Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Devoted135 » Jun 20th, '13, 16:52

Long post alert! :wink:
Sort of by accident I ended up trying all four selections from group 3 first. I took notes, so hopefully I'll be able to improve on my first impressions in the second session! :) I used half of my sample of each in my Andrjez kyusu, which gives me steeps of about 130mL. For temps and times I followed Chip's suggestions.

Thes du Japon Kondowase: I already posted about how much I loved this selection. I found it to be floral and slightly sweet and lovely. :)

Den's Kunpu: This was really nice, a fair amount of umami but not too intense for me. I'd call it "asparagus" with particularly nice later steeps.

O-cha Kirameki: This was my second-favorite of the grouping. I thought it had a really fantastic, clean flavor that lasted a number of steeps.

Maiko Kinari: The dry leaves for this one smelled fantastic! I detected fruit flavors and it had a sweet aftertaste, but for some reason it just didn't reach out to me.

The arrival of some goodies from Petr Novak has made these sessions extra special this week! I'll post more pictures elsewhere, but here are a couple shots of my "Polish shincha setup." :)
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Polish shincha session by Devoted135, on Flickr

Check out the star/heart in the bottom of my cup!
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Polish shincha session by Devoted135, on Flickr
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 21st, '13, 10:12

Regarding the naming of steaming levels, I received an email from Florent based upon his reading of this topic. I decided to create a topic under Green Tea which you can read and comment on here:

http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18807
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Poohblah » Jun 22nd, '13, 00:53

Finally I have gotten around to trying each and every one of the samples. Of the offerings in groups 2 and 3, only Zencha Takumi and Den's Kunpu did not stand out to me in one way or another. There was a lot of variety in these two groups and I enjoyed all of them. However, I'm going to go back through and try everything again before posting notes. I haven't seem to run into brewing troubles again like I did for group one.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby AdamMY » Jun 23rd, '13, 14:27

I had a fantastic morning session with Number 24 Zencha's Takumi. Really hit the spot, lots of vegetables but not overbearing in anyway. I did get a fair few small particles in my cup while brewing, but besides that I got 5 very good infusions out of it.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby saxon75 » Jun 25th, '13, 00:58

I revisited three selections today: the Takumi, the Kirameki, and the Kunpu. Sadly, I totally screwed up the Takumi and despite my best efforts to recover, it came out flat.

With the Kirameki I went shorter and hotter than the first time, and found it very light and fruity, again with a pronounced peach note in the finish. Very nice. (5g/4oz, unheated kysu: 60s @ 71C, 25s @ 73C, 60s @ 77C, 2m @ 79C)

The Kunpu I went cooler, and I was amazed at how much sweeter it came out. There were some fruit notes in the first few steeps and it got grassier in the last couple, but mostly what I got was a strong sweetness that was perfectly balanced with a mild bitterness, with very nice body in the first two steeps. (5g/40z, unheated kyusu: 90s @ 60C, 30s @ 63C, 60s @ 66C, 2m @ 69C, 4m @ 74C)
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby hopeofdawn » Jun 25th, '13, 11:08

Am working on #12 O-cha's Yutaka Midori, but unfortunately I'm not having much luck with my brewing. I've done two sessions so far, 3 grams each, and I cannot seem to balance out the flavor with the bitterness/umami.

Brewing parameters: 3 grams in 100 ml preheated porcelain pot. For the first session, I went by Chip's suggestion--30 secs at 165 degrees on 1st steep, 20 secs at 160 on 2nd, 30 secs at 165 on 3rd, gradually increasing on successive steeps, but for the most part, found the resulting brew way too strong for my palate--I was getting serious pucker face, especially on the first couple steeps!

For the second session, I went hotter and faster--10-15 secs at 175 degrees for the first brew, 10-15 secs at 170 on the second and so on--the resulting tea was a lot more palatable, but really didn't seem to have that full-bodied flavor that I've heard so many people rhapsodize about.

It may be that Yutaka Midori is just too aggressive a tea for my weenie sencha-drinking ways. Still, I'd love to experience what other people love so much about this tea! I have 1 session (4 grams) left ... any suggestions?
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Chip » Jun 25th, '13, 11:55

... Since I like the unique and rather strong YM flavor, I tend to brew it in a fashion to heighten it, otherwise I am sitting thinking ... I brewed it too soft.

You can back off on the temp maybe, 158*.

Oh, you preheating your pot for this? I did not for the temp I suggested. If you are, then I would think backing off temp would help. Or do not preheat.

