OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby SilentChaos » Jul 10th, '13, 18:07

victoria3 wrote:Mystery unravels; I ordered 2X each sample & received one extra Da Yu Ling & zero Cui Luan....


Does that mean you only got 9 samples in total? :?
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby victoria3 » Jul 10th, '13, 18:19

Yes, I figure we can make it a credit towards future purchases?
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby SilentChaos » Jul 10th, '13, 18:21

victoria3 wrote:Yes, I figure we can make it a credit towards future purchases?


Sure. Let me just get in contact with Chip, as I'm now actually not sure what's going on.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Chip » Jul 10th, '13, 21:44

SilentChaos wrote:
victoria3 wrote:Yes, I figure we can make it a credit towards future purchases?

Sure. Let me just get in contact with Chip, as I'm now actually not sure what's going on.

We have to pay extremely close attention as we pack so mistakes are not made. I have a rule, absolutely no talking to the packer and a strict process is followed. It is surprisingly difficult to do w/o making mistakes. In the first 18 rounds (and a few NOTTIs), I think only one mistake was made that was brought to my attention.

This time since they arrived in prepackaged groups of 5 (or 6 for the bonus winners) from OriginTea, already sorted, we did not double check. This time we simply did one participant, pulling a prepackaged group out of the box and placing it directly into the particpant's package. Unfortunately assumed all was properly grouped and did not double check.

Mistakes are extremely easy to make when dealing with so many participants and so many samples. Hopefully this is limited to a couple minor glitches. And I am certain all will work out in the end as Origin will credit for missed samples.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Splinters » Jul 10th, '13, 21:49

I gave the Shan Lin Xi another run today. I think I brewed a couple degrees higher this time (closer to boil than off-boil). The extra heat produced a bit of astringency, but still produced nice cups, starting mostly floral and blossoming into a more buttery finish. I'm quite happy with this sample.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby debunix » Jul 11th, '13, 03:04

2013 Spring, Da Yu Ling 95K--again, I'm starting later in the evening than I should, and being limited in choices of brewing vessels at this location, I'm using a low leaf-to-water ratio and fewer, longer infusions than usual

3 grams in my 120 mL pot, 1 minute with water 195 degrees
a little too light (my fault), sweet, floral, really really nice, texture promises more with a longer infusion

2nd infusion 90 seconds (longer than I'd otherwise do but I was trying to stretch due to limited leaf)
As soon as the water hits the leaf, a strong rush of floral scent; in the cup, 90 seconds later, sweet and a bit of spice in the scent--hints of cinnamon--and the liquor is yellow, rich, buttery, the promised spice is there and so is the sweetness from before


3rd infusion, sweet, rich, wonderful after a 3 minute infusion, summer hay more than summer flowers.

4th infusion, 4 minutes, again, almost a western brewing here, but this tea stands up gorgeously, sweet, warm, still a little floral, summer hay, caramel, mmm

5th infusion, 5 minutes
More of the same

One last infusion, many minutes, water poured over a few times to keep it hot, again, tasty and more than sweetwater. Letting it steep overnight with cool water to try for a morning sip….it's good enough to make the attempt worthwhile.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby hopeofdawn » Jul 11th, '13, 11:22

Finally got to begin tasting these samples! I decided to do a little bit of a personal experiment, in that I'm deliberately not looking at the pricing of the teas until after I'm done with the samples, just so that I'm not influenced by price points.

Started out with a random pick of the Shan Lin Xi: Long Feng Xia. So far I've had two sessions, one at 3 grams/100 ml stoneware pot, the second following more closely to recommendations at 4 grams/80 ml porcelain pot. Both were very pleasant, but I definitely agree that the higher ration is better; it lasts longer and brings out more nuances.

Thus far I've averaged 1st steep at 205-208F/20 secs, 2nd steep at 200F/10-15 secs, 3rd steep 190-200F/30 secs, and 4-6th steeps going hotter and longer, usually 208F/45 sec and up. I'd have to agree with other reviewers that the second steep is usually the best, though the first brought out amazing floral aromas.

