2016 Shincha discusions

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Jun 22nd 16 2:21 pm
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by davidglass » Jun 22nd 16 2:21 pm

Have you tasted the 2016 Shincha from Maiko?

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Jun 22nd 16 5:36 pm
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by victoria3 » Jun 22nd 16 5:36 pm

I have 2013 sincha sencha that was in the refrigerator all this time in a Loksak Opsak ziplock to lock in freshness and keep out odors. My tasting notes are from 2013 & 2016 two separate bags. Maiko gives nice discounts and shouldn't indicate subpar tea.
davidglass wrote:Have you tasted the 2016 Shincha from Maiko?

Jun 23rd 16 12:16 am
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by davidglass » Jun 23rd 16 12:16 am

victoria3 wrote:I have 2013 sincha sencha that was in the refrigerator all this time in a Loksak Opsak ziplock to lock in freshness and keep out odors. My tasting notes are from 2013 & 2016 two separate bags. Maiko gives nice discounts and shouldn't indicate subpar tea.
davidglass wrote:Have you tasted the 2016 Shincha from Maiko?

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Jun 29th 16 1:22 am
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by bizencrazed » Jun 29th 16 1:22 am

I am super surprised with the quality of a Shincha I just purchased.
Normally I purchase right from Japan-- the usual Ocha, Thes-Du-Japon, Ippodo, or Hojo. I did buy from Ippodo this year and do plan on buying some from Ocha when I have a bit of money, but this year I also bought the 88th Night Shincha Organic from Upton Tea Imports. Typically I only buy English style teas from them, which I don't drink often as it is.
It's something I've been eyeing for the last few years but never got around to buying it. It is a bit pricey for the quality to price ratio ($17/50g) since I can get the same quality for roughly the same price or less, and 100g of it from Ocha.
Regardless, I'd buy it again. It's an okumidori. It has a very nice, full mouth feel and it has a lingering sweetness that reminds me of agave nectar or apricots. It has a very strong green smell, and I was able to get four very nice brewings out of it which surprised me even more.
I definitely recommend buying a sample of this, which is what I did.

Very easy brewer too. I used .6g/30ml, one minute for the first brew at 60C.
Last edited by bizencrazed on Jun 29th 16 1:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Jun 29th 16 1:26 am
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by bizencrazed » Jun 29th 16 1:26 am

entropyembrace wrote:
I've been brewing by feel so there's not really any parameters to share. I pre-warm the pot, scoop in leaves until it looks like the right amount in the bottom of the pot, heat the water until the temperature feels right by hand on the side of the kettle. Even the timing I go by what feels right.

I used to measure almost everything when brewing tea, but I haven't felt the need to do that for a while.
Same here. After making tea for a long time you just know, which I love. It makes the tea experience all the better.

Jun 29th 16 5:07 am
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by Teaarch » Jun 29th 16 5:07 am

Two new shinchas, both light steamed: one from Kirishima (asanoka cultivar) by way of yuuki-cha, the other an Uji tea from the Wazuka region of Kyoto (yabukita cultivar) by way of thes-du-japon.

The yabukita surprised me, because I could swear I just finished the same tea, one that I loved. It's almost the exact same tea as the Kirameki I had from O-cha (which is also a yabukita from Uji), except the aroma of the leaves aren't as strong (to be expected, as it was advertised as having a very light roasting). The tea, however, is a bit more potent. I'm using just a tad bit less for the leaf to water ratio (1.3:1 instead of 1.4:1) and the same times and temps (176f, increase by 3f each brew) as the Kirameki and it's just as good or better. One difference might be that the Kirameki, for the first brew, had a typical shincha rawness to the taste that manifested itself as a hint of bitterness, whereas this one it's a hint of astrigency. The second and third brews were basically the same for each (a bit more than a hint of astringency for the second brew, the third being almost dominated by it, but still not really unpleasant).

The asanoka from yuuki-cha is also quite good. At first I didn't really think too much of it, maybe good for an everyday tea, but after playing around with it some more I've found myself really enjoying it. Not a bit of bitterness or astringency for this tea, even at 80c/176f . The taste is mainly a lot of sweetness, fruity like with some vegetal notes, though not the least bit cloying. The aftertaste is subtle, but long. Still, I'm thinking I could get more out of the tea, either more leaf, longer times, or as I'm coming to expect, maybe even hotter temps (85c). Right now I'm using 1.3:1 leaf to water ratio, 80c/176f (increase by 3f each brew), and times at 65 seconds, 32 seconds, and 3 minutes and 15 seconds. I could probably even get 4 brews out of this one, but haven't tried it yet. Still experimenting.

