2009 Shincha Review Topic

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

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2009 Shincha Review Topic

by Pentox » May 1st 09 6:45 am

Moderator Edit. So you can follow past "Official Shincha" topics.

2009 Shincha Ordering topic:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 343#p99343

2008 Shincha topic: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5330
Chip
Immoderate TeaDrinker who happens to Moderate


And the tallies are in! This is your official headquarters for SHINCHA REVIEWS! Come here for the latest and greatest in the shincha races folks! START YOUR KYUSUS!

Lets start the tallies!
Last edited by Pentox on May 8th 09 10:59 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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by J. » May 1st 09 11:53 am

Sorry,

Where do you buy your sincha?

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by Jack_teachat » May 1st 09 12:00 pm

J. wrote:Sorry,

Where do you buy your sincha?
See Shincha Ordering Topic 2009 :D

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by teashionista » May 1st 09 7:10 pm

So here is the first shincha review from a first-time shincha buyer :D I've had several Japanese senchas over the years, but have never ordered shincha before, so my reference point is somewhat limited. :oops:
This is Yutaka Midori shincha from O-Cha. Shipping only took 5 days to West Coast. The packaging is beautiful
Image

I loved the smell of dry leaves--very fresh, light, and a little vegetal. The leaves are broken (not a lot of pine needles), and the color is vivid green (greener than in the photo)
Image

For the first infusion I used 3.5g of tea in my 10 oz kyusu (.7g per 60ml), 170F water, and brewed for 1 min. The tea was very light, not astringent at all, with notes of vegetables and grass. I made two more infusions (slightly higher temp on the water, and much shorter infusion time). Next time I'll use a little more leaf--I think the flavor was a little weak. Overall, I'm glad I bought it! I'll buy YM sencha later this year to see how aging affects the taste.

This is the second infusion (much greener color, but the flavor was a little weaker).
Image

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by Proinsias » May 1st 09 7:43 pm

I love that last pic.

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by Chip » May 1st 09 7:46 pm

Thanks Teashionista! Yeah, I would use more leaf. This is either fukamushi or approaching it, so you will not see lots of "needles." Also since it is fuka, the second infusion is characteristically more green.

If you are not already, I would encourage you to preheat your kyusu, put the leaf in and smell it as it warms, quite amazing. When preheating, pour cooler water over the leaf, around 160ish*

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by UncleIroh » May 1st 09 7:48 pm

Sipping the third infusion of my first pot of Den's Hashiri shincha even as i type. my initial impressions are that the leaves are indeed as emerald green & pretty as described by the vendor. their scent out of the bag is rich and greeny-- somewhere between fresh hay & that sweet oceanic smell many senchas have. the first infusion was a pale yet amazingly bright chartreuse sort of color, which diminished only slightly on the 2nd & 3rd brews. i used 4 grams of leaf in a 6oz kyusu at about 70c, steeped for 60 seconds for the first infusion, then 30, then back up to 60 for the third. tastewise there's a sweetness upfront, followed by just a little bit of pleasantly lingering bitterness. very much like other senchas, but fuller & rounder somehow. deeper, maybe? sort of like the difference between mono & stereo, i guess. it's a familiar thing, but more defined & in better focus. this is only the second year i've know what shincha is; last year i had some Houryoku from Den's & frankly screwed it up, managing only a few satisfying cups by the time i figured out how to treat it. i'm glad to've had a good experience right out of the bag this time. i'm also aware of a kind of relaxing, unknotting sensation that seems to spread from the inside out as i sit here sipping. also familiar from other senchas, but this is pretty intense & pronounced. is this what people mean when they refer to the 'cha chi?' Not just a guy who loves Joanie anymore, i guess. All in all, this is definitely worth the fuss & anticipation. Temomi from Sugimoto is up next, and i only wish i could try more varieties this time around. Shincha season is shaping up to be one of my favorite times of the year.
~sean

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by teashionista » May 1st 09 11:15 pm

Chip wrote:Yeah, I would use more leaf. This is either fukamushi or approaching it, so you will not see lots of "needles." Also since it is fuka, the second infusion is characteristically more green.
Thanks Chip! I made another attempt this afternoon (ah, the joys of working from home), this time using 4.5g of leaf (same 10oz kyusu), and using slightly cooler water (160F). This time the tea came out much better! The lightness is still there, as well as the buttery vegetable notes (is it weird that I'm tasting corn??), but there is just a tad of astringency, which rounds out the flavor quite nicely. I'm in love with shincha! Off to make infusion #2 :arrow:

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by tastysencha » May 2nd 09 5:21 am

wow, that yutaka midori looks delicious. thanks for the review teashionista. so tempting 8)

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by Jack_teachat » May 2nd 09 8:55 am

tastysencha wrote:wow, that yutaka midori looks delicious. thanks for the review teashionista. so tempting 8)
Ditto. Mine is now in my possession and will be had on my return home later this afternoon, review to come later then hopefully!