1st steep--brew was clear and light, very pleasant and clean but didn't linger. Amazing scent from both the tea and the leaves.
2nd steep--thicker brew, still very clean but with more notes and a touch more astringency. It reminded me of a local winter harvest Shan Li Xi I've tasted; really enjoyable.
3rd steep--brew holding on strong, pretty much the same as 2nd.
4-6th steeps--brews gradually fading away to sweet teawater. The scent is almost gone after the 4th brew, but the taste hangs on for a long time.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby whatsinaname » Jul 11th, '13, 12:13

Second go with the Cui Luan, I went all in: 10g into my 150cl gaiwan. Boom! Pure Gaoshan Goodness.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby NPE » Jul 11th, '13, 15:49

The samples arrived yesterday and today I have the time to try them in peace. I have started with Shan Lin Xi Long Feng Xia.
I cannot give any hard and fast numbers about the amount or the steeping times as I have to measure enough at work. During tea time I kind of let the tea speak to me. I managed to have my high mountain oolong dedicated Andrzej Bero pot (about 75 ml) packed to the rafters with a bit less than half of the sample pack. I had the occasional leaf trying to escape but without success :D
The first infusion promises greatness, the second delivers with gusto: orchard fruit in an overall creaminess - yum! The third and fourth infusions are scrummy as well, with the creaminess slowly changing to a scent of summer meadow. Infusion five still packs a surprising punch with lovely, balanced flavours. Number six is a bit weaker, more flavour in the nose and the throat than in the mouth. Infusion seven is left to steep about three times the normal time - I guess about 2 minutes - and it really refuses to give up! Infusion 8 still has a nice soft taste of fresh orchard fruit. Infusion 9 finally gives up but leaves a fresh memory of scrummy tea. Wow!
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Splinters » Jul 12th, '13, 15:57

I've now sampled the Cui Luan as well.

Like a previous poster, this tea didn't really pop for me. Overall, it's pleasant. It's a subtler tea than the Shan Lin Xi, with a lighter scent and flavor. The predominant notes are light butter and hay. Unlike the Shan Lin Xi, I didn't detect too much distinction between the steeps, other than that the scent was fleeting by the third steep. Perhaps it would respond differently to different brewing methods.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby etorix » Jul 12th, '13, 17:23

picked up my samples today, seem all present & correct

prolly trying the shan lin shi first, since ive just tried a tea from that area for the first time this week
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby victoria3 » Jul 12th, '13, 19:30

I opened up the Lishan: Fushoushan High Mountain Oolong. Leaves are nicely rolled and slightly aromatic. Went for close to 2.5:1 leaf to water ratio, although for my taste higher ratio would be better and or longer steeps. Is it possible that my boiled water is cooling down too fast because I am transfering the boiled water into a measuring cup and then into teapot?

1st: 8/3.38oz (100ml)/ 20sec, went to 35sec. Forgot to wait 1-2 minutes for leaves to unfurl after 1st wash. Tasty. Light liquor. 
2nd: 38sec. Light liquor again, next time steep longer, very little if any astringency.
3rd: 1:38min. Still light for my palate, some nice background astringency, floral bouquet, mellow smooth sweetness. Nice lingering palate.
4th: 4:30min. Very light nice astringency with floral bouquet.
5th: stove to 5 sec roll/ 20sec steep. Perfect, finally the correct intensity is reached. Next time try keeping water as hot as possible, from stove top to brewing vessel.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Chip » Jul 12th, '13, 20:16

victoria3 wrote:Is it possible that my boiled water is cooling down too fast because I am transfering the boiled water into a measuring cup and then into teapot?

Yes, definitely!
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby victoria3 » Jul 12th, '13, 23:11

Chip wrote:
victoria3 wrote:Is it possible that my boiled water is cooling down too fast because I am transfering the boiled water into a measuring cup and then into teapot?

Yes, definitely!

I'm so used to treading gingerly with delicate Japanese young leaves that it's a little bit of a shock to pour boiling water on Taiwanese young leaves. But you are right they need really hot hot water from the start. How come they are larger and more resilient than their Japanese April/May equivalent? I really enjoy high mountain oolongs aroma, floral smooth fragrance, smokiness compared to Japanese. I let the steep cool down quite a bit before sipping so I can taste its full flavor palate.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby MacGuffin » Jul 13th, '13, 07:16

victoria3 wrote:Is it possible that my boiled water is cooling down too fast because I am transfering the boiled water into a measuring cup and then into teapot?

May I suggest that this isn't the best way to proceed? I always preheat my brewing vessel and the dry tea for everything but Japanese and Korean greens (I deviate from Chip on that one) and also give a few seconds' rinse (boiling water) and about a minute's rest to anything that's not green, white, or yellow. I've also found that oolongs (including those with heavier roast and oxidation) brew best with water that's just off the boil, i.e. let the bubbles just disappear after removing the boiling water from its heat source. As it happens, these are, with the exception of preheating the vessel and dry-heating the leaves, pretty much the suggested brewing parameters given by the vendor. If you must use a measuring cup (not necessary, BTW, if you're brewing gong fu-style), preheat it as well for an oxidized tea. You want the water to be very hot.
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