. Much easier and the tea was even better.

I really need to either find a better pot for fuka or get better at the unclogging technique.
I brewed Zencha's Kagoshima today. Super slow pours even using the sasame filter. I made it pretty strong. It was delicious. It tasted a little yeasty to me. Thick in the mouth with some umami.
I brewed the few grams remaining in a small shiboridashi. It came out a little lighter but was still very good.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby victoria3 » Jun 11th, '13, 22:29

Chip wrote:....One other thing, between steeps, make sure to tap the back side of the Kyusu against your palm a few times until 90% or more of the leaves break away from the screen.

Make sure you are holding the Kyusu by the front (spout) part of the body, not the handle.

Then pour the next batch of water across the screen dislodging the rest of the leaves. This way you get a "fresh screen" ... otherwise you will likely clog up on a successive steep.

I also use the "tap the back side of the Kyusu against your palm" technique to clear the filter, although I always use two hands; one hand holding the front of the kyusu handle, the other hand to tap against with an open palm. I've never needed to hold the spout, that sounds structurally awkward to me.

Or, did you mean; you cup one hand around the spout and front body of the kyusu and tap against your other open palm? Like cupping the kyusu with both hands, but the hand around the spout moves and taps.
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