Inaugural Group Tasting: Sinensis Yokkaichi & Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro

Vanenbw
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:14 pm
Location: NJ, USA

Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:49 pm

What a great thread. Such delightful photographs. This is the first time I might have regretted getting rid of my Canon Rebel XS SLR because of disuse. My phone camera is just so-so.

This is some powerful advertising here. I want to go out and buy 100 pots and 1,000 grams of a variety of tea leaves.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2196
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:56 pm

Vanenbw wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:49 pm
What a great thread. Such delightful photographs. This is the first time I might have regretted getting rid of my Canon Rebel XS SLR because of disuse. My phone camera is just so-so.

This is some powerful advertising here. I want to go out and buy 100 pots and 1,000 grams of a variety of tea leaves.
Yes, having a nice camera really is a good thing if you want to illustrate the narrative of your journey. Since this tasting wasn’t a commercial endeavor, rather a group sharing of hard to access quality teas, I’d say some member posts are so complexing and enticing that I too sometimes feel like going out and getting more of everything tea related. TAD activation :) 🍃
Vanenbw
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:14 pm
Location: NJ, USA

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:23 pm

Yes, indeed. I might have to consider picking up a camera again.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2196
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:51 pm

Salivating as I reach nearly the bottom of Sinensis Yokkaichi gyokuro pack. The fruity vegetal umami notes, are layered with sweet baked bread aroma today. Taste receptors stimulated to a high degree ... hmmm so good 🍃.

9g/113ml/108f/2.30min in preheated Shigaraki 120ml by Tachi Masaki, Chrystal Gyser Olancha, Ca water.
L.S.G.artapprentice
New user
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:09 am

Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:25 am

t-curious wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:58 pm
Thanks Victoria! I received mine in the mail today. :D

Could anyone recommend a brand of bottled water that's "balanced water -not too alkaline or too low TDS?" I'm not sure about that one. I'm in the continental U.S.

what Victoria recommended is spot on. I also recommend;

Fiji (quite sweet good for almost all fine teas. Makes very wonderful results when used with mid-high grade sencha and gyokuro)
Voss (very smooth)
PH+elctrolytes

from seeing ya all's posts I can say for sure I should never use anything but a Kyushu for making sencha and I NEED to get a shibordashi lol. I have used a wide mouth Taiwan buuuut I guess that's a no no ;)
User avatar
debunix
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:26 pm

L.S.G.artapprentice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:25 am
from seeing ya all's posts I can say for sure I should never use anything but a Kyushu for making sencha and I NEED to get a shibordashi lol. I have used a wide mouth Taiwan buuuut I guess that's a no no ;)
I certainly enjoyed this tasting without a kyusu or shibo in sight, although the pour from the gaiwans is pretty slow when the leaves are so fine. After long delay (technical issues related to new camera), here is my version of this tasting of three splendid gyokuros (I added O-Cha's special limited edition gyokuro because I'd just ordered it before this tasting had been organized).

A: Uji Gyokuro Suigyoku from O-Cha
B: Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro
C: Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro

All were the best grade we could obtain from their sources. I am not a gyo pro; at this point I’ve only tried a handful of different gyos and I tend to enjoy them, as usual, brewed more dilutely and also with warmer water than is usual.

Used my tiny glazed porcelain gaiwans and a set of small tasting cups from Petr Novak. Started with 2 grams of leaf per small gaiwan, about 45 mL water per infusion

A: Uji Gyokuro Suigyoku from O-Cha
B: Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro
C: Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro

Image

Dry leaf:
A: Leaf is more broken up, and the green less intense, but has been sealed in a jar under vacuum in the refrigerator for a couple of months, and a week plus just sealed in an airtight but not sealed container; scent is the lightest and most floral smelling but still deeply vegetal
B: Deep umami, vegetal, sea, less floral than A
C: Deep umami, vegetal, sea, less floral than A

Image

1st infusion, 150 degrees, 90 seconds
A: strongest scent right away, likely because of smaller leaf, strong floral notes; rich umami and vegetal flavors
B: As with scent of leaf, less floral, deep umami scent during infusion, but a litle more similar in the liquor taste, rich umami
C: Deep umami, less rich scent than B; similar flavor, can't really distinguish yet from B

Image

2nd infusion, again between 145 and 150 degrees, 45 seconds
A: Lighter than B in texture and flavor; slightly less umami, but vegetal notes stronger; floral not coming out
B: Deep umami, rich, deep, vegetal, cooked peas and green beans with a hint of grass
C: Hint astringency vs sample B, but not truly astringent; still warm, vegetal umami, cooked peas and green beans with a hint of grass