I will brew some YM today.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby saxon75 » Jun 27th, '13, 12:48

Over the past few days I revisited four more samples: the Kinari, the Karigane, the Houryoku, and the Yutaka Midori.

I did the Kinari cooler this time, and while it came out sweeter and less bitter, I think I found it somewhat less interesting than the first time.(5g/4oz, unheated kyusu, 90 sec @ 59C, 30 sec @ 63C, 90 sec @ 66C)

I kept the Karigane at more or less the same temperature but lengthened the initial steep. The flavors seemed the same, though, oddly, I found that the texture wasn't quite as full and buttery. Even so, it still really hit the spot, so I went ahead and ordered half a kilo. (5g/4oz, unheated kyusu, 90 sec @ 69C, 30 sec @ 73C, 90 sec @ 76C)

I took the Houryoku cooler as well, and found it much more pleasant. The first cup hit my tongue immediately with a flavor something like rice, that turned into something more like steamed vegetables a few seconds after swallowing it. Then the finish was very fruity, like ripe cantaloupe. As I progressed through the session the rice/grain note disappeared but the melon note stayed, with a nice sweetness. Very nice. (5g/4oz, unheated kyusu, 60 sec @ 61C, 20 sec @ 64C, 60 sec @ 66C, 2 min @ 69C)

The YM I kept the initial steep the same but shortened the subsequent steeps in order to try to control the bitterness that I got in the first go-round. It worked out better this time, the same bold, deep flavor in the first steep but with the subsequent ones being more delicate. Such an intriguing tea--it really makes me stop and take notice. I don't think I could drink it every day, but man it's really something. (5g/4oz, unheated kyusu, 40 sec @ 76C, 15 sec @ 77C, 45 sec @ 81C, 90 sec @ 84C)
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby AdamMY » Jun 29th, '13, 14:54

On Thursday I brewed # 32 Dens Kunpu. Maybe I was distracted due to a very hectic work week, but it falls into the same category that a lot of Dens teas seem to. I can see how others like them, they are just not for me. For an Asamushi it felt rather heavy, almost similar to heavier steamed teas.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby AdamMY » Jun 29th, '13, 16:23

Number 31 Kando Wase. A very interesting Sencha. Oddly reminiscent of the Organic O-cha 7312 ( at least I think that was the number) due to the fact that it has Spices readily apparent. While still refreshing it is also hot and spicy, as well.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby MIKE_B » Jul 8th, '13, 21:24

I finished off the very last of this OTTI yesterday.
Great fun. Thanks, Chip.
I got lazy about taking notes and posting on each tea.

Summing it up I will say this tasting reinforces my notion that I enjoy asa more than I do fuka.
With the exception of O-Cha's YM which was absolutely delicious.
Although I liked some of these shinchas much more than others, not one of them was bad. Maybe one or two ho-hums is all.
The kinari may have been my favorite here with the kirameki a close second.
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Devoted135 » Jul 8th, '13, 23:17

I also got behind, so here's my quick-fire thoughts on group 2. :)

21 Zencha Kagoshima) I thought this was a rich brew, but did something wrong the first time and it came out bitter. Second brew I stepped it back a bit and thoroughly enjoyed the session. Very nice!

22 Thes du Japon Yamakai) I found this one to be vegetal with a definite astringency. Very refreshing, I really enjoyed this one. :)

23 Maiko Karigane) My first karigane, and I thought it was great! My notes say I thought it was grassy with some astringency and I gave it a 9/10.

24 Zencha Takumi) This was rich and sweet, very enjoyable. :)
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby Poohblah » Jul 21st, '13, 22:43

Wow, it's been a while since this OTTI. I was never able to properly finish up what I started due to an annoyingly mild and persistent cough/sore throat which affected my sense of smell and taste. Now that it's over, it's time to return to this OTTI... I think a couple of the selections have lost a bit of zing since the first time around, but overall everything is working out well. I'll finish up and post notes in a bit...
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Re: Shincha OTTI 2013 AKA OTTI 18

Postby AdamMY » Jul 22nd, '13, 19:41

Wow I seem to have over committed myself to teas lately, or far more likely I seem to not have the time I used to for tea. Got through the first round of all but one in this OTTI. Now I am trying to cut back on the shear number of Adagio bags I have in my place, so I have done second rounds of a few. Today I am killing number 11 Sugimoto Hashiri-- Interesting as the one I haven't gotten to is Sugimoto Hachichu Hachiya (god bless you! :lol: ).

I honestly forgot what my first impression was on this one, but second impression is positive. Can stand some abuse ( got a bit side tracked on the first infusion).
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