Also, I gave the oku-midori fukamushi from O-cha another shot. Not quite as bad as I first thought (I was using too much leaf, basically), but it still has that roasted taste of grass that I'm not sure I really enjoy no matter how I brew it. However, there's more to this tea's flavor that I'm coming around to.

Also, I got a new brewing vessel. From recommendations in this thread, I went a bit smaller and wider -- a clay kyusu with a wide bottom. I'd still like to get an even smaller wide bottomed shib, but after brewing in this a few times I'm sort of glad I didn't. I'm really liking the vessel except for one thing: it cools off too fast without the top on. It hasn't been a problem when brewing (it seems to retain heat just as well as my bigger vessels with the top on), but after first preheating it and emptying out the water to put in the leaves, I'm finding that it almost cools off immediately. Contrast that with the bigger vessel I was brewing in where throwing the leaves into the pot felt like throwing them onto a hot pan almost, it's quite the difference. Should have expected this, since the surface area is smaller and the clay is thinner to support the wider bottom. I suppose I'll just have to speed things up a bit initially.

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Jun 29th 16 8:02 am
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by Tead Off » Jun 29th 16 8:02 am

Teaarch wrote:
Also, I gave the oku-midori fukamushi from O-cha another shot. Not quite as bad as I first thought (I was using too much leaf, basically), but it still has that roasted taste of grass that I'm not sure I really enjoy no matter how I brew it. However, there's more to this tea's flavor that I'm coming around to.
It might interest you to try the Oku-midori fukamushi from Thes du Japon to see how it compares to yours. It is from a farm in Yame. It is not quite like any fukamushi I have had in the sense that the flavor is more refined and smooth without the usual umami that many fukamushis can give. There is no bitterness or astringency. Fukamushi is not my preferred style but this could be interesting to those that are fond of it.

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Jun 29th 16 1:08 pm
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by TORamarn » Jun 29th 16 1:08 pm

Teaarch wrote:
Also, I got a new brewing vessel. From recommendations in this thread, I went a bit smaller and wider -- a clay kyusu with a wide bottom. I'd still like to get an even smaller wide bottomed shib, but after brewing in this a few times I'm sort of glad I didn't. I'm really liking the vessel except for one thing: it cools off too fast without the top on. It hasn't been a problem when brewing (it seems to retain heat just as well as my bigger vessels with the top on), but after first preheating it and emptying out the water to put in the leaves, I'm finding that it almost cools off immediately. Contrast that with the bigger vessel I was brewing in where throwing the leaves into the pot felt like throwing them onto a hot pan almost, it's quite the difference. Should have expected this, since the surface area is smaller and the clay is thinner to support the wider bottom. I suppose I'll just have to speed things up a bit initially.
If you want to warm up the kyusu a bit more after you already put tea leaves in, just close the lid and pour hot water over it.

Jul 30th 16 9:00 pm
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by davidglass » Jul 30th 16 9:00 pm

I've almost finished my 2016 Shincha Kinari from Maiko. Thanks to Victoria for suggesting 90 second brew time instead of their recommended 60 seconds. I love Gyokuro and drink as much as possible, but this tea was almost as special. It was subtle, but all of the right notes were there. Like Gyokuro, it lingered, even after I brushed my teeth! Ralph from Maiko said that the Shincha Kinari is now sold as Maruyama but is not as fresh tasting. I brewed it like this: 1.5g tea/1oz. water/140-145 F/ 90 sec./ sipped very slowly..

Jul 31st 16 7:02 am
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Re: 2016 Shincha discusions

by Teaarch » Jul 31st 16 7:02 am

I finished all my shinchas. My favorite was the kirameki, a Tsuen tea by way of O-cha. My second favorite, and in some ways out classing the kirameki, was the yume wakaba from Thes, despite it still being a bit too raw tasting for my likes, but supposedly this is one tea you really have to taste after it mellows out some in the coming months. I was also surprised by the Asonoka asamushi from Yuuki-cha. All in all, I tasted some pretty good teas during shincha season from all over Japan, mainly in order to be better informed on what I buy later in the year, not ordering so blindly, so to speak.