3rd infusion, 165 degrees (pot overshot goal of 160 a bit), 90 seconds
A: Here are the floral notes coming now, less umami and a little more floral
B: Umami lightening a little bit, still richly vegetal, more green beans than peas
C: Umami lightening a little bit, still richly vegetal, more green beans than peas

Image

4th infusion, 176 degrees, 60 seconds (backing off on time because I do like it lighter)
A: Drunk as several sips by itself, this is lovely, floral notes opening up again with the hotter/shorter infusion, but head-to-head, sip-to-sip, B has more of the floral notes
B: This one is building floral and fruity notes on lightening vegetal base; I definitely prefer this one right now
C: Also a little lighter, really lovely, but preference goes to B because of the floral notes stronger there

5th infusion, 180 degrees, 75 seconds
A: Floral plus vegetal: not rose-sweet, but more subtle and delicate notes rounding and lightening the vegetal notes; it's more snowpeas barely cooked, perhaps with a hint of carrot or parsnip sweetness, than english peas
B: Again, this one is keeping a bit more floral character than sample C, but maybe a little less sweet than A
C: I keep defining this one by it's difference from B, still not quite as floral and a touch deeper cooked pea note than sample B

Image

6th infusion, 190 degrees, about a minute, stopped keeping such close track
A: Very delicate now, still floral and lovely
B: Seems quite similar to sample A, delicate, lighter, floral
C: Similar to A & B, a fading to sweetwater, floral, delicious

7th infusion, 205 degrees, 3 minutes
Just enjoyed all samples

And after that, I had to leave, so I put the remaining mostly quite spent leaves in a bottle of water, refrigerated it, and enjoyed it as subtle “sparkling gyokuro” the following day.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2196
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:25 pm

@debunix just re-read your wonderful lengthy tasting notes. This would have been a fun group tasting if only we hadn’t been in lock down here in LA at the time. I’m now looking forward to trying O-cha’s Uji Gyokuro Suigyoku which I have refrigerated. Your tasting notes above indicate B and C shared many aspects, so I’m curious if after this tasting, when trying these gyokuro over time, if you found Ippodo Tokusen to be quite different or pretty similar to Sinensis Yokkaichi? I’m now also really looking forward to sitting with and enjoying this years Ippodo Tokusen sometime after it arrives.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2196
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:02 pm

Wow, I happen to have an extra pack of Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro that I refridgerated. Decided to steep it using slightly more leaf after a back and forth with @davidmarkglass who was recommending 10g/2oz-60ml/108F/2min. I ended up using 10g/100ml/108f/2.30min in Tachi Masaki 140ml Shigaraki kyusu. A perfect steep. Super rich and sweet, not overwhelming, rather well balanced and elegant. I actually think this gyokuro may be better this year, after all these months in cold storage. I also think it may be difficult to steep (not a beginners gyokuro) and needs cooler temp to succeed. Salivation is strong, leaving a full mouthfeel and lots of aftertaste.
User avatar
debunix
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:22 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:25 pm
I’m now looking forward to trying O-cha’s Uji Gyokuro Suigyoku which I have refrigerated. Your tasting notes above indicate B and C shared many aspects, so I’m curious if after this tasting, when trying these gyokuro over time, if you found Ippodo Tokusen to be quite different or pretty similar to Sinensis Yokkaichi?
I'm enjoying a session with the Sinensis Yokkaichi and Ippodo Tokusen now, 3 grams of each in 3 oz shiboridashis from Petr Novak, and really, I can not really separate them. I don't have any more of the special offer O-Cha Suigyoko to compare it to, but I can say definitively that I am loving them all. They're just so good, deep, rich, and lovely, and as always, better with chocolate!

I know I will still crave the sharper notes of sencha, and will continue to trade it out with the gyokuros, but right now, I'm very happy with these gyokuros.

I can also say that the O-Cha Gyoku-hou that I currently have open at work--hence more distracted sessions--makes me quite happy as well, so that these superb highest quality gyokuros from the tasting have not ruined my taste for fine but not priciest versions. I purchased some gyokuros with my latest subscription from Obubu, and I will be very interested to see if I am still equally happy with those when I get to them.....but it will be a while because there's a fair bit of the Sinensis Yokkaichi to work through first.
Post Reply