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by Chip » May 2nd 09 12:53 pm

UncleIroh wrote:Shincha season is shaping up to be one of my favorite times of the year.
Yes, ... "it's the most wonderful time of the year!"
Thanks for the Hashiri review. It looks like no Hashiri for me this year. :(

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by iannon » May 2nd 09 3:30 pm

Chip wrote:
UncleIroh wrote:Shincha season is shaping up to be one of my favorite times of the year.
Yes, ... "it's the most wonderful time of the year!"
Thanks for the Hashiri review. It looks like no Hashiri for me this year. :(
why not Chip? too many others this go round?
tried both of my 2 I have receieved so far. The Yuuki YM and the Zencha Takumi. The former is more mild the later packs a heck of a punch IMHO.
am going to try and express more detail later.

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by Jack_teachat » May 2nd 09 5:09 pm

Yutaka Midori 2009 Shincha (O-Cha)

I've just finished my first session with this tea and so here are my initial reactions....

First Impressions

Ok, so if I'm comparing this tea to the 2008 version, the dry leaf is far less "dusty" than last year, which before I brewed up immediately led me to think that the tea is less heavily steamed than last year's offering. Upon brewing I can confirm that this is indeed the case, and the tea is definitely closer to a chamushi or "mid-steamed tea".

The parameters I used were as follows...

4.3g leaf
160ml water
Pre-Heated Kyusu

1st Steep - 68 Degrees (c) 1 minute

With this ratio I would say that a minute is about right, although I think a little longer would be fine. The brewing temperature could also perhaps be a little warmer without causing the tea to become bitter. From this first steep I was picking up a mild grassiness with very little astringency, and in terms of flavour I was getting some very pleasant sweet buttery citrus hints that reminded me somewhat of last year's Kirameki. Overall, a lot milder than I expected it to be, but still very pleasant none the less. I think next time I will increase the leaf quantity to just under 5g.

2nd Steep - 70 Degrees (c) 20-25 seconds

This steep I felt was slightly too short and I will definitely increase it next time to around 35-40 seconds. This steep was more grassy but less sweet than the first.

3rd Steep - 72 Degrees (c) 1 minute 15 secs

This final steep was again far too mild, looking back I think the brewing temperature needs to be increased by more on both the 2nd and 3rd infusion. I think increasing the leaf quantity will also help with achieving better multiple steeps.

Conclusions

Another wonderfully fresh, high quality offering from O-Cha, but certainly a very different kettle of fish to last year, and one which I fear may leave a few of Yutaka Midori's most ardent follows a tad disappointed. I for one am not one of them however, and I look forward to experimenting with my parameters over the coming days to really get this tea tasting its very best.

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by Chip » May 2nd 09 7:01 pm

I think you need to up temp a bit for the first steep. 154* F seems a bit low and could level it off a bit. I think I was going with 160* F (71* C) in a preheated kyusu for the first steep.

Each sencha, each tea has ups and downs, but getting the YM from O-Cha for what will be the 4th year, I know it is generally a top notch sencha. 2008 was an incredible year for it while 2007 was down a bit. I am reserving judgement of course til I try it, but it is my fave for 3 years in a row even in the down year.

Thanks for sharing, Jack.

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by Chip » May 2nd 09 7:06 pm

iannon wrote:why not Chip? too many others this go round?
tried both of my 2 I have receieved so far. The Yuuki YM and the Zencha Takumi. The former is more mild the later packs a heck of a punch IMHO.
am going to try and express more detail later.
It is a combination of factors, one being Hashiri is a sencha too often harvested very early in order to be first to market, not picked at the very best time.

I had Den's last year and it was good, but I had better Den's a little later. Still, Hashiri is a fun tea. It was just not a priority for me this year.

So many shincha, can't try them all, right? If anyone wants to swap shincha, by all means PM me, I am game to try Hashiri ... or otherwise. 8)